Geoff Billington is a name synonymous with British Showjumping at its dizzying heights in the 1970’s and 1980’s, since then Geoff has continued to be a household name as one of Britain’s top riders. He boasts both European and World Championship team bronze medals and has won numerous Grand Prix’s.
Geoff began riding at a local stable aged nine, his first pony cost him £10 which he went onto sell for £325, showing his potential as an accomplished horseman. Committed to an equestrian career, he went on to complete an apprenticeship with David Bowen, who is now regarded as one of today's most outstanding trainers and top show jumpers.
Geoff first competed abroad on a Nations Cup team with Talk of the North in 1976 in Oztyn Poland. From there he was selected for the European Championships after the World Cup Finals. He was due to go with his long-standing partner It’s Otto, but Otto went lame just before he was due to leave. Geoff represented Great Britain again 1981 at the Hamburg CSIO. Geoff has been a valued member of Nations Cup teams, securing nine victories and appearing almost 50 times.
Geoff is most famous for his partnership with the much loved It's Otto, who received the BSJA Team Lifetime Award in 2001. The duo went on to amass over £650,000 in winnings, made 15 Nations Cup appearances, were Britain's highest-placed partnership at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics finishing in sixth place, they then represented Britain again at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Following his individual achievement at the Atlanta Olympics, Geoff was awarded the 'Horse & Hound Equestrian Personality of the Year' and his horse It's Otto was voted the 'Outstanding Horse of 1996.' It's Otto retired at Olympia 2001.
Geoff won the Hickstead Derby in 2007 riding Cassabachus, they had been third there the year before, the win was a particularly poignant moment in his career. Geoff’s proudest moment was watching his son James win team gold at the Junior European Championships in Vilamoura in 2004.
2018 was a rewarding year for Geoff with great results such as placing second in the Grand Prix at Southview Competition and Training Centre, Geoff laughs that his biggest achievement is simply “staying alive.” In 2019, Geoff hopes to bring on a string of promising young horses, including seven year old Straciatella Z, who he will step up to International level. Geoff will also continue teaching and doing demonstrations before the summer showjumping season kicks off.