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We asked riders who and what inspires them, and they answered! In the latest installment, learn how William Fox-Pitt inspires a dressage rider to strive for consistency.

Suzannah Simon is no ordinary dressage rider. She is a talented young American Open/Professional rider who strives for success in and out of the ring. Looking to the future, she hopes grow her coaching, training and management business, as well as continue to learn and be successful in the show ring. Her ultimate goal is a long term business plan includes creating a state-of-the-art equine sports medicine and rehab facility.

Suzannah Simon

Suzannah Simon

There are an assortment of traits that come to mind when thinking of what makes for an upper level rider. To become one of the most elite riders in the world provides further dedication and application of those traits. One of the most coveted and elusive traits in equestrian sports is consistency. It’s incredibly difficult to be consistent in a sport where things can quickly go wrong. Horses can go lame, the footing can be poor, and staying at the top of your game is a constant struggle. Consistency is key, and difficult to achieve.

William Fox-Pitt is the King of consistency. “Season after season William competes on horses that are well conditioned and happy to work,” Suzannah remarked about Fox-Pitt’s program. “When you hear the name you think of numerous awards, achievements and successful horses and for good reasoning. But what absolutely inspires me about him is the incredible care and training program that each of his horses receive. Each {horse} is set up for success in a way that promotes top performance and well-being and it’s great to know ECOGOLD is a part of William’s Program.”

William Fox-Pitt on Parklane Hawk - photo by Calina/HJU

William Fox-Pitt on Parklane Hawk – photo by Calina/HJU

How a rider trains themselves mentally and trains their horses day to day is a big part of consistency in equestrian sports. Although there is no magical formula to becoming a more consistent rider, there are ways to work towards it. “As riders it is our job to help our horses be the best they can be. This comes from the general training program as well as knowing when each horse is ready for competition.” Suzannah has appreciation for a training program that has a focus on consistency and putting the horse’s needs first.

Being an upper level dressage rider, she knows the daily grind of fitness, mental training, and consistency of training that goes into getting a horse ready for upper level competition. With all the work that goes in to your pursuit of consistency and success, it can be difficult to take the mishaps in stride. How William Fox-Pitt handles the ebb and flow of consistency inspires Suzannah, “He never seems to be shaken by a rough ride, but keeps his cool even when things don’t go according to planed. I thought it was great this year that William was able to make the tough call on withdrawing a horse from the 2015 Rolex event in Lexington, KY.  There can often be a lot of pressure to compete and be successful, but I appreciate that William was able to put the needs of his horse first!”

The ability to be an excellent horseman and a consistent athlete are not interdependent or mutually exclusive; when combined they can make a rider unstoppable and unique. There’s no denying that William Fox-Pitt is a unique and extraordinary rider. He is consistent in how he trains his horses and in his competition record. It’s an inspiration to see how a rider can find success, consistency, and maintain the utmost respect for the sport as a whole.

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