Mike Tucker, legendary eventer, course designer, technical delegate, and commentator passed away today at the age of 73. For over 40 years Tucker was the equestrian commentator for the BBC and his voice is synonymous with eventing at events around the world.
Tucker got his start in eventing as a member of his local Pony Club alongside Capt. Mark Phillips and under Colonel Frank Weldon. He first rode at Badminton when he was just 19 years old – an event he called his “local gymkhana.” Tucker said he was inspired to go further in the sport after grooming for Richard Meade at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. He would go on to compete at Badminton a total of 12 times including finishing second in 1983 on his homebred General Bugle, was a member of several European championship teams, and was traveling reserve for the 1976 Olympics.
Following his competition career Tucker organized a horse trial at his Church Farm in England for 17 years, which is what he said inspired him to start course designing. He would go on to design two European Championships, the 2002 World Equestrian Games, Burghley, Bromont, and all over the world. A major portion of his course design career was in the U.S. and Tucker was the original course designer at Fair Hill – ultimately designing the course for 10 years.
Tucker was also a technical delegate at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and at events in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and the U.S.
For over a decade Tucker was very involved in the safety aspect of the sport, chairing the British Eventing Safety Committee as well as serving on the FEI Safety Committee.
Tucker met his wife, Angela, in 1981 when they were both competing at the 1981 European Championships at Burghley. Angela would go on to become a top FEI judge and the two were married for over 35 years.
“The sport has been very generous to both Angela and myself,” Tucker said in a 2011 interview. “We have huge friends and so many happy memories.”
The USEA sends our condolences to Angela and all of Mike’s friends, family, and connections. His contributions to the sport will definitely leave a lasting legacy.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Land Rover/USEF Competition Grants for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Four new USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) West Coast Champions were crowned today at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, but they have more in common than just being FEH Champions – they were all bred in America and every one of their dams were successful event horses.
Eighty-six horses are competing in the CCI4*-L at the 2019 edition of the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials including five U.S. pairs. The first day of dressage is being led by British rider Will Rawlin and V.I.P. Vinnie on a 24.2, but two U.S. riders found themselves on the top half of the leaderboard.
Surefire Farm in Purcellville, Virginia (Area II) hosts two horse trials a year – one in late June and one in late September, offering Beginner Novice through Intermediate levels in addition to USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) classes. Surefire is a year-round training facility.