Well known for his humour and banter, showjumper and commentator Geoff Billington is a true legend of the sport.
Over recent years, Geoff has concentrated his efforts on clinics in his local community, bringing with him years of experience and a belt full of laughs to boot.
Here we take a look at 10 interesting facts about his journey through equestrian sport.
Geoff Billington 101
1. Geoff started riding aged nine and bought his first pony for £10. He later sold it for £325 making a huge profit in the process and starting him out on the ride to making his living from riding and training in the horse world.
2. A father of six, Geoff has four sons, James, Marcus, Daniel and Alfie and two daughters, Emillie and Megan.
3. In 1996 Geoff won the prestigious ‘Horse & Hound Equestrian Personality of the Year’ award.
4. A regular on the lecture/demo circuit Geoff is not only a great entertainer but also highly regarded for passing on his many years of knowledge and skill when it comes to tackling the biggest and most taxing show jumping courses around the world.
5. Fellow riders know they could face a ribbing from Geoff when he is on tour as he is a past master when it comes to impersonating his team mates whether on the ground or leaping in the air over huge fences.
6. Over the last few years Geoff has started to take on more commentating and his quick wit never fails to amuse audiences around the world. His commentary at the Liverpool International Horse Show has met with huge praise and he will be back at the Echo Arena once again for the 2017 event.
7. Talking of this equestrian and family extravaganza Geoff says: “The show is ‘a world-class addition to the equestrian calendar’ and a must visit over the festive and New Year period.”
8. The best horse Geoff has ever ridden is It’s Otto who took Geoff to many of the major show jumping championships around the globe. The duo went on to amass more than £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.
9. Geoff first became interested in horses at the age of six after his father sat him on a pony in a field. Although initially his parents were not ‘horsey’ they quickly became his number one fan, following his efforts around the world as he became driven to make show jumping his life and passion.
10. After winning a Grand Prix in Zurich in 1995 on It’s Otto, Geoff won his first car. He kept the car for 15 years.
To learn more about Geoff Billington visit his official website here.