Lesley McNaught passed away at the age of 59.

She grew up on the family farm in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and began training with Ted Edgar, a successful international show jumper. In 1981 she became a Junior European Champion with her horse One More Time IV, after winning at Aarau, Switzerland.

At the age of 18 she emigrated to Switzerland, where she got a job working for Willi Melliger at his stables near Neuendorf. It was whilst living in Switzerland that Lesley met and married Markus Mändli, a Swiss show jumper. Riding for Switzerland, Lesley won a silver medal in show jumping at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

In Her life Lesley won numerous medals and has been passing on her expertise as a jumping coach to the Swiss eventing elite for the past three years.

In a press release, Swiss Equestrian wrote:

"It is with deep sadness that Swiss Equestrian announces the passing of Lesley McNaugth. A true legend of show jumping, the Swiss rider has achieved numerous successes all over the world.

Lesley McNaught was born on 10 February 1964 in Hinckley (GBR). She won silver with the Swiss team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney with Dulf Z and was Swiss champion in show jumping in 1991 and 2005. She also represented the Swiss colours at three world championships (one team medal), four European championships (four medals, including two team gold medals) and seven world cup finals (two podiums). During her active career she was regarded as the best female rider of her generation.

Lesley McNaught has been the show jumping coach of the Swiss eventing team for three years. With her great expertise, she made a significant contribution to the recent successes of the Swiss eventing riders. These include, in particular, the team qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

"It is a tremendous shock for the large equestrian family and for Swiss Equestrian. Lesley McNaught was an exceptional rider and a woman who put her heart and soul into her sport, the horses and the riders on the team. She leaves a big gap. We express our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends," declared the President of Swiss Equestrian, Damian Müller.

"We are deeply saddened. Lesley was not only a brilliant trainer for our riders and our horses, but also a wonderful person and friend and an important member of our eventing family," says Dominik Burger, Chef d'Equipe of the eventing elite.

In consideration of the grief of her family and friends, no further information will be communicated. Swiss Equestrian will communicate about the vacancy by the end of February 2024."

Our thoughts go to Lesley's family and friends in this moment of great sadness.