Mike Tucker: BBC equestrian commentator dies, aged 73

Mike Tucker
Mike Tucker was BBC's equestrian commentator for 40 years

BBC equestrian commentator and former eventer Mike Tucker has died suddenly at the age of 73.

He retired from broadcasting last year, having worked at six Olympic Games.

Tucker, who lived in Gloucestershire, joined the BBC in 1977 and took over as lead equestrian commentator in 1992.

He voiced famous moments including Zara Tindall's 2006 world title, Britain's successes at London 2012, as well as Charlotte Dujardin and Nick Skelton claiming gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"I've been very privileged and enjoyed some great moments," Tucker said upon his retirement after the 2017 Badminton Horse Trials.

A family statement said: "Mike has been a stalwart of the equestrian, hunting and Cotswold farming community for many years and will be very sadly missed.

"More than that, he was a loving and devoted family man."

The BBC's director of sport Barbara Slater added: "Mike was the voice of equestrian commentary, his words guiding audiences through many wonderful moments in the sport throughout his career.

"He was greatly admired by audiences and those of us at BBC Sport alike. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family. "

Fellow presenter Lee McKenzie said on Twitter: "Very sad to hear that Mike Tucker is no longer with us. A stalwart of the equestrian world. Taught me so much. Proud to have worked with him and call him a colleague and a friend."

Tucker became the chairman of the organising committee of Olympia two years ago, and in a statement the show's director Simon-Brooks Ward said: "This is a great shock and sadness for all of those involved at Olympia.

"Mike was a friend, provided wise counsel, and was professional to the last."