Heartbreak as horse world’s “greatest showman” dies

1 min read

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Rory Gilsenan has passed away. All of us at Brain Tumour Research send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Vanessa and the family, who were all by Rory’s side in his final moments.

Rory, aged 50, was hugely respected across the equestrian world, particularly as a show horse producer and working hunter competitor. He was finally diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour in 2018, just weeks after his first win at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). Originally his symptoms had been put down as grief following the loss of his friend, Olympic show jumping champion, Tim Stockdale to cancer.

Rory’s friends and admirers got behind him to keep his spirits up as he underwent surgery and treatment, as well as raising more than £1,500 for Brain Tumour Research at a pre-HOYS working hunter show last September.

Olympic dressage star, Charlotte Dujardin, who kept her horses at Rory’s yard as a teenager and became a close friend, paid tribute to him on Facebook, saying: “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that my friend and renowned showing producer, Rory Gilsenan, has died … Rory had been suffering from the effects of a stroke and ongoing brain cancer and whilst always staying positive, with hope in his heart, he has very sadly lost his fight.”

Charlotte is photographed with Rory riding her famous horse Valegro.

Related Reading:

If you found this story interesting or helpful,  sign up to our weekly e-news and keep up to date with all the latest from Brain Tumour Research.

Back to Latest News