William Fox-Pitt jumped an immaculate showjumping clear to stay on top of the leader board at the Fidelity Blenheim International Horse Trials aboard Catherine Witt’s Parklane Hawk.

In a nail-biting finale, William could not afford a rail as the two before him — Ruth Edge and Piggy French — had both already turned in immaculate clears.

“He’s still quite green at this level and I honestly didn’t expect him to jump clear, but Ruth and Piggy really put the pressure on and I knew we had to give it our best shot,” said William, for whom this was a second Blenheim title — he triumphed here exactly 10 years ago with Stunning.

Ruth was delighted with her second place aboard the Lawson’s Carnaval Prince II.

“He won his first CIC*** at Chatsworth back in May and has really hit the big time since then — he’s loved every minute of this week,” she said.

Piggy French showed all her class to conjure clear rounds from Chase The Moon and Flying Machine for third and fourth places, the latter adding just one time penalty to his overnight score.

Neil Spratt and Upleadon secured their best three-day finish for fifth, while Ireland’s Aoife Clark and Master Crusoe finished sixth.

Eight- and nine-year-old CIC***

Mark Todd and NZB Land Vision were the popular winners of the eight- and nine-year-old CIC***. They were the only combination from the leading pack after dressage and showjumping to beat the clock across the country.

“You have to go fast from the beginning in these [CIC] classes and I made sure I kept moving through the arena complex and through the lake,” said Mark, who rates Land Vision very highly.

“He could be one of the best horses I’ve ever had. There’s still a lot of improvement to come, but 2012 is definitely the aim.”

Sarah Cutteridge and Preci-Spark’s Treason finished second, adding just 2.8 of a time penalty, while Brook Staples and the 2008 British Novice Champion DHI Vitesse came third.

Dressage and showjumping leaders Ruth Edge and Applejack II dropped to fourth with 6.4 time penalties.

Final results: CCI***

1st William Fox-Pitt on Parklane Hawk 44
2nd Ruth Edge on Carnaval Prince II 45.6
3rd Piggy French on Chase The Moon 46.2
4th Piggy French on Flying Machine 49.4
5th Neil Spratt on Upleadon 51.2
6th Aoife Clark on Master Crusoe 52.6

CIC***

1st Mark Todd on NZB Land Vision (NZ) 45
2nd Sarah Cutteridge on Treason (GB) 47.6
3rd Brook Staples on DHI Vitesse (AUS) 48.4
4th Ruth Edge on Applejack II 48.4
5th Georgie Davies on Orlando 50.2
6th Bill Levett on One Two Many NJ 52.2

Don’t miss H&H’s full report from Blenheim, including analysis of all the action, in next Thursday’s magazine, on sale 16 September