It is with great sadness that British Showjumping announce the death of British Showjumping and FEI Official, Course Designer and Technical Delegate Jon Doney MBE who passed away today, 1 April 2020, in hospital following a short illness.
Gloucestershire man Jon forged a distinguished career as a hugely respected official on the national and international circuit having originally learnt his trade as a carpenter before going on to become one of the world’s leading course designers.
Having learnt to ride from an early age he used to hunt with the Duke of Beaufort but never showjumped himself despite his mother and older sister being successful competitors. It was his family that inspired him with a love of sport and he started building courses for his sister in her jumping paddock before his father introduced Jon to the leading course-designer of the day, Pamela Carruthers who really set his career in global motion.
At the age of twenty-one Jon accompanied Pamela on a trip to the States attending shows at Washington, New York and Toronto and it was this that really gave him the vision of having a career as a course designer. Aligning himself with British Showjumping he worked his way through the grades before then setting his sights on becoming an international course designer as well.
Taking over the main ring at Hickstead, when Pamela retired, his career went from strength to strength and it was in 1994 that he was invited to build tracks at the World Equestrian Games in the Netherlands.
Alongside working as a course designer, Jon had also qualified and been undertaking national Judging duties within the sport. Deciding to become more extensively involved in the officiating side, he started climbing the FEI ladder to become one of just six course directors in the world, a top level international judge and technical delegate.
Jon was extremely honoured to have been appointed by the FEI as President of the Ground Jury for the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. This would have been Jon’s third Games he very much saw the appointment as being the pinnacle of his career to date. His commitment to ensuring he was fully prepared for the role was clearly evident to all that knew him and he would have without doubt delivered it superbly.
Awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to equestrianism Jon gave a considerable amount of time to assisting British Showjumping across a number of key areas. Selected as one of the initial Judge and Course Designer mentors in 1999 when the programme was founded, he committed himself to the post for more than a decade before accepting a place on the National Sport Committee between 2011 – 2012.
Jon also delivered, the Judges and Course Designers national pathway programme for a number of years on behalf of the Association before going on to assist the FEI with their international programme. During Jon’s career he would have mentored and worked alongside a huge number of officials as they developed their own careers within the sport that he loved, many of whom have gone on to have very successful national and international careers of their own.
All in the Britsh Equestrian Frederation would like to express their deepest sympathy and condolences to Jon’s wife Mary, their family and friends during this difficult time.
Thank you to British Showjumping for the text.