In the ‘HOT SADDLE’
This exciting feature focuses on someone or something equine each week. Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions at the bottom of each blog page.
In the Prime Equine ‘HOT SADDLE’ this week is……
Rio 2016: William Fox-Pitt says Rio was ‘great drive’ for recovery from fall and coma
William Fox-Pitt says his dream to compete at a fifth Olympics in Rio gave him the “great drive” to recover from a fall and induced coma last year.
Three-time Olympic eventing medallist Fox-Pitt, 47, has been named in a 12-strong Team GB equestrian squad for this summer’s Games.
He suffered a head trauma when he fell from his horse at the World Young Horse Championships in France in October.
“I did think I’d been doing it for 32 years, did I need to carry on doing it?”
But Fox-Pitt, who won Olympic team silver in Athens 2004 and London 2012 and team bronze in Beijing in 2008, said “an individual title would be marvellous”.
“I think if I did win a medal my wife would make me give up.
“I’ve been around a long time, I’m 47 and I’m hoping my wife thinks this will be my last Olympics. I’m not ruling myself out for Tokyo, if it happens brilliant.
“The Rio goal was a great drive personally, it gave me a good reason to get back”, before adding of his ride: “I didn’t want to let Chilli Morning down, I put everything into getting selected.”
Fox-Pitt was competing at Le Lion-d’Angers when he fell from Reinstated, which was unharmed. “I’ve come off a lot of times in my life, and in being knocked out my memory has been very selective and I’ve been able to put it behind me.”
He said the fall “affected my sight, my judgement and made me more dozy, in the beginning it was all a little bit of a dream”.
“It’s been an incredible journey, I’ve had incredible support.”
Scott Brash Rio 2016: Scott Brash ruled out of Olympic showjumping
Scott Brash, part of Team GB’s Olympic gold-medal winning showjumping team at London 2012, will miss the Rio Games.
The Scot, 30, was set to be in the British line-up to defend the title in Brazil but has been ruled out after his top two rides picked up injuries.
Hello Sanctos and Hello M’Lady picked up minor injuries at the start of the season and will not be fit for Rio.
Carl Hester Uthopia: Rio 2016 hopeful Carl Hester to keep stallion after ownership dispute
British dressage rider Carl Hester will keep Uthopia in his yard following a dispute over the horse’s ownership.
Hester rode the 15-year-old stallion at the 2012 Olympics in London as Great Britain won gold in the team event.
Uthopia was bought at auction in May after the row, but has since been purchased on Hester’s behalf by an anonymous supporter after negotiations.
“Those involved wish to remain anonymous, and I hope that everyone can respect that, but they have my extreme gratitude.
“I must also thank all the supporters of British dressage for their good wishes and encouragement – it’s meant a lot to me and my team.”
Team GB’s dressage squad for August’s Games in Rio has not yet been confirmed, but Hester is one of 12 riders to be nominated for a place by the British Equestrian Federation.