Lesley McNaught dead, She shaped Swiss equestrian sport passed away

Swiss Equestrian mourns the loss of Lesley McNaught, a distinguished figure in Swiss equestrian sport who passed away at the age of 59. Renowned as a global icon, Lesley left an indelible mark on show jumping, achieving numerous accolades and becoming a legend in her field.

Born on February 10, 1964, in Hinckley, United Kingdom, Lesley McNaught’s equestrian journey was marked by unparalleled success. As a key member of the Swiss jumping team, she secured a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney aboard Dulf Z. Her prowess extended to claiming the Swiss show jumping championship in 1991 and 2005. Lesley represented Switzerland at three World Championships (earning a team medal), four European Championships (achieving four medals, including two team gold), and seven World Cup finals, where she stood on the podium twice. Widely regarded as the best rider of her generation during her active years, Lesley McNaught’s legacy is woven into the fabric of equestrian excellence.

In the last three years, Lesley transitioned seamlessly into the role of jumping coach for the Swiss eventing team, lending her invaluable expertise to elevate the performance of Swiss eventing riders. Her coaching prowess played a pivotal role in the team’s recent success, particularly the qualification for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

The news of Lesley McNaught’s passing has sent shockwaves through the equestrian community, leaving a void that will be deeply felt. Damian Müller, President of Swiss Equestrian, expressed the collective sorrow, stating, “It is a huge 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.”

Dominik Burger, the team leader of the eventing elite, echoed the sentiment, saying, “We are deeply shocked. 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.” The loss of Lesley McNaught reverberates through the equestrian world, leaving behind a legacy of excellence, mentorship, and unwavering dedication to the sport she loved.

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