Life lessons: Top eventer William Fox-Pitt *H&H Plus*

The British event rider on making sure you have enough time, dealing with nerves, taking his mother’s advice and how patience pays off...

William has won 20 Olympic, world and European senior championships medals, including six European team golds and five individual medals. He triumphed at all the world’s five northern hemisphere five-stars with 14 wins at the level in total – more than any other rider – including two at Badminton and a record six at Burghley. A serious fall in 2015 left him in a coma for two weeks, but he came back to make the British team for Rio 2016.

We had Ballincoola as an eight-year-old and he was a real jumping machine. He was such a performer and a horse of a lifetime. I never got to grips with his flatwork, so his dressage was never team-worthy, but I know much more now and if I had him in my old age I know it could have been better.

He won Burghley in 2005 and was third at Badminton in 2008. He was absolutely made for the fast and furious modern version of the sport as it is now; the skinnies and arrowheads would have suited him down to the ground.

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