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10 Minutes with Bill Levett - 4* International Event Rider

If you have a rare ‘horsey-free’ day how would you spend it? :

Before Ursula and Josh were born I would have been off to play golf; but now it is an opportunity to have quality family time and to catch up with DIY and household jobs.

What is your guilty pleasure? :

Watching TV once the kids have gone to bed and relaxing with Jenny.

Tell us is there anything you have to sacrifice to ensure you are at the top of the game? :

Leading up to and throughout the whole eventing season I try to minimise alcohol consumption not only does this help loose some of the winter pounds but it keeps me focused and on the ball.

What do you miss the most living in the UK since you moved here from Australia? :

My family, including nieces and nephews; it is very hard being so far apart just keeping up to date with the changes and how everyone is.

What couldn’t you live without? :

A good team and owners, my wife Jenny, my farrier, vet, physio, trainers (Gareth Hughes and Ros Morgan) my head girl Emily and home team, Lou our bookkeeper, nutritionist, sponsors (I’ve used the same products for many years and really believe in them) and everyone else involved in the Levett team.

Do you have any pre event rituals? :

Just before a big event I like to retreat to the lorry for peace and quiet, occasionally I might have a sleep but I don’t like to have too many people around me. I like to gather and focus my thoughts and energy, I will chat with Jenny about my plans and options as she knows me so well including my strengths and weaknesses .

How many times do you walk a cross country course? :

Three, first walk is a quick brief look and walk around. The second is more in depth I take my time and really analysis the course and then the 3rd time is super early before anyone else is up and awake; I like to walk the course on my own on the last walk.

What advice would you give to aspiring eventers? :

Firstly make sure you have correct training and as much of it as you can possibly afford!

Invest as much as you can in horsepower, not gadgets or lorries it is what you have in the truck that matters

Do not under estimate the amount of time and effort it takes to become a professional eventer.

Do not sacrifice the correct basics of cross country in pursuit of a prize! Take your time to patiently bring on young horses to get the basics right and not over face them

Favourite food?

Easy!! Steak!

Favourite film :

Johnny Cash- Walk The Line

Favourite Music ? :

Country – whilst travelling to events you will find me listening to The Dixie Chicks or Johnny Cash

Favourite Horse? :

Gosh that is difficult, there has been so many! Possibly my most memorable horse was Muddy Chuddy, sadly his career was ended very suddenly when he dislocated his stifle and pulled all the ligaments off the bone in a freak accident on the cross country phase at Badminton Horse Trials two fences from home while cruising inside the time, – he would have gone very far!

Most embarrassing moment? :

My first ever one day event at pony club! I had rehearsed and put so much practice into my dressage test. When I got to the end of the test I halted and saluted, but my salute mirrored one more commonly practised by the armed forces. The judge didn’t award any marks due to ‘non salute!’

Either that or embarrassingly missed an easy loop out on the cross country phase at Gatcombe while very well placed in the Open Championships; I wasn’t the only one – but as a result let’s say this is why I always walk the course on my own now and not with a group of friends chatting!