A good day at the office for Fox-Pitt
It was certainly the William Fox-Pitt show today at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials. He's made Bramham his own over the years and is a step closer to taking his CCI sixth title - plus the CIC to boot!
Riding Christopher Stone's German-bred stallion Chilli Morning, William stormed round Ian Stark's 24-fence course. Despite having a long hold on-course, William was his masterful self and stopped the clock on 10 minutes 31 seconds - spot on the optimum time so added nothing to his dressage of 39.2. Over six penalties behind is Sylvain Davesne for France riding Oregon du Coty who climbed two places from dressage with a faultless round while Australian Sam Griffiths is third and fourth with Paulank Brockagh and Happy Times respectively.
William commented; "A good day at the office! I'm thrilled with Chilli Morning as its early days for us as a partnership - I haven't even managed to do an advanced one day with him yet! Nick (Gauntlett) has done a great job producing him and I'm lucky tohave got the rider on him as an established 12 year old. He was relaxed when galloping but when he sees a fence, he's off like a rocket. He
felt really fresh after we were held on course and was great through the final
water. He finished full of running and I couldn't have asked for anything more
"It's such a relief to be here at Bramham competing and the
team here have done an amazing job, it's remarkable what has been done to keep
Also in action across the country today was the Bishop Burton U25 CCI*** section and it was Britain's young talent Laura Collett who came out on top. Lying fourth after Dressage, she's climbed up the leader board with a great cross country performance with Philip Walker's Noble Bestman. Less than a fence behind is France's Astier Nicolas riding Piaf de Bneville who has a fence in hand over third placed Angus Smales and Ballyvooney.
A happy Laura said; "It's only his third season and his fourth three day so I'm really pleased with him; I generally know that if I get him vaguely aimed at the flags he will jump!
"The first five fences really set you up into a good rhythm for the rest of the course plus the ground has held up amazingly well, the first corner was a bit deep but other than that it was good galloping ground, (we're) really grateful for the work that has gone into keeping the ground."
In the CIC William took over the lead with Neuf des Coeurs, owned by the Skinners and the Halls, from Laura Collett when she had lowered two show jumps while he had a foot-perfect clear. Andrew Nicholson pulled up the order with a
faultless round on Deborah Sellars' Nereo, who was Bramham champion in 2009. Zara Phillips showed the reward of a good clear by pulling up to third from tenth on Gledhill House Stud Ltd's High Kingdom.
The day was tinged with sadness when the news came through that Jagganath, ridden by Michael Jackson, and Lead the Way, ridden by Clea Phillipps had both fatally collapsed. Both horses were attended by the course vets but could not be saved. All at Bramham send their condolences to all connections of the horses.
Full results - click here