2 August - It is with sadness that British Showjumping announced the recent death of Michael Bullman who died suddenly at his Hungarian residence at the age of 72 years.

Michael was appointed as an Honorary Vice President of the Association in 2004 and prior to this he served on the British Showjumping Executive Board from 1991-2001 and was Chairman of both the British Showjumping International Selection Committee and the International Affairs Committee from 1994-2000. During this time as Chairman, Great Britain won European Team and Individual Silver in 1995, European Team Bronze in 1997 and World Team Bronze in 1998.

Michael’s commitment to British Showjumping spanned more than twenty years and in addition to the many positions that he held, he was also a Chef d’Equipe and Chef d’Mission, all on a voluntary basis and more often than not alongside his good friend Ronnie Massarella, former Team Chef d’Equipe.

Alongside his illustrious career with British Showjumping, Michael is probably best known for his legendary near-thirty-year owner rider partnership with the late Hungarian born Joe Turi, which would help make Joe one of the most successful riders of his time. Their career together saw Michael’s horses rise to the very peak of International Showjumping, collecting prizes too numerous to mention. Joe’s inclusion on the British Olympic Team that travelled to Soeul saw Michael’s stallion ’Vital’ narrowly miss the jump-off for an Individual medal albeit for a questionable ’foot in the water’. The same pair won a famous victory in the Hickstead Derby, beating Nick Skelton and Apollo in a thrilling jump-off, (reversing the result from the year before), which remained one of Michael’s most cherished memories. Michael’s ’Kruger’ was part of the Winning British European Championship Team in Rotterdam, 1989, with arguably one of the strongest Teams ever fielded by Great Britain, John and Michael Whitaker, Nick Skelton and Joe Turi.

During his near seventy year affair with his beloved horses and showjumping, Michael nurtured more horses from Novice to Top Grand Prix level than any other Patron in history. Before severe back pain forced his retirement from the ring, Michael produced horses for himself, winning numerous International Trials. The most famous of those horses being ’Costello’, who was sold to the U.S. based Leone brothers, and who would be Michael’s last masterpiece in the saddle. The years that followed saw Michael mastermind events from the ground with Joe in the saddle, with the stable producing Grand Prix and Nations Cup winners such as Vital, Kruger, Mark Two, Abbeyville, Bonneville, Stanford, Superville, Nightlife to mention but a few.

In his later years Michael chose to reside mainly at the Hungarian base he built together with Joe, before the latters untimely death at the age of 48 from head injuries sustained following a motorcycle accident. From this base Michael backed the career of British born showjumper James Wingrave together with Hungarian Agricultural businessman Gáspár Gyula of Agropoint Kft. Once again Michael’s influence produced success, with Grand Prix, Nations Cup and National Championship successes on horses such as Agropoint Calira, Springmaster, Agropoint Crosshill, Sissi and Replay.

Michael’s presence will be missed around the world. A true British Ambassador, his big heart, knowledge and bearing gave any one who came into contact with him guidance, assurance and hope with horses and in life. His death is an irreplaceable loss to the horse world, one of the dying breed of old-school gentleman, who was in his own words ”A lover of horses first and a horseman second”.

Michael is survived by his five brothers and one sister. His funeral arrangements are to be confirmed in due course.