14 things you might not know about Bramham winner Yoshiaki Oiwa

  • Yesterday Yoshiaki Oiwa became the first Japanese rider in history to win at the Equi-Trek Bramham Horse Trials (9-12 June). Although some of those in the eventing community have known the friendly and much-liked 40-year-old for some time, he is perhaps still not very well-known in wider equestrian circles. So to bring you up to speed on ‘Yoshi’, here’s some things you might like to know about him…

    1. Yoshi began riding as a junior high school student in Japan

    2. He came to discover his love for eventing when riding for his university equestrian team in Japan, where he was studying for a business marketing degree. As part of the university equestrian competition, riders had to complete cross-country as well as other disciplines. It was then that Yoshi became hooked on eventing

    3. Until quite recently, Yoshi worked for the Japanese optical lens company Nittoh

    4. Yoshi arrived in the UK in 2001 to further pursue his love of eventing. He initially trained with Australian Olympian Andrew Hoy

    5. Yoshi’s aunt was an international figure skater and is now an Olympic judge

    6. In 2009, Yoshi moved to Germany, where he has been based with top German eventer Dirk Schrade, who trains him, ever since

    7. Yoshi might look 20 years old but he is actually 40 — born 19 July 1976 in Nagoya

    8. His first international three-day event was in the CCI* at Burgie, Scotland in 2002. By 2005, and with the help of former Olympic event horse Voyou Dy Roc, Yoshi was riding at his first four-star, which was Badminton — they were third after cross-country but dropped to eventual 11th

    9. His uncle won a silver medal in swimming at the Rome Olympic Games

    10. Yoshi has ridden at five four-stars, two World Equestrian Games and three Olympic Games

    11. At the London Olympics, Yoshi led the dressage phase, but unfortunately was eliminated after a fall across country

    12. He was 20th at the Rio Olympics riding The Duke Of Cavan, with whom he was eighth at this year’s Badminton

    13. In preparation for Badminton, Yoshi based himself with William and Pippa Funnell this spring, just before Belton. He has stayed at their yard since and will return back to Germany following Bramham

    14. Yoshi has also enjoyed success pure showjumping, riding in several CSI3* competitions

    Full report from Bramham in this week’s H&H magazine, out 15 June.

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