Tim Stockdale, the British Jumping athlete who was a member of Team GBR at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, has passed away after a short battle against cancer. He was 54.
He was a passionate supporter of all aspects of the Jumping discipline, both as an athlete and as a trainer, and was proud to have jumped on British teams in the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2002 in Jerez (ESP), the FEI European Championships 2009 on home soil in Windsor (GBR) and more than 50 FEI Nations Cup™ competitions.
Born in Nottingham in the North of England on 12 August 1964, Tim Stockdale was a product of the Pony Club, starting his equestrian career at the age of seven and then working with two Olympians, Mike Saywell and Graham Fletcher en route to the international stage.
Grit and determination were hallmarks of his character and it was those qualities that saw him fight his way back to full fitness after breaking his neck in a fall in October 2011, returning to the international arena in Rotterdam (NED) just nine months later.
His last international outing was at the Belgian CSI2* in Moorsele at the end of September when he rode three horses. He had steered the mare Miss Fritz to share in a three-way tie for first place at the French CSI3* in Mâcon Chaintré the previous week.
He also gave back to the sport that he loved, serving as the Jumping Rider Representative on the Organising Committee for the London Olympia Horse Show for more than 25 years. He was a former Board Director of British Showjumping, chaired their Marketing and Commercial Committee and was a long standing member of the International and Performance Committees.
“Equestrian sport has lost a great ambassador and friend with the passing of Tim Stockdale”, FEI Jumping Director John Roche said. “The news of his death has come as a great shock to us all. Tim was a true horseman and a great competitor. He never lost his passion for competition and was jumping internationally until recently. His friendliness, smile, sense of humour, as well as his positive approach to life will be greatly missed by all those who were fortunate enough to have known him.”
The FEI extends its deepest sympathy to Tim Stockdale’s wife Laura and his two sons Joseph and Mark, his wide circle of friends on the international Jumping circuit and to the British Equestrian Federation.
Read British Showjumping’s tribute to Tim Stockdale here.
Source: Press release from FEI – Fédération Equestre Internationale
Photo: © Sebastian Oakley