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European medal-winning occasion rider and RDA pioneer dies aged 92

Medal-winning event rider and “pioneer” of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), Jane Wykeham-Musgrave died peacefully at home on 14 August, aged 92.

Her cousin Nicholas Acland remembered her as a generous, courageous, funny, loyal friend and a devoted and dutiful godmother, with a “huge zest for life”.

One of the top international riders in the 1960s, Miss Wykeham-Musgrave’s achievements in the saddle included finishing second at Little Badminton in 1961 aboard Ryebrooks. The pair went on to win individual bronze at the European Eventing Championships held at Burghley the following year.

She was a pioneer of the RDA, serving as a field officer for its precursor – the Advisory Council on Riding for the Disabled (ACRD) – and sitting on the first RDA committee. Her involvement included chairing the first training committee in 1969, when the RDA was formed, as well as becoming its first international liaison officer and pionering vaulting as a new activity for the association.

She cared deeply about helping others, with her support extending outside the equestrian world, including volunteering for the Samaritans in her seventies. She also served as church warden at St Mary’s Church in Barnsley for 34 years.

Miss Wykeham-Musgrave also had a successful dressage career, competing her horses Lurifax and Weltstern across the UK and Europe and was in contention for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

A List One judge, with a reputation for being firm but fair, Miss Wykham-Musgrave was also a former director of the British Horse Society and founded the British Dressage Supporters Club in 1983.

She was amused to be known on the dressage circuit as Jane Wicker-Basket and her hospitality – offering damson gin to all and sundry – was legendary.

Her funeral was held at St Mary’s on 2 September.

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