The family business, Rio Grande Showjumpers, annonced on its Facebook page December 30: “We sadly lost Ted at 6:30 this morning. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. We would like to thank all of the staff at Harper Fields for their amazing care and kindness over the last 2 ½ years. Details of the funeral will be announced in due course. Liz and Marie x”
A top showjumper in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s – notably with American ex-rodeo horse Uncle Max, winner of the 1969 King George V gold cup and leading showjumper of the year in the same year – once in a lifetime character Ted created a sponsorship package not seen in the sport before with Everest Double Glazing. The sponsorship started in 1970 at £500 for one horse and expanded to several riders with the long-standing partnership lasting an amazing 21 years. Everest became a household name through the showjumping link and the entire sport gained a greater profile on TV and in the media – all down to Ted’s forward-thinking ideas.
Several Olympic riders were connected to the Edgar/Rio Grande, Warwickshire-based stable, including London 2012 and Rio 2016 double gold medallist Nick Skelton, Lesley McNaught and later, London team gold medallist Ben Maher. Other International riders Geoff Luckett, Janet Hunter, Emma-Jane Brown, late British Showjumping chairman Michael Mac, and Switzerland’s Beat Mandli to name a few gained International success under the Everest banner and Ted’s expert training.
From a farming family, Ted and his parents and sister moved from a farm on the outskirts of Coventry to the present home of Rio Grande in Leek Wootton in the 1950’s, and he and his sister Marge started with showing ponies before moving on to jumping ponies with success. As he moved onto horses, Ted struck up a successful partnership with a chestnut mare named Jane Summers, winning the leading showjumper of the year in 1958.
The early 1960’s years were taken by farming as Ted took over from his parents, but he was soon back in the showjumping limelight with Uncle Max and later in the 1970’s with the Everest-prefixed Snaffles, Jetlag, Jumbo, M’Lord and Grandpa.
We all send our condolences to his wife Liz and daughter Marie.