Double Olympic medalist and team jumping world champion Hubert Bourdy of France died on Wednesday at the age of 57.
Born in the town of Troyes in north-eastern France, Bourdy began riding at the age of 11 and embarked on a career as a professional rider when he was 23. He was first selected for the French jumping team in 1983 and, in the two decades that followed, he scored a series of remarkable victories at top events including the Mediterranean Games, national and European Championships.
In 1988 at the Seoul Olympic Games, Hubert Bourdy aboard Morgat was on the bronze-medal winning French team alongside Michel Robert and La Fayette; Frédéric Cottier and Flambeau G; and Pierre Durand and Jappeloup, who went on to claim individual gold.
At the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, Bourdy again took team bronze, this time riding Razzia du Poncel alongside Hervé Godignon (Quidam de Revel); Michel Robert (Nonix) and Eric Navet (Quito de Baussy).
Bourdy and his 1988 Olympic ride Morgat took individual bronze at the inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden, where he joined his compatriots Eric Navet, Roger-Yves Bost, and Pierre Durand to take the team title.
Bourdy continued his international career until 2009 with great horses such as Toulon, Centino and Tenson. After retiring from the competition arena, he went on to manage his horse dealing business which became one of the largest in Europe. He discovered many talents, including such greats as Cyrenaika, Flèche Rouge, Olympic and Centino du Ry, who currently competes with Olivier Guillon. Through his extensive network, he attracted many international clients.
“The passing of Hubert is very sad news,” FEI Director of Jumping John Roche said.
“He was a real character and a true horseman who has inspired many people. Despite his illness, he was still present at major FEI events, including the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Finals in Lyon in April and CSI4* Bourg en Bresse three weeks ago. His talent and sense of humour will be sadly missed.”
A minute’s silence was held at d’Ornano stadium immediately before the second jumping competition at the test event for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy.