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Geoff Billington

Geoff imageGeoff Billington is based in Cheshire and has been a leading figure on the show jumping circuit for over 30 years. He boasts both European and World Championship team bronze medals and has won numerous Grand Prix classes. Geoff first started riding at a local stable in Accrington aged 9. From an early age he showed promise in the equestrian world, buying his first pony for £10 and going on to sell it for £325. Committed to an equestrian career, he went on to serve an apprenticeship with the top show jumper David Bowen, who is now regarded as one of today's most outstanding trainers.

In 1976 Geoff rode Talk Of The North at his first international competition as part of the Nations Cup team in Olsztyn, Poland. He represented Great Britain again at the Hamburg CSIO in 1981, and has since been a valued member of the Nations Cup teams, appearing no less than 40 times and helping to secure nine victories. Geoff is most famous for his partnership with the much loved It's Otto, who received the BSJA Team Lifetime Award in 2001. When It's Otto arrived at Geoff's yard as a six-year old Geoff had planned to sell him, but following a chance injury he failed the vetting. The duo went on to amass over £650,000 winnings, made 15 Nations Cup appearances, were Britain's highest-placed partnership at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and represented Britain again at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Geoff is not only renowned as a horseman, but is also something of an entertainer, known for doing impressions of his fellow riders. He was awarded the 'Horse & Hound Equestrian Personality of the Year' in 1996, and presented the 'Simply the Best Tour' in partnership with John Whitaker. To find out more about Geoff visit www.geoffbillington.comBookmark and Share
M
ary King

Mary King for newsletterEven though she grew up with a non-horsey family, Mary was always destined to be an equestrian star when she started riding the local vicar’s pony at the age of 6, when her father (a retired naval officer) became a verger. Inspired by a visit to Badminton Horse Trials, Mary worked tirelessly on a butcher’s delivery round and as a gardener, cook and chalet girl to fund the start of her eventing career. She then became head girl to Sheila Wilcox, a former European Champion and Badminton winner, before launching her solo career. 

Mary has had a hugely successful eventing career, winning medals at both World and European Championship level and the title of British Champion four times. She has represented Britain at the last six Olympic Games and has a string of medals around her neck to show for it! Her daughter Emily, is also now a professional event rider and is based with Mary at their home in Devon. 

Stephanie Croxford

Stephanie for newsletterStephanie is an Environmental Geologist/Geochemist by profession and has only been riding properly since she was 24 years old. She and her talented horse Mr President have gone from Novice to competing internationally for Great Britain in just a matter of years! Mr President was originally bred in Ireland by an unknown Gelderlander X Hackney stallion out of a Dutch Warmblood mare. He was un-papered and was initially bred for driving. He was sold and transported to North Yorkshire, England, where he was raised in the hope that he would grow big enough to drive and compete as part of a team of Gelderlanders. Unfortunately, this was not to be and he was backed and broken to saddle as a 3 year old. He was advertised in the back of a relatively local paper (The Yorkshire Post) for £2,500 where Stephanie spotted him.

After purchasing him Stephanie spent the next year or so having great fun galloping over cross country courses, show jumping and occasionally competing in local one day events. It was not until a trainer at a local cross country training day told her, ‘that her horse belonged in the dressage arena, not the cross country field!’, that she began to wonder.

Slowly over the next couple of years Mr President and Stephanie rose up through the dressage levels. The judges seemed to either love or hate them and they came either first or last! Stephanie’s answer to this was to run away to the next level and show that although he was unconventional he could still do the tricks! The combination continued in blissful ignorance and commenced PSG (small tour) at the grand age of 7. By the age of 9 they had embarked on his Grand Prix career, Their results got them noticed by the British Senior Selectors and before they had a chance to take stock of what was happening, they were selected to represent Great Britain at the Hickstead CDI 3*.

The pair then went on to qualify for the National Championships in 2005 and 2006 at Int II and the Grand Prix Level and managed to compete with more success at Home International’s in 2006. Since then they have managed to continue to improve scores and won several Grand Prix’s, Kurs and Grand Prix Special’s at several Premier League competitions in the UK as well as winning Internationally at the Saumur CDI 3* in 2007 and the Biarritz CDI 3* in 2009. The pair have since qualified on more than one occasion for the World Cup Qualifier at Olympia and subsequently got through to the Kur. To find out more about Stephanie visit http://mrpresidentiv.wordpress.com/

V
ictoria Bax

DSC 7209aVictoria is an Amateur Event Rider at VB Eventing who specialises, alongside a full time job outside of horses, in retraining Ex-racehorse into Eventing superstars. She currently has four Ex-racehorse who are at various stages of retraining, from straight off the track, to BE Intermediate/2* level.

Since launching VB Eventing in 2010, things have gone from strength to strength. 2011 and 2012 were a whirl wind and Victoria managed to compete in a Burghley Young Event Horse Class, the Retraining of Racehorses Championships at Barbury International, as well as winning consistently in British Dressage competitions, winning and being placed up Intermediate level eventing and completing her first 2* event in a respectable 17th position.

Her current horses include Crystal Ka, a 16.1hh TB Bay Gelding, Popps Princess a 16.1hh TB mare, Salto Angel, a 16.3hh TB Bay Gelding and Nikki's Revenge a 16hh TB Bay Gelding. For more information about VB Eventing visit: www.vbeventing.co.uk