British-based Australian Bill Levett (56) last competed at Badminton in 2016. Last year with Badminton entry Lassban Diamond Lad he was a member of the Australian squad for the WEG (individual) and the pair was third in the Bramham CCI3*.
Australian born Bill, who is based near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire where he runs his own yard, relocated to the UK in 1994. Although his parents were school teachers his father’s passion for horses meant that he and his four sisters were encouraged to ride. He helped break horses at a local station and after a year moved to work for former Australian international eventer Neale Lavis – winner of individual Olympic silver and team gold at the 1960 Olympic Games – then a racehorse trainer. At college in Victoria Bill studied Stud Management and returning to Neale’s yard worked his way up to Stud Manager and had the opportunity to try eventing. In 1988 he won a Range Rover Scholarship to Gatcombe Park and train with Mark Phillips and subsequently took a year off from the yard. In 1990 selected for the Australian squad for the WEG he returned to England with Mirabooka NJ a horse given to him by Neale. All of Bills’ own horses have the NJ suffix in recognition of Neale’s contribution to his career – NJ was his nickname. In 2014 Bill represented Australia at the WEG in France (Shannondale Titan) and in 2016 with Alexander NJ was selected as the travelling reserve for the 2016 Australian Olympic team – but had to withdraw Alexander NJ just prior to departure. 2019 is Bill’s 25th year of competing in the UK.
Bill who trains with Gareth Hughes and Ros Morgan, is a BE accredited trainer. He met his wife Jenny, a self-employed strategy consultant, in 2001. The pair runs a 15 horse competition yard and has 14-year-old twins, Joshua and Ursula. Joshua competes in BE affiliated eventing while Ursula competes in international vaulting.
Lassban Diamond Lift, owned by Elizabeth Murdoch and rider, is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. He is by the thoroughbred Easy Lift (a son of Chair Lift) out of Lassban Chow Bella by Diamond Chin (a son of Flagmount Diamond). He was acquired from the Monart sale and has been produced through the grades by Bill since a five-year-old. The pair was 3rd in the CCI3* at Bramham 2018.
Lassban Diamond Lift
16.3hh , chestnut , gelding
Sire Easy Lift
Dam Lassban Chow Bella (Diamond Chin)
Breeder Liam Maloney
Owner(s): Elisabeth Murdoch, c/o Chipping Camden, Glos.