Farewell to the horse world’s great and good

  • H&H reports the passing of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the horse world. Funerals and memorial details will be included where possible.

    Shirley Edwards

    A Stalwart of the hunting field, Miss Edwards died peacefully on 31 December aged 83.

    Miss Edwards was one of Britain’s leading lady showjumpers in the 1960s, producing her first horse to grade A level aged 18.

    She was also amateur 
whipper-in to the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt for 
many years, retiring after the 1990/91 season.

    “She was a tower of strength behind six huntsmen during her 35 years here, knew every yard of the country and will be sadly missed,” said a spokesman for the hunt.

    Her funeral will be held at 
St Wystan’s Church in Bretby, Derbys, on 2 February at noon.

    Margaret Hough

    The “first in an honourable line” of female Badminton winners has died at the aged of 86.

    Margaret Hough, who took the title in 1954 on Bambi V, had been suffering from a chest infection.

    Her son Peter Gleave said Margaret had had issues with her breathing since childhood, which is why she started riding.

    “She’d had bronchitis and the doctor said she should start riding,” he told H&H, adding that Margaret later swapped a pony for her Badminton-winning mare.

    “It was ground-breaking for a woman to win it,” Mr Gleave said. “One or two of the men at the time looked down at women having a go and doing well so it really was.

    “But although she knew what she’d achieved, she never made a big deal out of it. My father was always dead proud of her; he’d always be telling people about it and she’d look at him almost as though she was telling him off!”

    Margaret rode until six or seven years ago, Mr Gleave said, although this was mainly hacking, but she had continued to compete in low-level dressage until she was in her mid-70s. “She was strong-willed,” Mr Gleave said. “Very determined — if she wanted to 
do something, she’d do it.”

    Badminton media director Julian Seaman told H&H: “Having lost Sheila Willcox last year [news, 15 June] it is sad that the first in an honourable line of lady Badminton winners, Margaret Hough, has died. Her win on Bambi was at the sixth ever Badminton.”

    Margaret was also involved with training members of her local Pony Club branch, the East Cheshire. After Bambi retired, she bred eight foals from her, all named after species of deer.

    One of these, Gemsbok, was shortlisted for the Junior European Eventing Championships with Mr Gleave and is still with the family at the age of 28.

    She is survived by her husband Wilfred, who she married in 1960, Peter and three grandchildren.

    Jane Sebire

    A stalwart of Jersey’s equestrian community, Mrs Sebire died on 3 December aged 81.

    Mrs Sebire spent years working with hunting families, caring for horses and children, and hunting with the Taunton Vale Harriers, the Hambledon and the East Meon.

    She returned to Jersey in 1964 and established Bon Air Stables, where she taught many people to ride and enjoyed success with her home-breds, including competing at the British Riding Club quadrille finals.

    Mrs Sebire was among the founders of the Jersey Drag Hunt branch of the Pony Club, where she served as chief instructor for many years, and Jersey Riding Club.

    She was also a British Showjumping (BS) course-designer and judge, and was chairman of BS Jersey at the time of her death.

    Susan Bailey

    A dedicated supporter of equestrianism and charitable causes, Ms Bailey died on 12 December aged 72.

    She was a long-standing supporter of Windsor Park Equestrian Club, a director at Guards Polo Club and a volunteer for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).

    Ms Bailey initiated the annual sponsored drive at Smiths Lawn, which raised thousands of pounds for the RDA and other charities.

    She also helped towards funding the statue of the Windsor greys, to mark the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s coronation, and was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to charitable giving in 2013.

    Wyatt ‘Bunty’ Thompson

    A member of Australia’s first Olympic equestrian team, Mr Thompson died on 15 December aged 92.

    He competed at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, on a team with five other men, none of whom had ever taken part in a three-day-event before. After an intensive 14 months of training, the squad finished fourth at the Games, which held its equestrian events in Stockholm due to quarantine restrictions in Australia.

    He continued to be involved in the sport as a technical delegate and course-designer, and founded Millah Murrah Angus Stud with his wife Winsome in the 1960s.

    Equestrian Australia chair Judy Fasher said he was a “true trailblazer” for eventing in Australia.

    “His gentle humour and kindness pervaded our first Australian eventing team,” said Ms Fasher.

    “Goodbye, Bunty, we loved your company and your stories of the enormous effort Australia made to put our sport on the international eventing scene.”

    Jean-Jacques Guyon

    The French Olympic gold medal-winning eventer died on 20 December aged 85.

    Mr Guyon won individual eventing gold at the 1968 Mexico City Games aboard Pitou.

    He was also French eventing champion on Mon Clos in 1965 and team bronze at the 1967 European Eventing Championships.

    Fédération Française d’Equitation president Serge Lecomte offered his “most sincere condolences” to Mr Guyon’s friends and family.

    Miguel Tavora

    A respected dressage trainer, Mr Tavora died on 29 December aged 74.

    Born in Portugal, he trained with Nuno Oliveira — a leading figure in classical dressage — until the age of 18 before joining the military.

    He had a successful equestrian career within the forces and was appointed chief instructor and director of the equestrian division at the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art at Mafra.

    On retiring from the military in the 1980s, he moved to Australia, where he ran his own equestrian centre with his wife, Dianne, and trained numerous riders to international level.

    Anne Sopwith

    A tireless supporter of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), Mrs Sopwith died peacefully at home on 29 September 2017 aged 88.

    Anne became involved with the RDA when her six children were at boarding school, which led to the Dyffryn Ceiriog group’s being formed in 1973.

    The popularity of the group grew and she fundraised tirelessly to buy premises at Llanfynydd, which were developed into the Clwyd Special Riding Centre and opened by Princess Anne in 1984.

    Her commitment resulted in the centre’s growing to include holiday accommodation and an all-weather carriage driving track. It is now recognised as an RDA “centre of excellence”.

    RDA chief executive Ed Bracher wrote to Mrs Sopwith’s family after her death to say how “hugely Anne was loved and respected by all those who knew her”.

    “The achievement of creating one of the best-known RDA centres in the UK was massive in itself, but the additional vision to make it one so many people could benefit from through holidays was groundbreaking,” he added.

    Noel O’Brien

    The racing world is mourning Irish handicapper Noel O’Brien, who died on 19 December aged 57 after a long illness.

    He worked for the Turf Club since the 1970s, as senior National Hunt handicapper for 22 years.

    Brian Kavanagh, CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, said “a light went out in Irish racing”.

    “A gentleman who always had time for people. Popular in a job where that’s not easy. Passionate about National Hunt racing,” he said. “A huge loss.”

    Jim McTiffin Snr

    The former British Show Pony Society (BSPS) chairman and judge has died aged 82, having been suffering from poor health for the past few years.

    Before becoming involved in horses, Yorkshire-based “Big Jim” — as he was affectionately nicknamed — was a highly successful professional wrestler under the name Gwyn Davies. He started wrestling at the age of 17 and went on to become British heavyweight champion.

    Wrestling originally took up so much of his time that his wife Maureen suggested they hack out together from a local riding school in Halifax to develop and share a common interest.

    The “horse bug” took hold and the couple started showing with their son, Jimmy Jnr, and later daughter Karen, who started on the lead rein and went on to win at Horse Of the Year Show (HOYS) on the family’s home-produced 148cm show pony, Randles First March.

    “We did everything together as a family,” said Karen.

    “Dad would feed at home and drive the wagon; he and Mum turned the ponies out for the ring and Jimmy and I rode. We also all went hunting together.”

    As a respected show and show hunter pony judge, Jim officiated at both the Royal International Horse Show and HOYS. Among his initiatives while BSPS chairman — 1997 to 2008 — was the establishment of the first indoor evening performances, which took place in the sheep shed at the East of England Showground during the BSPS summer championships in the late 1990s.

    He was a passionate believer in a level playing field for all, and introduced the marks system in pony judging, to benefit competitors and judges alike.

    “Big Jim put the word ‘gentle’ into gentleman,” said fellow judge Allan Robertson. “He was an honest, straightforward man who deeply loved his family and friends. My biggest regret was failing to secure him an MBE, which I tried to get for him when he retired from his chairmanship of the BSPS. He so richly deserved it.”

    Jim leaves a sister, Elizabeth, as well as Maureen, Jim Jnr, Karen and grandson Stephen.

    Jack Bucknell

    Former Vine & Craven, Garth & South Berks and Vale of Aylesbury MFH, Jack Bucknell died on 30 November aged 78.

    The eldest of six brothers, Jack developed a passion for hunting in his early teens. He left school at 14, and one of his grandfather’s milk round ponies became his means of work transport around the farms his family ran.

    On one of these rides, he happened across the local hunt and got chatting to the kennel huntsman. He got himself invited along for future meets and thereafter would bunk off work for a few hours whenever the hunt was nearby, resolving one day to become a master himself.

    He married showing judge Sandra, and their daughter Alison and granddaughter Lottie have gone on to shine in the showjumping arena. Jack and Sandra, major landowners in the Berkshire area, were also involved in local Pony Club branches and Jack was a regular steward at Royal Windsor Horse Show.

    He is also remembered as the “undisputed camp commandant” of the South Berkshire branch of the Pony Club’s summer camp.

    The branch’s chief instructor and former camp organiser Bridget Tooth remembered him as man with an “endlessly generous spirit”.

    His funeral was held on 13 December at St Mary’s in Beech Hill, Berks. He arrived on a JCB, escorted by mounted mourners, and a hunting horn was played over his grave.

    Trevor Stockill

    The equestrian trade is mourning the loss of an extraordinary product inventor, horseman and pharmacist.

    Mr Stockill, who co-founded horse care products brand Gold Label with his wife Josephine, died on 31 October aged 80.

    He hunted with the Holderness for 45 seasons until the age of 78 and was immersed in the Yorkshire equestrian scene.

    He was also a proud supporter of his daughter, Amanda Good, during her showjumping career.

    “Those who knew Trevor will remember him not only for his extensive depth of knowledge but also his generosity, expert advice and, in particular, his wicked sense of humour,” said Mrs Good.

    Nimrod Kennett

    A dedicated hunt servant, Mr Kennett died on 20 November at the age of 89.

    Mr Kennett had followed in the footsteps of his father Harold and grandfather Willie, who were both huntsmen.

    As a child he helped his father at hunt kennels in Essex before the family moved to the Isle of Wight. He left school at the age of 14 to work with horses, before spending two years with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps between 1946 and 1948.

    Mr Kennett served with numerous hunts across the UK, including the Whaddon Chase, Duke of Buccleuch’s and the Essex Union.

    Peter Walwyn

    The former Flat champion trainer died on 7 December aged 84.

    Mr Walwyn took the trainers’ championship title in 1974 and 1975, and was leading trainer by number of winners on six occasions.

    He will be remembered for his stable star Grundy, whose victories included the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Derby and the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

    Rupert Arnold, of the National Trainers Federation, said Mr Walwyn made a “massive contribution” to racing, in particular to Lambourn, to which he was “utterly devoted”.

    William “Bill” Steinkraus

    US Olympic gold medallist Mr Steinkraus died on 29 November aged 92.

    The showjumper rode at five Olympic Games and won the US’s first individual Olympic gold in the sport at the 1968 Games in Mexico City.

    He also won two silver and one bronze team medal during his career.

    “Bill Steinkraus has left a lasting impression on US showjumping and equestrian sport, not solely because of his accomplishments inside the ring, but also for giving back to the sport he loved,” said US Equestrian president Murray Kessler.

    “He will forever be admired for his impeccable riding ability and talent in the show ring, as well as the commitment he gave to the sport for over five decades as a judge, director at the American Horse Shows Association (now USEF), and president of the FEI World Cup committee.”

    Maria O’Grady

    The Irish television producer and wife of trainer Edward O’Grady died in a hunting accident on 25 November aged 54.

    Mrs O’Grady leaves behind two daughters, Mimi and Rosie Mae, and Edward’s older children Jonathan, Amber and Lucy.

    A tribute from the Tipperary Foxhounds described Mrs O’Grady as “a brilliant horsewoman with an amazing ability to cross any country”.

    A statement from Jonathan on behalf of the family said she was a “beloved wife, revered mother and ardent friend” who will be “inordinately missed”.

    Sir Richard Hardy

    A stalwart of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, Sir Richard died at home on 10 November aged 72 from leukaemia.

    He had been autumn hunting in his final weeks before he died peacefully surrounded by his family.

    He owned point-to-pointers and racehorses, including successful Flat racer Solo Flight, and was also a steward at Wincanton racecourse.

    Sir Richard leaves his wife Venetia, four daughters and six grandchildren.

    Marquesa de Moratalla

    A leading owner in Britain and France, the marquesa died on 30 November aged 87.

    The majority of her horses were trained in France, which is where she enjoyed much of her success.

    She is best known in the UK for her star chaser The Fellow, who won the 1994 Cheltenham Gold Cup and the King George VI Chase in 1991 and 1992.

    She went on to win the King George a total of four times, with Algan taking the 1994 crown and First Gold victorious in 2000.

    Gillian Rolton

    The double Olympic eventing gold medallist died on 18 November aged 61 following a long illness.

    Ms Rolton became Australia’s first female equestrian Olympic medallist when she won team gold at Barcelona in 1992 aboard Peppermint Grove, whom she produced from a four-year-old. The combination was also on the Australian gold medal-winning team at Atlanta 1996.

    Ms Rolton was highly involved in developing the sport in Australia and coaching young riders.

    She served on ground juries at major championships across the world, including London 2012, and held the position of event director at Adelaide CCI4* for many years.

    “Gill will always be remembered for her dedication and interest in young event riders, her service to the sport and her grit and determination to provide a foundation for Adelaide which would see its continued growth for many generations of riders to come,” said Judy Fasher, Equestrian Australia chairman.

    Sir Hugh Neill

    A longstanding supporter of equestrian sport, Sir Hugh died peacefully at home on 5 November aged 96.

    Sir Hugh served as a British Horse Society (BHS) council member from 1984 to 1997 and was chairman of the horse trials committee from 1984 to 1990.

    He received the BHS award of merit in 1998 and was also a leading light in the world of golf.

    He owned eventers, who were ridden by Sue Benson and his daughter, Sue Browne.

    Sir High was also a successful businessman and served in numerous public and charitable roles.

    He was high sheriff of Hallamshire in the 1970s and Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire from 1985 to 1996. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1996.

    A service of thanksgiving will take place at Sheffield Cathedral on 14 December at 2.30pm.

    Alan Potts

    Leading racehorse owner Mr Potts died on 12 November aged 80, just three months after his late wife Anne passed away.

    The Potts’ were known for their “Sizing” National Hunt horses, including 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John, who stormed to victory under Robbie Power.

    Until last year most of the couple’s horses were trained in Ireland by Henry de Bromhead, including Sizing Europe who won eight Grade One races.

    Jessica Harrington and Colin Tizzard took over training the majority of the Potts’ horses last season.

    Jennifer MacGregor

    A driving force for the promoting equine welfare, Mrs MacGregor died surrounded by her close family and “much adored pets” on 6 November aged 85.

    She was and chairman of the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP), which was set up in the early 1970s by Mrs MacGregor, her late husband Alasdair and Sheila Richards.

    Mrs MacGregor stared a fly-grazing petition, which she presented to the Welsh Assembly in 2011, and successfully lobbied for a law change.

    She was also involved in the landmark welfare case of a pony called Target some 15 years ago, successfully campaigning for him not to be returned to his negligent owner.

    Mrs MacGregor was appointed MBE in the Queen’s 2005 birthday honours and also received the British Horse Society welfare award in 2011 and a British Equine Veterinary Association award in 2001 for “significant contributions” to equine welfare.

    A memorial service to celebrate her life and achievements will take place in spring 2018.

    “While we are all bereft at our irreplaceable loss, we continue as a united SWHP family, with Jenny’s ethos that ‘the horses come first’,” said a SWHP spokesman.

    Mary Reveley

    The pioneering dual-purpose trainer died on 30 October, aged 77.

    Mrs Reveley became the first female trainer to saddle 100 winners in a season in 1991 and sent out more than 2,000 winners during her career.

    During the height of her career, she has more than 100 horses in training at her Saltburn base.

    Her stable stars included Mellottie, who won 20 of his 68 starts under Rules and 16 times on the Flat including the Cambridgeshire handicap, and Cab On Target, who won eight times over fences and 10 times over hurdles.

    “She was from that rare seam of trainers whose fundamental horse knowledge enables them to bring out each horse’s full potential whatever its characteristics and aptitudes,” said National Trainers Federation (NTF) chief executive Rupert Arnold.

    “Her understated success gained her the respect of fellow trainers and at the NTF we benefited from her wise thoughts on racing matters.”

    Elizabeth Lesley Manger

    A charity founder and longstanding campaigner for equine welfare, Ms Manger died on 12 September aged 81.

    She worked as a groom on Revesby Estate in Lincolnshire and also ran a branch of the Riding for the Disabled in Skegness.

    She moved to Derbyshire in the late 1980s and was a founder member of Derbyshire Horsewatch, serving as county co-ordinater of the group until April this year.

    In February 2000, Ms Manger also started the Kenstud Pony Rescue Charity, caring for equines at Somercotes, Ripley and Belper.

    Friend Helen Jackson remembered Ms Manger as “a force of nature” who applied all her energy to the “care and love of all things equine”.

    “On a final note, Lesley was an avid reader of Horse & Hound, and was rarely seen without a copy about her person,” added Ms Jackson.

    Jasper Browell

    Colonel Browell passed away at home on 9 October, aged 89.

    A former commanding officer of the King’s Troop, he was a long-time chairman of trustees at Larkhill racecourse and a keen supporter of the point-to-point fixtures held there.

    The late Major General John Strawson described Col Browell as an “excellent horseman” and “a model of all that is best and most attractive about a British Army officer in his book, Hussars, Horses & History.

    A service of celebration is taking place at Larkhill Garrison Church at noon and it is his wish that “no-one should miss a day’s shooting or hunting to attend”.

    Benjamin Hardaway III

    Mr Hardaway, founder of the Midland Foxhounds in Georgia, and one of American hunting’s most influential figures, has died aged 98.

    Mr Hardaway was born in September 1919 in Columbus, Georgia, and was inspired to start hunting when he heard hounds at night as a child, buying his first hounds at the age of 11.

    He served with distinction under US General George S Patton in the Second World War, but after his military service, and working for the family business, he founded the Midland Foxhounds outside Columbus in 1950.

    “I don’t know why, but there was something in me,” Mr. Hardaway reportedly said. “I knew in my guts I was going to foxhunt.”

    He was master for 67 years, hunting both coyote and foxes. Known for his skill in breeding, packs across the world have benefited from Hardaway crossbred lines, including in the UK, and he had friends throughout the hunting world.

    The Midland is still flourishing, with Mr Hardaway’s son-in-law Mason Houghland Lampton and grandson Mason Hardaway Lampton as joint-masters.

    Mr Hardaway spent his last years following hounds by truck, and retained an interest in breeding until the end. He died on 19 October at home, within yards of the kennels he founded.

    At his death, Mr Hardaway was still joint-master of the West Waterford, an office he had held since 2007.

    Patrick Haslam

    A distinguished trainer who had winners at every racecourse in England, Scotland and Wales, Mr Haslam died on 14 October aged 69.

    Mr Haslam saddled more than 1,000 winners during his career, which spanned almost 40 years.

    Among his major victories was the Group One Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp in 2005, which he won with Kinnaird.

    He retired in 2010 and his son Ben took on the training operation at Middleham.

    Ben described him as “a brilliant trainer, one of the most respected men I’ve ever known, but most of all a very loving father”.

    Rupert Arnold, chief executive of the National Trainers Federation, paid tribute to the “clever and versatile trainer”.

    “He had great energy and a passion for the sport of racing, not just training horses,” he added. “He was always interested in what was going on in the industry and was much admired and respected by his colleagues.”

    AP McCoy and Silvestre de Sousa are among the many others to pay tribute to Mr Haslam.

    Glenys Dodd

    Ms Dodd, a leading figure in the world of Shire horse breeding, died on 6 October aged 72.

    Among the horses she bred was Burlington Park Tudor, who competed at the British ridden heavy horse final at the 2016 Horse of the Year Show.

    Ms Dodd also served as district commissioner of the Furness & Dristrict branch of the Pony Club.

    Victoria Clayton of the Shire Horse Society said everyone at the society was “deeply saddened” to hear of Ms Dodd’s passing.

    “Glenys was a very special lady whose Burlington Park Shire Stud was synonymous with quality and Glenys’s passion for the breed,” she told H&H.

    “Glenys was more than just a breeder and supporter, she was one of the cornerstones of the breed in her native Cumbria and her warmth and encouragement for other enthusiasts, newcomers and competitors alike was unrivalled.

    “The society held Glenys in the highest regard and her passing leaves a massive void.

    “The Shire family has lost one of its finest.”

    Ron Shaw

    A loyal supporter of military racing, Mr Shaw died peacefully at home on 29 September aged 86.

    He won the Grand Military Gold Cup four times as an owner and had a runner almost every year since his first victory in 1988.

    His first victory came with the 50-1 shot Columbus, trained by the late Fulke Walwyn and ridden by Charlie Lane.

    His other winners were all trained by Patrick Chamings. He took the title in 2001 and 2003 with Kings Mistral, ridden by Henry Norton and Alex Michael respectively; and his final win was in 2008 with Bolochoir under Alex Michael.

    Joan Lewis

    A leading light in the showjumping and showing worlds, Ms Lewis passed away on 2 October aged 81.

    She was the first woman to register as a British Showjumping (BS) course designer and served as the organisation’s Bedfordshire area representative for 15 years.

    Ms Lewis rode competitively and had a passion for point-to-pointing, becoming one of the first female point-to-point jockeys to ride competitively in Britain.

    She was also a respected showing judge and a regular at Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International Horse Show.

    A tribute from BS said her commitment to the Bedfordshire region was “tireless”.

    “She worked with passion alongside show organisers and venue owners in every way that she could to help establish the venue or show on the national circuit,” said a BS spokesman.

    “Encouraging riders to confidently compete through the ranks was also of primary importance to Joan and she spent considerable time helping riders achieve their goals both on a local and national level.”

    Paula Sykes

    A top groom, instructor and dedicated volunteer, Ms Sykes died on 15 September aged 88.

    Ms Sykes was “groom, right-hand person and friend” to showjumping legend Pat Smythe.

    They attended three Olympic Games together as well as many other senior championships and national competitions.

    Ms Sykes was responsible for the care and welfare of Pat’s star horses, including Prince Hal, Tosca and Flanagan. She was featured in Pat’s books under the name “Paul”.

    On Pat’s retirement from showjumping, Ms Sykes opened Cringleford Riding School in Norfolk, which closed in 1995 and became a livery yard.

    Ms Sykes was an active volunteer with the South Norfolk branch of the Pony Club and received the Cubitt Award for 25 years’ service in 1988.

    She also served as chairman of the Beccles and Bungay Riding Club and was a stalwart of the Side Saddle Association.

    “From all those whose lives you have touched and inspired, thank you Paula, we are proud and privileged,” said a tribute from her family. “Whilst you will be missed, you will never be forgotten.”

    Christopher Willett

    A horseman and friend to the showing community, Mr Willett died suddenly on 30 September.

    Mr Willett enjoyed point-to-pointing success before turning his attention to showing.

    He produced numerous show ponies and also owned Gravgaards Sir Dundee, who finished third in the novice silver National Dressage Championships last month with Melissa Richardson.

    He leaves a daughter, showing rider Chloe Willett.

    “His horsemanship and charm attracted many customers who enjoyed his enthusiasm and drive to win,” said a tribute from the British Show Pony Society.

    “He was always ready to give kind word to an upset child or share a joke with those having a bad day.

    “He had an great eye for a pony and could really pick out a winner and was brilliant in a crisis, jumping in to catch many a bolting or rearing pony.”

    John Tylor

    Mr Tylor died suddenly on 9 September aged 75 while in Scotland with friends.

    He served as a chairman of Kirtlington Park Polo Club for many years and held the same position for the Hurligham Polo Association (HPA) between 1991 and 1995.

    He was also a current member of the HPA international committee and was awarded the HPA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

    Mr Tylor was a three-goal player during his career in the saddle and his wins included the Royal Windsor, Junior County Cup, Holden White and County Cup.

    Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, the 10th Duke of Richmond, Lennox, Gordon and Aubingy

    The duke passed away peacefully at Goodwood house on 1 September, aged 87.

    He held several senior positions within the church and is also credited with restoring Goodwood racecourse to its current glory.

    The duke was involved with numerous charities and he and his wife, Susan Grenville-Grey, hosted dressage championships on their estate for 21 years.

    Geoff Wragg

    The Derby-winning trainer died on 15 September, aged 87.

    He saddled the 1983 winner of the Epsom Classic, Teenoso, ridden by Lester Piggott.

    In 2016 he came close to recapturing the title when his 66-1 shot Dragon Dancer came second to Sir Percy.

    Mr Wragg also trained the1994 Ascot Gold Cup winner Arcadian Heights and the 1996 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner, Pentire.

    He also had success in Ireland, with Marling winning the 1992 Irish 1,000 Guineas under Walter Swinburn.

    George Brookes

    A great supporter of the Flint & Denbigh Hunt and the eventing world, Mr Brookes died on 1 August aged 95.

    The North Wales farmer also had a love of National Hunt racing and owned 1998 Cheltenham Festival Plate winner Super Coin.

    Mr Brookes had five daughters with his late wife Joan, eight grandchildren and a great-grandson.

    A large turnout paid their respects at his funeral, which was held on 14 August at St Dyfnog’s, Llanrhaeadr.

    Ann Potts

    The highly successful National Hunt owner has died aged 69 after a long illness.

    Among Ann and her husband Alan’s top horses was this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Sizing John.

    “Ann and Alan Potts created their empire together and Ann was an absolute pleasure to talk to,” said trainer Colin Tizzard, with whom the Potts had 15 horses, including the successful chaser Fox Norton.

    “Ann was a beautiful person and I so enjoyed her company,” added bloodstock agent Tom Malone. “She and Alan were a great team and I will always remember her fondly.”

    R W F Poole

    Willy Poole died on 18 August at the age of 76.

    He was a master and huntsman for 21 seasons in countries as far afield as Dartmoor and Northumberland. His mastership of the Sinnington in North Yorkshire was probably the height of his hunting career.

    He wrote several books and was a regular contributor to Horse & Hound, Shooting Times, The Daily Telegraph and a number of other publications.

    “A larger than life character in every sense of the word who could never be described as politically correct, he was a fine huntsman and a talented writer,” said friend and huntsman Alastair Jackson.

    Willy leaves behind his wife Sue and son Martin.

    Kathy Hook

    Popular equestrian tour organiser Mrs Hook died on 20 August aged 72.

    Mrs Hook organised tours to many major events both in the UK and abroad, including Badminton, Burghley, the Olympics and World Equestrian Games over several decades.

    She was a keen dressage rider and follower of the Cheshire Drag Hunt and also evented.

    Mrs Hook was also a journalist, as was her late husband Barry, who passed away in January.

    Nik Targett

    THE Wiltshire-based event rider and instructor has died aged 48.

    Hundreds of clients, friends and family paid their respects at his funeral in Bath on 8 August.

    Mr Targett had an equine degree from Hartpury College and evented up to two-star. However his main enjoyment came from finding and supporting young riding talent.

    He founded his own sponsored “Team Targett”, of promising up-and-coming riders and is remembered for the confidence he gave both horses and riders.

    Björn Van Bunder

    A well-respected Belgian rider, breeder and journalist, Mr Van Bunder died on 31 August aged 32.

    He was the co-organiser of the ET Auction, an online embryo transfer auction.

    A statement from Merelsnest Stud, which is run by his family, said his loss leaves an “unbridgeable gap”.

    He leaves behind his wife, Joline, and daughter, Lisanne.

    William McGee

    The last vet to care for legendary racehorse Man O’War, Dr McGee died peacefully on 5 August aged 100.

    He specialised in breeding and also studied improvements in parasite control in horse. During his career he also worked to increase the availability of penicillin.

    Dr McGee pioneered surgery on ruptured foal bladders and was regarded as a leader in the veterinary profession.

    He was also one of nine speakers during the US national broadcast of Man O’War’s funeral in 1947.

    Tim Taylor

    A leading light in the sport of eventing, Major Taylor died on 27 July aged 75 following a long illness.

    Major Taylor was a former horse trials director with the British Horse Society, then with the new British Horse Trials Association before it became British Eventing (BE).

    A tribute from BE remembered him as a “knowledgeable, fair and inspirational director who worked hard in developing our sport for the future”.

    He was awarded a BE Millenium award in 2000 and an honorary life membership for his services to the sport.

    Tom O’Dwyer

    Tributes have been paid to the horseman who died in an accident on 28 July aged 56.

    Mr O’Dwyer had horses all his life and was father to British youth medal-winning showjumper Emma O’Dwyer.

    British Showjumping chief executive Iain Graham said the organisation is “deeply saddened” by the tragic news.

    A spokesman for Horse Sport Ireland added: “Horse Sport Ireland send our deepest condolences to Tom’s family and friends, our thoughts are with them at this time.”

    Eddie Chapman

    The founder of Foxwarren Working Jack Russells, Mr Chapman passed away in Dorset on 7 July aged 74.

    He was known as “Eddie the Terrierman”, having served the Cattistock in that role for many years.

    He travelled the world to share his knowledge and stories of the breed and the Foxwarren line through seminars, visits to breeders and as a judge.

    Mr Chapman’s funeral will be “flat caps and bowler hats” and takes place at 2pm on 9 August at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Cattistock. No flowers, but donations to Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/eddiechapman

    Stephen Yarborough

    The racing world has paid tribute to the starting stalls team leader who died on 21 July aged 60 after an accident at Haydock Park.

    The popular RaceTech starting stalls handler had worked in the role for 30 years.

    British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust led the tributes.

    “We are all shocked and saddened,” he said. “Stalls handlers carry out a brave and important job each day, looking after the safety of the horses and jockeys, and we are grateful for their work.

    “British racing will come together in grief at this incident — we are one family and we have lost one of our own. Our condolences and sympathies are with Stephen’s family and friends.”

    Geoffrey (Philip) Dorsett

    The Surrey-based horseman died on 7 May aged 93 after a long illness.

    Mr Dorsett trained police horse remounts for the Metropolitan Police for more than 32 years and led the force’s both their musical and activity rides.

    Among the horses he trained was Burmese, a black mare gifted to The Queen in 1969 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. She served as Her Majesty’s mount for 18 consecutive years at the Trooping of the Colour.

    After retiring from the police, Mr Dorset became an instructor and chief examiner for the British Horse Society and a longstanding volunteer at the Riding for the Disabled Association’s Diamond Centre in Carshalton.

    Mercy Rimell

    The Champion Hurdle-winning trainer died earlier this month (July) aged 98.

    Widow of leading National Hunt trainer Fred Rimell, Mrs Rimell took over her husband’s training licence after his death in 1981.

    As well as her 1983 Champion Hurdle success with Gaye Brief, she sent out winners in the Arkle and the Cheltenham Festival Stayers’ Hurdle. She also trained and bred Simon, who ran in two Grand Nationals.

    Martin Molony

    The top former National Hunt and Flat jockey died on 10 July aged 91.

    Mr Molony took the champion Irish jump jockey title six consecutive times between 1945-1951.

    His victories included: three Irish Grand Nationals, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Irish Oaks and the Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas.

    Injury forced him to retire from race-riding aged 26 and he founded Rathmore Stud in Co. Limerick.

    Tommy Carberry

    National Hunt legend Tommy Carberry died on 12 July aged 75.

    The Irish jockey and trainer will be always remembered as the rider who disrupted Red Rum’s winning run at Aintree, when he claimed the 1975 Grand National on L’Escargot.

    After he retired from riding, he moved on to a training career, and accomplished the rare feat of winning the Grand National in both guises, when son Paul rode BobbyJo to victory in 1999.

    Four times Ireland’s champion jockey in the 1970s, he also partnered L’Escargot to back-to-back triumphs in the 1970 and 1971 Cheltenham Gold Cups, winning the race again on Ten Up in 1975.

    Four of his children — Paul, Philip, Peter and Nina — have continued his legacy, forging successful careers in racing.

    Holly Coward

    A former long-serving chairman of British Horse Society (BHS) Scotland, Mrs Coward died on 6 May aged 88.

    She is remembered for her “tireless” work for the good of the horse in Scotland and served as BHS Scotland chairman for 19 years, steering the society through its early stages.

    Mrs Coward spent much of her life volunteering, organising and helping out with the Pony Club, Riding for the Disabled Association, horse trials and hunts.

    She is survived by her sons Nick and Simon and their families.

    Gill Anslow

    Dedicated Riding for the Disabled (RDA) volunteer Mrs Anslow died suddenly on 8 May.

    Mrs Anslow was a former head of Guildford College and joined Farnham RDA group in 2013.

    Her achievements included transforming the group into the first charitable incorporated organisation in the region; orchestrating a visit by Princess Anne and helping the group move to a new premises.

    She also made an impact at national level too, joining the RDA education committee as chairman in 2015.

    RDA south east regional chairman Lindsay Correa remembered her as “fierce and funny, smart as a whip and a lover of speed and excitement”.

    “Gill was a doer who rolled up her sleeves and made a difference,” she said. “She was a bundle of energy who empowered and supported everyone and will be sorely missed.”

    Sheila Wilcox

    The first rider to win Badminton three times in succession, Sheila Wilcox died peacefully at home on 9 June at the age of 81.

    She took the CCI4* title in 1957 and 1958 with High And Mighty, and 1959 on Airs And Graces.

    Sheila and High And Mighty also took team and individual gold at the 1957 European Championships, and a second team gold in 1959.

    Brother John Willcox described Sheila as a “very determined sportswoman and a very gifted rider”.

    Sheila continued competing at the highest levels of the sport in the 1960s, until she was badly injured in a fall at Tidworth Horse Trials in 1971 and switched to dressage.

    Delia Cunningham

    A Leading light in the equestrian world, Mrs Cunningham died on 31 May, her 95th birthday.

    Mrs Cunningham was involved in equestrianism for more than eight decades, as an owner, rider, trainer and judge.

    Born into a hunting family, she developed an interest in dressage after watching the 1948 London Olympics.

    She won the national elementary championship in the 1960s on her first serious dressage horse Grane, and continued competing up until she was 75 — not letting a double hip replacement in 1984 keep her out the saddle for more than a matter of months.

    Training was her real interest. A few weeks before her death she was spotted mentoring pupils at Addingont Manor and she previously cited 18 years of successes with the Grafton Hunt branch of the Pony Club as her proudest achievement.

    Mrs Cunningham was also part of a syndicate that owned horses with William Fox-Pitt.

    David “Dandy” Nicholls

    A leading former jockey and trainer, Mr Nicholls died on 4 June aged 61.

    The “Sprint King” rode more than 400 winners and trained numerous top-class racers, including Ya Malak, who famously dead-heated the Nunthorpe stakes at York in 1997.

    As a trainer, his other Group One victories included multiple Ayre Gold Cups, Stewards Cups, Epsom Dashes and a July Cup.

    Alan Swinbank

    Top Flat and National Hunt trainer Mr Swinbank died on 17 May aged 72.

    During his career he saddled nearly 800 winners.

    Among his stable stars were Group winners Collier Hill, with whom he also enjoyed international success, and Formal Decree.

    Members of the racing world have paid tribute to Mr Swinbank.

    Jockey Ben Curtis, who rode more than 50 winners for the Yorkshire-based trainer, said he will be “forever grateful” for the support Mr Swinbank gave him.

    Katrina (Katie) Halswell

    One of the first ladies to race against men, Ms Halswell died following a short illness on 7 May aged 72.

    A successful west country point-to-point jockey, she was the leading lady point-to-point rider in 1976.

    In 1982, she won the Jeep Christie final at Chepstow aboard Moonstep.

    Peter Lapworth

    Respected showjumping course-builder Mr Lapworth died earlier this month.

    He built courses at numerous county shows as well as the Royal International, Horse of the Year Show and the Royal Show.

    Peter and his wife Kath first helped out with the Gate Inn Riding Club in 1960 and remained involved with the group until their retirement in 2014.

    “Those who met him will remember him as a man of many words,” said club secretary Julie Warner.

    “We are full of fond memories of you, Peter. We are all the better for having known you.”

    Howard Jones MFH

    Mr Jones passed away earlier this year aged 87.

    He first joined Tredegar Farmers Hunt in 1947 and served as master there for 46 years.

    Mr Jones was a judge for what is now known as Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain and also greatly enjoyed breeding and showing foxhounds.

    He owned and trained point-to-pointers, with the most successful being Chingley Golden Heart.

    He was also chairman and committee member of Machen and St Mellons agricultural shows.

    Johnny Roe

    The nine-time Irish Flat champion jockey died peacefully on 23 April aged 79.

    He started his racing career as an apprentice with Seamus McGrath in the 1950s and went on to ride as stable jockey to Vincent O’Brien and John Oxx senior.

    His many major wins included the 1975 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Nocturnal Spree, the 1967 Irish Oaks on Pampalina and multiple Royal Ascot victories.

    After retiring from race riding, he spent time as a trainer in Macau and then became a bloodstock agent.

    Pat Bishop

    A long-serving volunteer with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), Mrs Bishop died on 20 March aged 72.

    She had been chairman of Mount RDA group for 25 years and also served as Leicestershire’s county RDA chairman.

    A RDA spokesman said Mrs Bishop was a “dedicated and much-loved volunteer”.

    “She was always focused on doing the very best for the riders she taught and worked tirelessly to help as many disabled people as possible to benefit from RDA’s activities all over Leicestershire,” added the spokesman.

    “RDA will miss her kindness, enthusiasm, care and dedication.”

    Peggy Alpin

    Pony Club stalwart Mrs Alpin died from cancer on 30 March aged 61.

    She held several positions with the Bramham Moor branch and the York & Ainsty North and also served as the representative for Area 3 and was a member of the Pony Club Equestrian Council.

    Earlier this year, she was awarded the Cubitt Bar for 40 years of service.

    “Peggy was always such a smiley, friendly person who ‘bounced’ into meetings and lit up the room,” said Pony Club chairman Mary Tuckett.

    “The Pony Club owes her a huge debt, and she will be greatly missed by those who have such very fond memories of her.”

    Valerie Millwood

    An influential leader in the side-saddle and showing community, Miss Millwood passed away on 30 March aged 85.

    Trained by Count Robert Orssich and Sybil Smith, she went on to run a successful riding school and produced numerous horses for the show ring.

    Miss Millwood was an expert in the art of side-saddle, inspiring many to take up the style of riding and was a driving force in the formation of the Side Saddle Association. She was also a well-respected judge and sponsor.

    In 1997, she became president of the British Show Hack, Cob & Riding Horse Association, as it was then known. Under her leadership, she help it through a period of difficulty to become a financially stable organisation with a growing membership that is today the British Show Horse Association (BSHA).

    “Valerie’s door was always open for those who needed help, advice or guidance and her ability to counsel those with difficulties was much valued,” said a BSHA spokesman.

    Neylan Etiman

    A stalwart of the international showjumping scene, Ms Etiman died on 14 March aged 53 following complications after surgery.

    A popular FEI judge, steward, course designer and rider, she competed for Turkey in 10 Balkan Games and veteran events.

    She officiated at three Olympics, including London 2012 and Rio 2016, and ran the stewards’ office at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky 2010 and Normandy 2014.

    “Her infectious smile, friendliness and positive approach to life, as well as her willingness to help was inspirational. Her presence at international events will be greatly missed,” said FEI jumping director John Roche.

    Renita White

    The showing stalwart died peacefully in her sleep on 7 March.

    A hugely successful British riding pony breeder, exhibitor and judge, she was known for her keen eye for quality and a clear view of what she liked.

    Mrs White became involved in showing when her daughter Virginia took up competing as a child. She started a small stud of Welsh section Bs at her home in Colbeach.

    She then moved towards the British riding pony and bred numerous Horse of the Year Show victors, including 2004 childrens riding pony of the year champion Colbeach Salaman.

    Helen Speirs

    A tireless British Horse Society member, Mrs Speirs (BHS) died on 9 February.

    She ran the BHS Scotland bookshop for almost 20 years and was a familiar sight at the Royal Highland Show and Blair Castle Horse Trials and Country Fair.

    Mrs Speirs was also a great supporter of the Eglinton Hunt Branch of the Pony Club and carriage driving.

    Prince Richard of Denmark

    Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg died suddenly on 13 March, aged 82.

    He was father to Danish Olympic dressage rider Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and husband to renowned sport horse breeder Princess Benedikte of Denmark.

    Michael Spackman

    Event organiser Mr Spackman died on 21 February, aged 91.

    Together with his wife, Veronica, Mr Spackman organised Stilemans and Iping Horse Trials for more than 30 years, as well as Tweseldown in the 1990s.

    A life-member of British Eventing, he received an award from the organisation in 2004 for his services to the sport.

    Brenda Wickham

    Bridleway campaigner Brenda Wickham has died aged 92.

    A dedicated member of the British Horse Society (BHS), she was appointed MBE in 2007 for services to public rights of way.

    She was a driving force behind the National Bridleroute Network and helped to create numerous long-distance routes across the UK, including the Great Dragon Ride.

    The BHS honoured the work she did with a golden jubilee medal in 2002 and an access award in 2000.

    Tristan Voorspuy

    The former Guards officer was killed on his Kenyan ranch on 5 March in what is believed to be civil unrest involving land invasions in the country.

    Born in South Africa, Mr Voospury was raised in the UK and joined the army in 1975. He then started guiding mounted safaris and in 1990 founded Offbeat Safaris.

    A UK memorial will take place on 6 July at Greens Norton, Towcester.

    Sunset “Sunny” Hale

    The pioneering polo player died from cancer on 26 February aged 48.

    She was a trailblazer for women in the sport, becoming the first woman to win the US Open Polo Championships in 2000 and the first lady to be awarded a five-goal handicap.

    Ms Hale played a key role in creating a women’s handicap within the United States Polo Association.

    She was a member of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, won multiple player of the year awards and was involved in the creation of the American Polo Horse Association.

    Michael Spackman

    Event organiser Mr Spackman died on 21 February, aged 91.

    Together with his wife, Veronica, Mr Spackman organised Stilemans and Iping Horse Trials for more than 30 years, as well as Tweseldown in the 1990s.

    A life-member of British Eventing, he received an award from the organisation in 2004 for his services to the sport.

    Tim Finch

    A stalwart of the eventing world, Mr Finch died on 16 February, aged 82.

    He commentated at British Eventing (BE) fixtures in Scotland and the north of England for decades.

    In 2016 he received a BE award for 50 years of service to the sport, which was presented at Dalston Green Horse Trials.

    Cumbria Horse Trials director Douglas Weymouth said his “wonderful voice and great character will be sorely missed”.

    George Smith

    Mr Smith died peacefully at home on 5 February, aged 88.

    A chance encounter after his retirement in 1993 led to him volunteering the next 23 years to the care of Aldon Park, home of Aldon Park Horse Trials.

    He built numerous jumps for the horse trials and the Cattistock Pony Club. He cared for the ground and “fixed as he went along”.

    A spokesman for Aldon Eventing said “nothing was ever too much”.

    “Always recognisable in his red tractor, George loved to stop and chat with the dog walkers, often pointing out his latest fence or improvement,” he added.

    He is survived by his wife and three further generations.

    Barbara Thomson

    Pioneering equestrian photographer Mrs Thomson died aged 75 on 21 February.

    Mrs Thompson photographed almost every Olympics and World Equestrian Games in the past 30 years.

    As well as the many international championships, she covered countless shows and events across New Zealand.

    She also owned racehorses and eventers, including a share in Blyth Tait’s second-placed 1994 Badminton ride Delta III.

    Barbara then went on to own horses for eventer Heelan Tompkins, including her 2008 Olympic ride Sugoi.

    Norman Gleave

    Showjumping enthusiast Mr Gleave died peacefully on 28 December aged 91.

    He was well known for the shows he ran with his family at Cleworth Hall, Manchester, in the 1970s. He took his inspiration from visits to Hickstead in the 1960s.

    A life member of British Showjumping (BS), Mr Gleave was on of the BS judges’ panel and he was an active member of the Area 17 committee for many years.

    He also worked on establishing local riding clubs and was president of the Leigh and District branch, which he helped to form 60 years ago.

    June Horsfall

    Showing owner, breeder and sponsor, Mrs Horsfall passed away at home on 28 January. Her husband, Patrick David, died later the same day in a hospice.

    They would have been married 70 years in September.

    During the Second World War she joined the Wrens and went on to be a part of the Bletchley code breaking team at Finchley Park.

    Deaconwood Goldprint was her most prolific winner and was one of the most successful dun show ponies of all time. He took the Royal International Horse Show championship in 1999 and 2002, and was twice victorious at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in 1998 and 2000.

    She also enjoyed success with Spinningdale Arabella, who was a HOYS winner in 1996, and the homebred Dennybeck Fine Feathers took the 1987 HOYS reserve show pony of the year title.

    June was also generous sponsor and her name and Dennybeck prefix could be seen in schedules and catalogues at many shows including the Royal International Horse Show and the British Show Pony Society championships. Latterly, she sponsored the Part Bred Anglo Arab £1000 final at Arena UK.

    Jessica Wilkinson

    Mrs Wilkinson (nee Hobson) died on 2 February.

    She was the former stable manager at Tattersalls, Blarney, Dartfield and Punchestown horse trials.

    Mrs Wilkinson was also very involved in the running of Eventing Ireland during its early days and sat on its selection committees.

    She leaved behind daughters, Clare and Nicola.

    Babette Cole

    The much-loved author and illustrator of childrens’ books died earlier this month aged 66 following a short illness.

    A keen horsewoman, she bred hunters and was a talented side-saddle rider. Together with her beloved homebred Hot Tip, known as “Scrappit”, she won multiple national side-saddle titles.
    The pair also hunted and team chased, as part of the Legover Ladies side-saddle team.

    Among her titles were the Princess Smartypants and the Fetlock Hall series, the latter of which featured tales from a magical equestrian boarding school.

    She is survived by her husband, James Gutans.

    Margoe Hammon

    The popular Pembrokeshire horsewoman died on 6 January aged 74.

    She was known for her abilities in starting young and tricky horses, including 1987 Grand National winner Maori Venture, and also had success at county and national level showing ridden and in-hand hunters.

    Mrs Hammon hunted with the South Pembrokeshire for more than 30 years.

    Her final years were spent introducing her great-niece and nephew to showing, on the lead rein pony she bought for them.

    Padge Berry

    A leading trainer and handler of point-to-pointers for many years, the Irishman died on 14 January.

    The 2000 Irish point-to-point personality of the year, he produced numerous successful horses.

    On the day of his death, the last horse he ever had, Iberico, who he sold to Chris and Eileen Bennett in 2012, won the veterans’ open at Barbury International Race Club point-to-point.

    Among the horses he produced was Cheltenham Festival winner Fundamentalist.

    He also enjoyed success as a trainer with Bannow Rambler and Arctic Sunset.

    Brian Fletcher

    Three-time Grand National winning jockey, Brian Fletcher died on Thursday (12 January) aged 69.

    He is best known for his back-to-back victories aboard Red Rum in 1973 and 1974. He finished second on the legendary racehorse in the 1975 race and the pair also won the 1974 Scottish Grand National.

    Brian’s first Grand National win came at the age of 20 in 1968 with Red Alligator. Trained by the late Denys Smith, he also finished third with Brian in the 1967 race.

    In 1968 he finished as runner-up in the National Hunt jockeys’ championship to Stan Mellor.

    “Brian had more than his fair share of injuries including a serious fall in 1972 when riding at Teeside, which kept him out of the saddle for 10 months,” said a spokesman for the Professional Jockeys Association.

    “However, once returning to action his talents as a quiet horseman, with unique ability in getting horses to jump and perform, soon returned.

    “We extend our sympathies to his partner Irene and friends at this time.”

    Brian retired from race riding in 1976, after finishing third in the Grand National with Eyecatcher.

    After stepping down from his competitive career, he farmed sheep and bred Welsh cobs.

    Jacques-Henry Ménard

    Former French dressage team rider and trainer Mr Ménard died on 5 January aged 72.

    Mr Ménard competed in eventing and showjumping before switching to dressage. He was also an international four-star dressage judge.

    He was based at Couteilles, close to Verneuil-sur-Avre in Normandy, for 33 years, and his pupils included French Olympic dressage rider Luovic Henry, who trained with him for close to 20 years.

    “It was him who introduced me to dressage 30 years ago, who breathed into me this devouring passion, who taught me above all to respect the horse, who passed on his knowledge to so many top riders, who was a mentor to me,” said Mr Henry.

    “His legendary humour, his strength, his immense knowledge will remain etched [in our memories] forever.”

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