News and views from around the equestrian world
News and happenings from around the horsey world
William’s on the mend
Despite su ering double vision, British event rider William Fox-pitt has returned to competition a er the serious head injury he su ered last October.
“It was great to be out again,” he said a er competing at Burnham Market horse trials on two of his most experienced mounts, Cool Mountain and Parklane Hawk, in the Open Intermediate section.
“I decided to just ride two horses rather than four, to be sensible with the hope of being able to do them justice. Happily they looked a er me all the way.
“I’ve lost considerable tness through my accident, though it’s coming back and it’s great to be feeling normal again.” In an extensive interview with Horse &
Hound, William says he knows how lucky he is to have bounced back so soon a er a serious head trauma without su ering from any of the common symptoms, such as moodiness, aggression or headaches.
He did, however, lose most of his sense of taste and smell, had no sense of hunger or thirst, and also found it hard to judge the time of day.
He is also experiencing memory loss, and has a lingering double vision − though that has much improved of late.
“When I rst started jumping again it was quite tricky when I could see two or three fences. I didn’t always know which one I was jumping; luckily, the horse did.”
e accident happened while riding Reinstated at Le Lion d’angers in France. William was in an induced coma for more than a week, remained in hospital for a month, and it was unclear to what extent he would recover.
But Horse & Hound says that a er months of rehab, and despite a weight loss of nearly 16kg, William looks and sounds the same as he always has − charming and level-headed − and that
I still feel hungry, I still feel excited by young horses, I want to ride them, so why not?”
the whole ordeal was harder on his friends and family (wife Alice, and four children Oliver, omas, Chloe and Emily) than it was on William himself.
“I’ve not been ill for a day… no headache, nothing. No pain,” he says.
William admits he is seriously considering retiring from the sport that has netted him six Burghley, three Kentucky and two Badminton wins, and seen him compete at four Olympics.
“I’m 46, I’ve been competing for 33 years. Do I need to go round another event? Not really. But I want to,” he says.
“I still feel hungry, I still feel excited by young horses, I want to ride them, so why not? Maybe I will ride around a few events and think, enough’s enough…”
William says he’d still dearly love to take Chilli Morning to Rio in August.
William says it was a pleasure to be on an experienced horse, (the NZ- bred and produced) Parklane Hawk, at his rst competition outing after his injury