In a tribute in "Eventing Nation," equestrienne Emily Henderson described her first novice event at the Radnor Hunt Pony Club. Her grandparents had told Mr. Thompson that she was competing.
"He made a special effort to announce EVERY jump I conquered on that humongous novice course (that now seems so tiny)! I had trouble focusing on my course because I was just so thrilled to hear my name on the loudspeaker," she wrote. "It is heartbreaking to hear of another loss in the eventing world but such a joy to know all of the grand things that the Thompsons did for our community."
Mr. Thompson was a volunteer for the U.S. Equestrian Team at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles and was discipline manager for the Three-Day Eventing competition at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. He was manager of the communications center at the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky.
He received the U.S. Combined Training Association's Governor's Cup for his dedication to equestrian sports. He served on the board and was past treasurer of the training association and was on the board of the U.S. Equestrian Association Endowment Trust.
Mr. Thompson and his wife owned horses that competed in national and international events, including Biko, a silver medalist at the three-day event at the Olympics in Atlanta. Biko was named Horse of the Century by the U.S. Eventing Association in 1999 and inducted into the association's Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mr. Thompson graduated from St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Del., and attended Pennsylvania State University.
Growing up in Berwyn, he developed a passion for beagling — chasing a hare on foot with a pack of hounds. He was active with the Ardrossan Beagles and the National Beagle Club in Aldie, Va. where he met his future wife at a beagle field trial.
They married in 1958 and raised two children on Sea Horse Farm in Malvern.
Mr. Thompson was a sales representative for industrial and farm equipment manufacturers. In the 1970s and 1980s he owned Thompson Equipment Co. in Fraser, a Ford tractor dealership.
He served on the Willistown Township Planning Commission from 1969 to 1981 and had served on the Willistown Township Zoning Board since 1981. He and his wife were founding members of the Willistown Land Associates and supported the Willistown Conservation Trust and the Brandywine Conservancy.
He embraced life on the farm, said his son, Richard Jr. Even after losing a leg to an infection last year, Mr. Thompson still mowed fields on his tractor, accompanied by his dogs.
Mr. Thompson is also survived by a son, James; a brother; and three grandchildren. His wife died in 2008.
A memorial service is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 19, at St. David's Episcopal Church, 763 S. Valley Forge Rd., Wayne.
Donations may be made to Paoli Hospital, 255 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, Pa. 19301.
Contact Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or email@example.com.