Top British showjumper Tim Stockdale has died at the age of 54 after being diagnosed recently with stomach cancer. His wife Laura and their sons, Joseph and Mark were with him.
Tim first competed at International level in 1988 and represented Britain in more than 50 Nation Cup events as well as in senior championships
He first represented GB at the 2002 World Equestrian Games with his horse, Fresh Direct Parcival. He and grey mare Fresh Direct Corlato were the top British pairing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also represented Britain in 2009 at the European Championships held at Windsor.
Another of his memorable victories were winning the 2002 Grand Prix at the Horse of the Year Show with Fresh Direct Paricival.
He went on to win the prestigious King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead, partnering Fresh Firect Kalico Bay in 2010. The following year he broke three vertebrae in his neck in a fall, but returned to top level competition. He was still competing and winning in International events in September this year, before he was diagnosed with cancer.
He had started riding at the age of seven and progressed through the Pony Club as a member of the Grove Hunt branch and started his professional career working for Mike Saywell, moving to the position of second jockey to Graham Fletcher.
He then worked and trained under John Naylor and with Susan and Lutz Meyerding.
Tim met his wife Laura while competing at Henley in 1991. They invested in a Northamptonship yard in 1996, which they developed into a first-class showjumping yard and their home. Tim and Laura were married and went on have their first son Joseph in 1999, followed by Mark in 2004.
Nottingham Trent University awarded Tim an honorary degree for services to equestrianism and in April 2010 he was presented with the British Equestrian Federation’s medal of honour at the British Open Showjumping Championships in recognition of outstanding services to equestrian sport.
A Memorial Service will be held later to celebrate his life and achievements.