1. Growing up in Cork, Ireland, Billy started riding as a child and began competing at the age of six.
2. Billy was always surrounded by horses as his mother Jill and aunt ran a riding school.
3. Horses are in Billy’s blood as most of his family are involved in the sport. His uncle Kelvin Hitchmough was a leading National Hunt trainer, with an Irish Grand National winner to his name. His aunt Avril was a well-known showjumping trainer, and his grandmother officiated on the appeals committee for major shows.
4. Billy is a former winner of the 128cm Championship at Royal Dublin Horse Show on a pony that had previously given him a scare when bolting with him at their first show.
5. For a time Billy considered a career as a jockey when he took to riding work on the beach for his uncle. But after a taste of show jumping success he says there was no turning back.
6. Working for Michael Whitaker in his early days, was a dream come true for Billy. Being a stable jockey proved a key opportunity to learn and since then he has gone from strength to strength.
7. A career highlight was winning the 2011 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Valencia on Tinka’s Serenade. He was also awarded Irish rider of the year in the same period.
8. Billy has four children Lily, Evie, George and Alice who enjoy travelling to shows with him when school time allows.
9. A memorable sporting achievement for Billy was becoming the Leading Showjumper of the Year at the Horse of the Year Show in 2015.
10. Billy was crowned Grand Prix Champion at Liverpool International two year’s running.
Top Paddock Tip:
With a spotless property in Nottinghamshire, Billy provides a top tip on paddock maintenance.
When Spring arrives your paddock may well be lacking nutrients after a harsh Winter. You may want to give your grass a boost with Suregrow Fertiliser, ideal for sustained grass growth it helps to stimulate root development and strength.