(Reuters) – British rider William Fox-Pitt will compete at his fifth Olympic Games less than a year after suffering a head trauma following a fall from his horse, it was confirmed on Tuesday.
The 47-year-old three-times Olympic eventing medalist was named in a highly experienced 12-rider Team GB team which also includes Nick Skelton and John Whitaker, who will compete in their seventh and sixth Olympic Games respectively.
Fox-Pitt was injured when he fell from his horse Reinstated at the World Young Horse championships in France last October.
“I’ve come off a lot of times in my life, and in being knocked out my memory has been very selective and I’ve been able to put it behind me,” he said.
He said the fall “affected my sight, my judgment and made me more dozy, in the beginning it was all a little bit of a dream. It’s been an incredible journey, I’ve had incredible support.”
In the jumping, London 2012 gold medalist Skelton again rides Big Star while Whitaker, who won silver in Los Angeles in 1984, will compete on Ornellaia.
Whitaker’s younger brother Michael, who also won silver in 1984, heads to his fifth Olympics on Cassionato.
As expected, the British Queen’s grand-daughter Zara Tindall has missed out on selection for the dressage team. In 2012 she won silver but failed to make the shortlist this time.
Team GB was the most successful nation in equestrian events in 2012, winning three golds, one silver and a bronze across the three disciplines.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; editing by Ken Ferris and Clare Lovell)