After winning medals on the world and European stage, Horsham dressage rider Fiona Bigwood is looking to complete the set with an Olympic triumph.
Bigwood is part of Team GB’s dressage quartet heading to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and after the Brits rode to both individual and team gold medals at London 2012, the 40-year-old is looking to get in on the action this time around.
The debutant will be joined by 2012 individual champion Charlotte Dujardin, as well as the experienced Carl Hester - who is also her coach - and Spencer Wilton. With that Olympic experience in the team Bigwood is determined not to leave Rio empty handed
She said: “I’m really pleased to have finally made the team, I’ve done the world and Europeans, so doing the Olympics will be the icing on the cake,” said the mum of three.
“It’s been the target on and off for quite a while, I had my kids over 2012 so couldn’t compete, then didn’t have the right horse for other Olympics, so everything’s just gelled this time.
“I have silvers in the world and Europeans so I’m hopefully going to bring back a nice medal from Rio to add to those. Germany is looking really strong this year, but we will be out there looking to retain the gold. They are the main threats.”
Bigwood will be riding Atterupgaards Orthilia, which is part owned by her mother Penny, as well as Neils and Lis Dahl. Nicknamed Tilly the horse has accompanied Bigwood through her recovery from a bad fall in 2014, in which she fractured her skull and damaged a nerve in her eye.
“I couldn’t ride for a period of time after the fall, but once I could get back on a horse then I kept on riding Tilly and she has kept me going through it all,” she added. If we can ride our top scores then we’ll stand a chance of getting gold, but we will see, it’ll be exciting.”
The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (September 1 to 4) has been established as a major international equestrian event for over 50 years. For more information, visit burghley-horse.co.uk
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