Showjumper Tim Gredley is back in action – and gunning for Olympic selection.
In 2010, Tim announced he was giving up the sport to concentrate on running the family business, property developers the Unex Group.
But he told H&H the “time was right” to give it “one last go”.
Tim flew out to Florida on Saturday (28 January) to take part in the Winter Equestrian Festival, alongside fellow Brits Scott Brash, Nick Skelton, Tina Fletcher, Ben Maher, Scott Smith, David McPherson and Gemma Paternoster.
He intends to spend eight weeks there and will be jumping Voske II, Omelli, Timo IV, Valente and Lerado II.
Tim said: “I’ve been fully committed to the company – I didn’t even sit on a horse for a year – but after talking with my dad, we decided with London around the corner I might as well go for it.
“We’re aware it’s a massive long shot, but the company’s in a good position at the moment so I can concentrate entirely on my riding.”
When he “quit”, other riders – including Robert Whitaker, James Billington and Ben Maher – took over his horses.
“I’ve got the horses back now and I’m very lucky they’ve all been understanding about it,” he said.
He admitted he didn’t realise how much he’d miss jumping.
“Watching it on TV and at shows is not the same as doing it yourself,” he added.
“I’ve since realised it is possible to do both – perhaps not at the same level as I was – but if I don’t get to London, I will still be involved in the sport and carry on jumping.”
World Class Performance manager Rob Hoekstra said it was “very positive” for Britain.
“Omelli is an extremely good horse, possibly one of the best we have for Nations Cups,” he told H&H.
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (26 January 2012)