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Top show producer in hospital with serious illness

Leading show horse producer and judge Robert Oliver is currently in hospital after falling ill at his home on Wednesday 14 November.

Family friend and fellow producer Matthew Ainsworth said Robert’s condition has now improved after what has been a “serious and scary” 24 hours for the Olivers.

“It was hit and miss for 24 hours but Robert has made a miraculous turnaround overnight,” said Matthew, who worked for top showman for many years and still lives close to the producer.

“It was originally thought that he might have been struck down with meningitis, but after some tests, it turned out to be a severe case of pneumonia.

“This morning he’s got his character back and was even sat up in bed eating porridge. Fingers crossed it is all looking positive.”

Robert has been in intensive care, but it is hoped that he will be able to move to a ward later today (16 November).

At Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in October, Robert was awarded the the Equestrian of the Year trophy for his dedication to the showing and equestrian industries. Robert’s wife Claire also topped the middleweight hunter of the year class at the end of season show on Sue Granger’s Treganick.

Robert has been a judge at the SEIB Search For A Star finals since they began in 1998 and this year marked his 21st and final year officiating them.

In 1977, he broke records by winning the cob, small hunter and hack titles and taking reserve in the hunter championship at HOYS. He also landed the cob of the year championship six times on the legendary Super Ted between 1987 and 1994.

For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday. In this week’s issue, find reports from this winter’s latest hunting fixtures, dressage and show jumping competitions. 

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