Australian equestrian legend James George “Bill” Roycroft OBE passed away on Sunday 29 May at the age of 96. Bill Roycroft was one of Australia’s greatest Olympians and one of only five Australians to have competed in five consecutive Olympic Games. His Olympic début was in Rome in 1960 where he helped secure Australia’s first-ever equestrian medal - team gold in Eventing.
He went on to compete in three Summer Olympics with his sons. In Tokyo (1964) he competed with his eldest son Barry, in Mexico City (1968) he was joined by Wayne where they won bronze together and in Munich (1972) he competed with youngest son Clarke. In Montreal (1976) he secured bronze with Barry and Wayne, becoming Australia’s oldest Olympic medallist and competitor at 61 years and 31 days.
Bill Roycroft became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1969 for his service to sport, and was awarded an Order of Merit by the Australian Olympic Committee in 1978 for his outstanding achievement in sport.
He helped carry the official Olympic flag into the stadium at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and in May 2011 was inducted into Equestrian Australia’s inaugural Hall of Fame.
A celebration of Bill Roycroft’s life will be held by his family at the Camperdown Golf Club in Victoria (AUS) at 11am on Friday 3 June.
The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Bill Roycroft and to the Australian equestrian community.
Equestrian Australia’s tribute to Bill Roycroft can be viewed here.