Tim Stockdale was born on August 12, 1964, and died on November 14, 2018 at the age of 54 after a short illness, suffering from stomach cancer. He is survived by his wife, Laura, and their sons, Joseph and Mark.
Tim was an English equestrian who competed in the sport of show jumping.
He competed in international competitions and rode a number of horses, owned by both himself and others. Tim wrote a number of books and produced a three-part training video titled Successful Showjumping With Tim Stockdale.
Tim had a show jumping career on a number of different horses. In 2000, he and Traxdata Winston Bridget placed sixth in the London Olympia CSIW Grand Prix. In 2002, Tim represented Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain with Fresh Direct Parcival.
2006 saw His narrowly miss out on the Olympia Grand Prix title to Eugenie Angot, coming second on Fresh Direct Corlato, a mare with whom greater things were to come. Stockdale in 2007 won the Nantes Grand Prix and Bordeaux Grand Prix with Corlato on consecutive weekends, as well as placing fifth in the CN International “Million Dollar” Grand Prix.
Tim was set on getting to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, shown most poignantly by his decision not to take his qualified place at the FEI World Cup Finals in Gothenburg. His performances at the Samsung Super League Nations’ Cup competitions in Rome and St. Gallen were enough to cement him a place on the 2008 squad; he had produced his horse from a four-year-old.
Despite the British team finishing 6th, Tim qualified for the individual final, producing a clear in the first round, one of nine riders to do so. He was unable to repeat his performance in the second round and finished best of the British in 16th place.
Tim completed his championship appearance hat-trick by representing Great Britain at the 2009 European Championships at Windsor Park with Fresh Direct Corlato after helping the British team to second place in the Dublin CSIO***** Nations’ Cup. The loss of his top horse, Corlato, due to an injury sustained at Spruce Meadows in 2009 coincided with the rise of the ISH gelding Fresh Direct Kalico Bay (owned by Stockdale’s long-time owners, Colin and Ann Garrett) to form.
Stockdale and Kalico Bay won three international grands prix the following year including the King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead, which served as retribution after the last fence in the jump off denied Tim the title with Corlato in 2009. This form continued on British soil with Kalico Bay placing in both the Horse of the Year Show and Olympia grands prix.
2011 brought Nations’ Cup appearances at St. Gallen and Falsterbo for Stockdale, as well as a near-defence of his King George V title, However, these sussecces were overshadowed by events that occurred far from the sporting arena. On 17 October, while trying a young horse at a small farm in rural Wales, Stockdale sustained fractures to three vertebrae in his neck in a fall. Tim was kept in the Oswestry Spinal Unit for six weeks, four of them strapped to a bed to limit movement.
No damage was done to his spinal cord, and he was allowed to leave hospital to complete his therapy programme at home. In four months after his accident, sooner than any doctor predicted at the time of his fall, he was back riding, something that at one point was considered impossible.
Once back in the saddle, he embarked upon a course to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London, a feat touted as “one of the most remarkable comebacks by a British athlete in Olympics history”. At the CSIO***** Nations’ Cup of St. Gallen, he and Fresh Direct Kalico Bay produced one of three double clears to lead Great Britain to second place, as well as taking second place in the Longines Grand Prix of St. Gallen. At the Nations’ Cup of Rotterdam the pair did not reproduce their form and, though they were short-listed for the British squad, they did not make the final team.
Tim was also a trainer in the world of show jumping, having taught celebrities to show jump in the Sport Relief series Only Fools on Horses which aired in 2006. He also trained a number of young show jumpers who have gone on to represent Great Britain.
Tim was banned from Olympic competition in July 2002 when his horse’s urine tested positive for a prohibited sedative. However, he was reinstated in 2004 when the British Olympic Association deemed his offence minor, also taking into account that it did not meet the chief intent of the lifetime ban to cover offences involving drugs “of a performance enhancing nature”. This made him eligible to compete at the 2004 Athens Olympics, although he did not make the team.