Canada mourns equestrian team supporter Don Bassin

The late Don Bassin, pictured at far left, wit Jim Elder, Taddy Cork, and Frankie Bassin.
The late Don Bassin, pictured at far left, with Jim Elder, Taddy Cork, and Frankie Bassin. © Michelle C. Dunn

Long-time Canadian Equestrian Team supporter Don Bassin has died at the age of 82 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Bassin, who died on May 2, was the founder of equestrian apparel company Frantisi Inc, which holds a special place in the heart of Canadian show jumping athletes as the provider of the iconic red Grand Prix jacket given to each new team member.

Renowned throughout the equestrian industry as a committed and generous benefactor of equestrian sport in Canada, Bassin provided support to Canadian riders at all levels, from youth to amateurs to Olympians.

Frantisi Inc, which was founded in 1978. was named the Jump Canada Sponsor of the Year in 2009. In addition, Bassin and his family, including his wife, Frankie (founder of the tack store, The Riders’ Habit), and children, Marni, Sari and Stuart, were inducted into Jump Canada Hall of Fame in 2014 in recognition of their many years of support, and an unwavering commitment to excellence in equestrian sport.

“Don was widely loved and respected across our industry by customers, colleagues and competitors alike,” a statement from Frantisi said.

“He was a true entrepreneur and innovator. Don brought a new level of quality to the equestrian industry through the Grand Prix brand, and pioneered many new brands and products in North America, that have become standards today.”

Frantisi’s sponsored riders include Ian, Amy, and Jonathon Millar, Anne Kursinski, Mario Deslaurier, Leslie Howard, Jill Henselwood, Courtney King, and Victoria Colvin.

Memorial donations in Don Bassin’s name are being accepted by the Campbell House Hospice (705-444-2555), and The Odette Centre (c/o The Sunnybrook Foundation, 416-480-4483).

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