‘I want to get back on the team’: exciting new horse for British Olympic medallist

  • Olympic silver medallist Fiona Bigwood is aiming to return to the British team with her new international prospect.

    Nine-year-old gelding Pin Rock’s Foxfire Blitz arrived at Fiona’s West Sussex yard from Finland this month, having been crowned Finnish grand prix champion in June.

    “I really want to get back on the British team and one of my Finnish friends saw my Facebook post about finding a new grand prix horse, and got in contact,” explained Fiona, who sold her mare Atterupgaards Orthilia, with whom she won team silver both in Rio 2016 and at the 2015 Aachen European championships, to Danish international grand prix rider Agnete Kirk Thinggaard at the beginning of 2017.

    “I saw a short video of Foxy and decided that he was worth going to Finland to see,” Fiona added. “Since selling ‘Tillie’ I’ve been looking everywhere for horses with the right quality to help me get back on the team. Foxy is really sweet, with a lot of talent, and he’s also very trainable, so I have high hopes for him.”

    The Finnish warmblood by Fernet x Caritas scored 67.74% at grand prix and 72.09% in the grand prix freestyle at the 2017 Finnish national championships, ridden by Stella Hagelstam. He has not yet competed internationally, but Fiona hopes to launch his FEI career in April or May 2018, after competing in some national grands prix in March.

    Fiona also admitted that she had stayed at home to ride Foxy this week, rather than joining her family on a pre-Christmas skiing trip.

    “I’m just so determined to get back out there,” she told H&H. “Foxy has done some good grands prix and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t get it together. His piaffe and passage in particular are very strong, and he has a lovely trot half-pass.

    “He has a lot of quality in all three paces, which was why I decided to go with him, and he’s also a horse you can just get on and work with. He’s trainable with a very good mind and that is so important.”

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