Jack Talbot-Ponsonby collapsed and died instantaneously when hunting with the Warwickshire on December 29th, 1969. He was 62.

Educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, he joined the 7th Hussars at Tidworth in 1927 and soon showed that in addition to being a fine athlete, he was also an outstanding horseman.

In 1929 he went to The Equitation School, Weedon, on an Instructor’s Course, and the next year won The King George VI Cup at The International Horse Show, Olympia, on “Chelsea”, an old bay mare who many will remember as the demonstration horse used by Tom Walker the rough riding Sergeant-Major.

He won this cup again on “Chelsea” in 1932, and on “Best Girl” in 1934: the latter was a very difficult mare to ride, and this was the only Open Competition she ever won.

In 1935 he returned to Weedon as an Instructor, and in the following year rode for Britain in the Olympic Games in Berlin, and later was a member of the very successful team which went to Canada and the United States where he himself won four individual competitions.

He retired in 1938 and went to live in Northamptonshire where he started an establishment to train hunters and show jumpers. He also joined the County Yeomanry, and eventually commanded one of the two Regiments, but it was, unfortunately, disbanded before going on active service.

After the war, Jack became widely known as a successful trainer of both show jumping teams and individuals. For ten years he was a part-time trainer for the British Team, and, among his many triumphs in this period, the outstanding one was winning the Gold Medals at the Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952. Later he was appointed official course builder to The Royal International Horse Show and The Horse of the Year Show, and the courses he made, while always fair, severely tested both horse and rider.

His services in this connection were in demand elsewhere, particularly in South Africa and Canada. He was one of the outstanding British horsemen of the last 40 years and a magnificent trainer in all forms of riding. There are many now competing who owe much of their success to him. He had a quick brain and much ability, besides which he was always decisive.

Perhaps he did not always suffer fools gladly, but he was never pompous and had a great sense of humour. In addition, he was a gay and refreshing companion and a very loyal friend.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 7th Hussars