Australian Olympic equestrian Kevin Bacon, one of the country’s greatest showjumpers, has died just days short of his 88th birthday.
Bacon, who died on March 12, represented Australia at three Olympic Games. He was born in Dungog, NSW, on March 20, 1932.
At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, he placed 30th in the individual show jumping event on Ocean Foam, owned by international showjumping course designer Ted Dwyer. The Australian team of Bacon, John Fahey and Bridget MacIntyre finished seventh.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico, he placed 18th in the individual show jumping event on Chichester, his 15.3hh Australian stock horse. The Australian team of Bacon, Fahey and Sam Campbell placed ninth overall.
At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, he placed 37th in the individual show jumping event on Chichester. The Australian team of Bacon, Guy Creighton and Barry Roycroft placed equal ninth.
Equestrian Australia also said that Bacon was a four-time champion at Madison Square Gardens and several Grand Prix contests in Paris and Canada.
“Kevin’s manner of riding was often described as ‘determined’ rather than stylish. Indeed at first the American and European audiences laughed at his style but after big wins at the New York International Horse Show and Toronto Royal Winter Fair in 1968 that laughter changed to admiration.”
In 2000, Bacon was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his equestrian achievements, and he was also inducted into the Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame.