William Fox-Pitt is the new team trainer to the Brazilian eventing team.
“I was very flattered to be asked,” he told H&H. “I am looking at getting into training more and riding less as I get older. I enjoy my training roles, it’s a natural progression and I’m looking forward to that next part of the journey.”
William said the Brazilians had been very “patient and understanding” about his other commitments – specifically the fact he continues to train Japanese Olympic rider Kazuma Tomoto, who is based at his Dorset yard, and the fact he is still riding at the top level himself.
“I don’t expect to be on the British team this year so there should be no conflict there, but they had to be happy I am still on the British programme and riding at five-star – I’ve got two nice horses I want to do more with,” he said, referring to Little Fire and Oratorio, who were both in the top 15 at Badminton Horse Trials this spring.
“I will be at the World Championships training Kazu and they had to be happy that I will be doing that. Of course, I now want both Kazu and Team Brazil to do well.
“The Brazilians have been good about putting flexibility into their structure to allow that, as it’s not always easy to have a trainer who is also a current rider and training a competitor from another country.”
William said that Brazil’s top riders are mostly based in Britain, but he expects to do some training sessions in Brazil too. At this stage, his contract is only until after the eventing World Championships in September, with a review after that.
“I thought it was a great opportunity – the Brazilians don’t have many riders, but they have some good ones and I thought it would be a good team to be involved in, see if I can help and where we can go from our first year,” said William Fox-Pitt, who added that he spoke to former Brazilian team trainer Mark Todd before he decided to take the role.
“It’s a new venture for me to train a team and be involved in selection so it’ll be very exciting.”
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