Richard Mark Picken, 53, lost a courageous battle with cancer on August 13, 2022, dying peacefully at home. Born in the UK, he emigrated to Kentucky in 2013 and became an instant fixture on the US Equestrian Federation’s eventing and show jumping circuits. A top coach and trainer, he traveled throughout the USA and overseas with his students to competitions. He enjoyed coaching young riders and training inexperienced horses as much as he thrived under the pressure of an international championship.
With his wife Joanie (Morris), he built a successful training business at Four Schools Farm in Paris, KY. The impact of his knowledge will remain very profound as he traveled around the country teaching clinics. The highlights of his coaching career included Phillip Dutton’s Bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games and Alexandra Baugh’s Individual Gold medal at the North American Young Riders Championships. But he loved the day to day of training of horses as much as the big stage. He befriended so many people along the way, and his kindness, profound understanding of horses, and sense of humor resonated with everyone he met around the world.
Along with his wife Joanie, he’s survived by his father David Picken (late mother Suzanne), sister Alexandra Tempest (Andy), aunt Joyce Mitchell (Ed), in-laws Beth, Steve, and Amy Morris, and his beloved dogs.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the USEA Foundation as a grant has been established in his name to educate the next generation of American Equestrian Athletes or the Rick Herrema Foundation which supports military families. A celebration of his life will be held in Kentucky for friends and family in the autumn.