Olympic Jumping athlete Bert Romp, a member of the Dutch gold medal team at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, has died following an accident in Middelbeers in the Netherlands where he was coaching. He was due to celebrate his 60th birthday on 4 November.
The accident happened on 3 October while he was loading a horse into a truck and was kicked. He was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery, but died the following afternoon (4 October).
While his team mates Jos Lansink, Piet Raijmakers and Jan Tops were presented with gold in Barcelona, under new rules that had been brought in for the 1992 Olympics, only the best three athletes were presented with medals. Following complaints about the injustice of Bert Romp being denied a medal, the rules were changed and all team members received medals at subsequent Games.
Bert Romp made his second Olympic appearance on the Dutch team at the Atlanta 1996 Games and, eight years later, acted as chef d’equipe at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. He was also a member of the silver medal team at the 1997 European Championships in Mannheim (GER).
He started competing at the age of 16 and went on to train with the legendary Henk Nooren. Bert Romp gave back to the sport as national coach for the Dutch Jumping athletes between 2000 and 2004, and also for a number of international athletes, including Jose Maria Larocca (ARG), Derin Demirsoy (TUR), Katharina Offel (UKR), Yuri Mansur (BRA), Gerardo Pasquel (MEX) and Ibrahim Bisharat (JOR). He was due to take over as national coach for Finland later this month.
He was incredibly proud of his three sons, Remon, Ruben and Jesper, who all followed in their father’s footsteps, competing successfully at national and international level. Ruben and Jesper won medals at young rider and junior European Championships and Ruben was a member of the senior Dutch team at the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE).
“Equestrian sport has sadly lost a great ambassador and true horseman with the passing of Bert Romp”, FEI Jumping Director John Roche said. “His record in the international arena speaks for itself. He will be truly missed by all of us.”
The FEI extends its deepest condolences to Bert Romp’s family, to his wide circle of friends and to the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation.