EQUESTRIAN: Wiltshire move puts Lizzie on the road to Rio
NEW Zealand international Lizzie Brown is hoping that her first year in Wiltshire has put her on the path to representing her county at the 2016 Olympics.
The 24-year-old relocated to Milton Lilbourne in March 2012 and, at the end of last month, was one of four up-and-coming riders named on the Kiwis’ High Performance Accelerator Squad.
Brown, who competed at last year’s Barbury Horse Trials and Blenheim Palace International with top ride Playtime NZPH, says that she is loving life in the UK, particularly with a host of her country’s legendary eventers a stone’s throw away.
“Being in Milton Lilbourne has been great ever since I came over from New Zealand last year,” she said.
“Obviously, there are people like Andrew Nicholson and Mark Todd nearby and pretty much all of the top Kiwis are within 30 minutes of Marlborough.
“It was a bit of a wet year last season so I didn’t really get the chance to compete as much as I want but hopefully that can change this summer.
“Last summer, it was amazing to see how well the New Zealand team did at the Olympics (a team bronze medal) and that gets you thinking about Rio in 2016.
“And, obviously, next time, we’ll be going for gold.
“It’s where I’m aiming to be and everything has been geared towards that – I’ve got some great horses that will be at the right age when the next Olympics come around.”
As the new Olympic cycle gets underway this summer, Brown is looking to step her game up and remain in the thoughts of the New Zealand selectors.
She said: “At the moment, I’m still spending a lot of time getting ready for the season and things won’t really get going until April time.
“Before that, I’m heading back to New Zealand next month for some teaching.
“I’m looking to try and get some good performances at three star competitions like Burleigh and Pau.”
Kiwi veteran Andrew Nicholson, who is based in Marlborough, and Jonelle Richards and Tim Price, who live in Mildenhall, have both been included in New Zealand’s high performance squads.