British Rio 2016 Eventing Team
With only one day to go before the first of the Team GB Olympic Equestrian Team heads off Rio, you may be wondering which team is first to take to the skies. Dressage, Eventing or Showjumping? It’s actually the Eventing Team. Who’s in the team? Read on to find out..
It was no surprise to many that William Fox-Pitt made the team in spite of a fall at Mondial du Lion Young Horse World Championships in France at the end of the 2015 season. The list of achievements for this world class rider is long and really started back in 1987 when he got an individual silver at the Junior European Championships when he was just 18 years old. He has been consistently placed throughout his career and is the only rider to have won five of the six CCI4* three day events worldwide. The list continues… William has also been the British Number One multiple times and was the first British rider to become the World Number One in eventing. Thank God we’ve got him on our team, that’s all I can say! He rides Chilli Morning.
Next up is Pippa Funnell who was called up to the team as the replacement for Izzy Taylor whose ride, Allercombe Ellie, unfortunately incurred a slight injury in training that meant the combination wouldn’t be able to compete at Rio. A previous Olympian, she became the first rider to complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing after consecutive wins at Lexington, Badminton and Burghley, earning a $250,000 bonus from Rolex and a place in the history books. As a result of her achievements, she was voted Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year 2003 and was in the top five of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. She rides Billy the Biz.
Kitty King will make her Olympic debut at Rio. The first rider to have represented Great Britain at all levels – Pony, Junior, Young Rider and Senior – and also the first person to win medals for Team GBR at all four levels. She caught the eye of Captain Mark Phillips at Punchestown in 2003 and then got mentioned in despatches by chef d’equipe, Nick Burd, as ‘she rode to team orders to the letter. It probably cost her an individual medal but it brought us(UK) the team gold. She rides Ceylon L A N.
Gemma Tattersall will also make her Olympic debut. The youngest of the team, she was first put on a pony at 18 months old. After a successful career as a young rider, she moved on to Seniors and in 2007, her first Badminton, she won Best Under 25 with Jesters Quest. She rides Chico Bella P.
Tina (Kristina) Cook will be travelling as the team’s Reserve with an impressive record of achievements. An Olympic medallist three times over, she won individual and team bronze in 2008 and team silver in 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She has also won two World team golds and three European team golds. She rides Billy the Red, not to be confused with Billy the Biz, Pippa’s ride!
EQUUS wishes horses and riders a safe journey to Rio and a successful Games!