One of the oldest living Olympic medallists dies aged 102


  • Wilhelm “Willy” Büsing, the Olympic medal-winning eventer, who was also a vet and breeder, died on 25 June, aged 102.

    Born in Jade, Germany, in 1921, Dr Büsing became one of the most successful event riders in the country during the 1950s.

    He was the son of a horse dealer, and became involved in horses from a young age. Following the second world war he initially had success with horses he had bred and produced, then in 1952 the German Olympic committee for equestrianism asked him to ride the Hanoverian gelding Hubertus. That year Dr Büsing and Hubertus won team silver and individual bronze at the Helsinki Olympics and in 1954 they won team silver at the European Championships in Basel, Switzerland.

    Dr Büsing retired from competition to focus on his veterinary career and breeding. In 1956 he travelled to the Stockholm Olympics as the German eventing team vet, trainer and chef d’équipe. He then went to the Rome Games in 1960, the Tokyo Games in 1964 and the 1966 European Championships in Moscow.

    When he later gave up his veterinary practice he devoted himself to breeding, with his wife Dorle, and their daughters Sabine and Heike. Some of their most notable horses included the Oldenburg champion mare Toga M by Manstein, and Don Gregory son Don Davidoff, who became an Oldenburg champion stallion, two-time Bundeschampion, and world champion of young dressage horses. Dr Büsing was awarded a gold medal by the Weser Ems Chamber of Agriculture for his breeding achievements.

    Dr Büsing was one of the oldest living Olympic medallists. He died three months after his 102nd birthday.

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