Olympic dressage rider Fiona Bigwood has represented Britain at junior, young rider and senior championships, including at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Fiona was a member of the British team at the 1993 Junior European Championships and the Young Rider European Championships from 1994 to 1996. In 1996 at 21-years-old she became the youngest British rider ever to be selected for a senior European Championships with Dance & Fly. That year she also took the British Dressage national elementary title with Afrikka.
Fiona Bigwood was shortlisted for the 1998 World Equestrian Games and was ranked number one in the British Puffa International Rider Rankings in that year. In 1999 and 2005, she was a member of the European Championship team.
On 26 April 2014, Fiona fell off a horse in a freak accident at a local show and sustained major concussion to her head. After four days in the hospital she was able to return home but her life had changed dramatically. The accident left her vision seriously impaired as an eye nerve got damaged. One year later she still has double vision and has to ride with an eye patch.
Fiona and her husband Anders Dahl, a Danish grand prix rider, are based in West Sussex with their three children.
Fiona Bigwood helped Team GBR win a silver medal at the 2015 European Dressage Championships in Aachen riding Penny Bigwood’s Atterupgaards Orthilia (stable name Tillie). Although they qualified to go forward to the grand prix special, unfortunately the mare developed an extreme sensitivity across her back after doing her team test in pouring rain, which prevented her from contesting the individual competition.
Fiona and Tillie were selected for the British team at the Rio 2016 Olympics, where they helped Britain claim team silver earning 77.157% to finish eighth individually in the grand prix and 74.342% in the grand prix special. This saw them qualify for the freestyle, where they scored 76.018%.
Tillie was sold to Danish international grand prix rider Agnete Kirk Thinggaard in early 2017. At the time Fiona said: “It was a very hard decision, but Tillie is in the prime of her competition career and I want the best for her.”
See Fiona Bigwood’s beautiful indoor dressage training arena