Yesterday at the Bramham Horse Trials, William Fox-Pitt managed to continue his lead and domination in both the CCI*** and CIC*** classes and secure both titles respectively.
French rider Sebastien Chemin and Olympe D’eos who were lying in second overnight in the CIC*** withdrew making the task for William and Chilli Morning slightly easier. In the end, William had three fences in hand with four fences to jump but with Chilli Morning just rubbed one fence in the triple to finish on 4 faults. William credited previous rider Nick Gauntlett for his work with Chilli Morning saying how well he had produced the stunning chestnut.
The wins move William’s three day event win tally up to 49 so I wonder if London 2012 will create the cherry on top and get him is 50th?
And to make it even sweeter for William, his groom won the best groom’s prize. William also picked up the prize for the closest optimum time (WFP‘s new name may be Mr Stopwatch!), he won the Pro-Am Pairs title with Emily Parker (a competition where riders get randomly paired up and their scores added together) and did I mention, he also won an Equi-Trek Horsebox!!!
Winning ride! William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning at Branham Horse Trials
Pippa Funnell may be out of London 2012 selection due to her top horses being out with injury but Mirage D’Elle ensured Pippa still gets a share of the spoils at the top via finishing in second place in the CCI*** behind William and Chilli Morning.
Izzy Taylor and Briarlands Matilda scored one of their highest placing at a prestigious event clinching third spot after just lowering one pole.
Ever the gentleman, William made sure he did not tower over the ladies in prize giving and ended up kneeling in order to make sure the height difference was not too obvious for pictures!
In the CIC*** behind William and Neuf Des Coeurs, Andrew Nicholson and Nereo followed up their superb show jumping round yesterday with a fluent cross country round to complete inside the optimum time and finish on 42. Fellow New Zealander Caroline Powell and the pocket rocket Lenamore proved that their jumping can make up for his cheekiness in the dressage moving from 18th place after dressage to finish in 4th spot on the final day after a double clear. Lenamore, as normal, made the track look no tougher than a pony club course and must have given a great buzz to Caroline.
Zara Phillips may also be heading to London after a 3rd place finish on High Kingdom. Prince Harry will be happy if she does, as he’s been quoted as saying he hopes she goes, as he needs eventing tickets for the Olympics!
Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz may have just all but confirmed their regular stalwart first runner spot for 2012 after another cross country master class inside the time. Seriously if a 5* competition is ever created I can think of no other horse who would eat up the cross country phase than this horse.
It was lovely to see Bronze Beijng Olympic Medalists Tina Cook and Miners Frolic back out after the horse suffered from colic last year, however the three poles in the show jumping round the previous day proved costly despite a clear cross country round nside the time. Laura Collettt and Rayef also put some of their own personal skinny related fence gremlins to rest and produced a lovely cross country round together.
Rodney Powell and Happy Go Lucky had a nasty fall at the Equi-Trek step up to Sonic fence- a large step with a bounce to a brush hedgehog. Happy Go Lucky appeared to jump tentatively up the step to then slip backwards ontop of Rodney. Rodney bravely got up but needed medical attention, the horse appeared fine although had a slight graze to its leg.
In the under 25 a clear round clinched the title for French rider Astier Nicolas and Piaf De Bneville after Laura Collett and Noble Bestman lowered a pole with British rider Sarah Stretton and Skip On II moving up to third spot after a dressage test which originally left them in 13th spot.