Bill Levett

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Australian eventing rider Bill Levett is a well known face on the international eventing circuit, having competed in Australia and the UK for many years.

Born in Australia in 1963, Bill grew up in the north western NSW town of Werris Creek, where his parents were school teachers and, although neither of his parents rode, Bill and his four sisters were encouraged to take up riding. After spending time breaking in horses for a local station owner Bill then went to work for the legendary Australian Olympic eventing medallist, Neale Lavis

The harsh drought conditions in Australia at that time meant that Bill, although there to work with Neale’s racehorses, spent the first few months working with cattle as a drover. After this first stint with Neale he went to Agricultural College in Victoria to do a two year Stud Management course and one day found himself watching the eventing at the Los Angeles Olympics on the television. In that moment he decided that this was something he wanted to ‘have a go’ at.

Returning to Neale’s yard he worked his way up to become stud manager, looking after the stallions and around 150 mares, and he finally had the opportunity to event. The fact that Neale’s children were not interested in competing was to Bill’s advantage as Neale not only trained him but loaned him everything he needed to start his career in eventing, from his saddle and boots to the trailer for transport. But most importantly, Neale gave Bill the horse that he eventually took to England - Mirabooka NJ. The NJ (which is Neale’s nickname) added to the names of the horses now owned by Bill and his wife Jenny is in recognition of Neale and everything he did for Bill

In 1988 Bill won a Range Rover Scholarship to train with Mark Phillips at Gatcombe Park and he took a year off from Neale’s yard. Several years later he returned to the UK with Mirabooka NJ aiming for the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Hague and, although he did not make it to the Games, it was during this time that Bill decided to settle in the UK. In 2001, during the foot and mouth outbreak when eventing was on hold, Bill met Jenny and within a year they were married. Their twins, son and daughter Joshua and Ursula, were born in fairly dramatic style in 2005 and Jenny  now shares her time between her work as a self employed Strategy Consultant, supporting Bill’s eventing business and looking after the family at their home in Gloucestershire

Over the years Bill has come close to selection for Australian teams on several occasions but stellar performances leading up to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy saw him realise his ambition to ride in the green and gold in 2014. Although his horse Shannondale Titan made it around the very difficult cross country with no jumping faults, a minor but painful hoof injury meant that Bill was unable to complete the event but the future is looking good

“I hope I can give you an insight into life eventing on the UK circuit and share with you what goes on both at the events and behind the scenes. I cannot wait to get back out competing in 2015 and build on what the team and I achieved in 2014. I have a great team of horses to ride in 2015 and a good team supporting me made up of the team at home, my long standing owners, great sponsors and long suffering family” says Bill

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