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Olympic eventer, coach and writer dies aged 78 –

  • James “Jimmy” Wofford, the previous Olympic eventer, famend coach and writer died on 2 February aged 78, from pancreatic most cancers.

    Born in Kansas, Mr Wofford got here from an equestrian household and was the youngest of 4 siblings. His father Col John Wofford rode within the US showjumping crew on the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, his eldest brother Jeb gained a bronze medal in eventing on the 1952 Helsinki Video games and his brother Warren was a reserve for the showjumping and eventing groups on the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

    Mr Wofford attended Culver Army Academy in Indiana, then studied on the College of Colorado. In 1966 he married his childhood sweetheart Gail, and the couple later moved to their farm Fox Covert, in Virginia.

    He joined the US eventing crew in 1965, and was a part of the silver medal-winning crew on the 1968 Mexico Metropolis Olympics on Kilkenny, a horse beforehand ridden by Irish rider Tommy Brennan on the 1964 Olympics and 1966 World Championships. Mr Wofford and Kilkenny gained crew silver on the 1972 Munich Video games, after which Kilkenny was retired. Mr Wofford then purchased Carawich, with whom he gained particular person silver on the different Olympics in Fontainebleau in 1980, the 12 months the Moscow Video games have been boycotted.

    His many different achievements included particular person and crew bronze on the 1970 and 1978 World Championships respectively, crew gold on the 1967 Pan American Video games, and 5 nationwide championship titles. He retired from competitors in 1984, however made a short return in 1986 when he gained the Kentucky Three-Day Occasion on Karen O’Connor’s The Optimist, whereas she was competing on the World Championships in Australia.

    Mr Wofford was a revered and extremely sought-after coach. No less than one rider from each US Olympic, World and Pan American crew since 1978 has been a scholar of his, and he coached the Canadian eventing crew for the 2002 World Championships, the 2003 Pan American Video games and the 2004 Olympics.

    He served as president of the American Horse Present Affiliation, which grew to become US Equestrian, from 1988 to 1991. He was the primary vice-president of the US Equestrian Crew, and was secretary of the US Mixed Coaching Affiliation, now referred to as the US Eventing Affiliation (USEA). He was additionally a member of the FEI eventing committee for 2 phrases, together with vice-chairman for 2 years.

    Mr Wofford revealed his first e book in 1955; Coaching the Three-Day Occasion Horse and Rider. This was adopted by Gymnastics: Systematic Coaching for Leaping Horses, 101 Eventing Ideas, and Take A Good Look Round. His autobiography Nonetheless Horse Loopy After All These Years: If It Didn’t Occur This Approach, It Ought to Have was revealed in 2021.

    He was inducted into the USEA’s eventing corridor of fame in 2003 and in 2012 he obtained the US Equestrian lifetime achievement award.

    USEA chief govt Rob Burke mentioned the equestrian group has misplaced a “true horseman, statesman and legend”.

    “I thought of Jim a good friend as did so many others. Figuring out Wofford he would anticipate us to remain on track and maintain driving over the obstacles in our path, so that’s what we’ll do,” he mentioned.

    Mr Wofford is survived by his spouse Gail, and their daughters Jennifer and Hillary.

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