OBITUARY
Lex Ruddiman
1949 - 2020

8 June 2020


Lex was my friend. But more than that, he was a great man. One who you could never forget...even if you couldnít always understand his beautiful broad Scottish accent!

A man with a rascally character, great sense of humour and yet ever-professional with the most well regarded experience and knowledge, particularly in the film industry he loved so much.

I knew him through Horse Carriage Driving and have great memories of our times together. A great horseman, a great competitor and a great friend.

Lex was born on 13th December 1949 in Galashiels, Scotland. He started out working for his uncle in his garage with his first pay packet bringing in a grand total of £1.50! Needless to say, this didnít enthuse him enormously and so he sought a career elsewhere. It was at this time that he was introduced to Willy Boyle and took a job working for him at his riding stables. During his time there, he was asked to supply some horses for a couple of films, which sparked the interest and enthusiasm that led to the career in the industry he was known for.

Fast forward and he met John Hamilton who introduced him to Vic Armstrong. Vic was heavily involved in the film industry and asked Lex to supply horses for stunt and action sequence work. It was also at this time when he met Jane, who later became his wife, together with her two sons Bruce & Scott. His knowledge and skill became clear and his involvement soon developed to include the training of horses for the stunt and action work he is now well renowned and respected for.

The films he has worked on extend far but include:

  • Black Beauty
  • Cut Throat Island
  • The Mummy 1 & 2
  • War Horse
  • Gladiator
  • Robin Hood
  • Ben Hur
  • Assasins Creed
  • Oliver Twist (TV Series)
  • Wyvern Mysteries (TV Series)

His involvement in horse carriage driving came about following one such film where he was asked to supply 4 grey horses. At the last moment, the film didnít go ahead and Lex was left with 4 horses he didnít know what to do with. His friend Peter Munt, who he knew through the film industry, was already a keen carriage driver and introduced him to the FEI Combined Driving world where he first competed with a pair.

He competed in Tatton Park and Holker Hall before deciding to join all four horses together to compete as a four in hand team. He competed both nationally and internationally before being picked for the British Team in 1988 to compete in the World Championships in Apeldoorn, Nederlands. He competed along side George Bowman, Peter Munt and myself and came out as Top British Driver.

Lex stopped competing in the early 90ís, choosing to concentrate instead on the filming industry. It was whilst filming for Cut Throat Island that Postcombe Stud became available for sale and because Lex was out of the country, he asked me to assist in negotiating the purchase of the stud, which of course I gladly did. Postcombe Stud has since become an extremely successful livery and training yard and among many accomplishments has produced several notable show jumping horses.

I, myself went on to become involved in the organisation of the Royal Windsor Horse Show and whilst Lex was no longer involved competing, he provided much appreciated help and support during the event itself by score collecting.

Lex was such a well-known man in the horse world, whether it be in film, carriage driving or through to supplying horses for The Royal Mews. In fact, three of the horses he supplied are still pulling the Royal Carriages on processions today.

Lex really will be missed by so many. His skill and experience in the industry will always be remembered, but more so the character and warmth of a great and jolly man who I was privileged to call my friend. Kick on old pal.

Jim French
(BHDTA Chairman 1999-2001)

Lex sadly passed away on Saturday 16th May after a short illness.

Tribute to Lex Ruddiman: alexanderruddiman.muchloved.com

 

 

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