The reigning British Open Champion William Fox-Pitt will begin his conquest for the World Cup title today.
Having failed to clinch the accolade since the event’s debut in Pau, France two years ago, Fox-Pitt will be hoping for his recent run of unbeatable form to continue at this year’s Eventing World Cup, held at Malmo near Ribersborg in Sweden.
Fox-Pitt will ride Michael Payne and Judith Skinner’s, Ballincoola. The 11-year-old chestnut gelding was withdrawn at Badminton in May because of a fibrillating heart on the steeplechase phase, but a win at the debut Barbury Castle CIC*** last month proves he is back on top form.
Fox-Pitt, who also won at Burgie and Bramham this year, is the only member of Britain’s European Championship squad competing in Sweden, but is joined by Spanish-based British rider Miranda Carey (Rinte Van D) who won the Madrid CCI ** in March.
Julie Tew (Sir Roselier), who was seventh at Bramham in June, will also be representing Britain, along with Beanie Hughes (Duel) who was third at Compiegne CCI ** last year.
Scandinavian riders will no doubt be putting on the pressure in Sweden. After finishing seventh at Luhmuhlen in June, Finland’s hopeful Piia Pantsu (Ypaja Karuso) will certainly be vying for the world cup crown. Sweden’s Linda Algottsson, winner of the previous two Eventing World Cup Finals is also in strong contention, partnering Fair Dobbin, on whom she was runner up in the Fontainebleu qualifier.
Triple Olympic team gold medallist and last year’s Burghley winner Andrew Hoy will also be hotly contesting the title. Hoy was Fox-Pitt’s closest challenger at Gatcombe last weekend and will be partnering his Athens horse, Mr Pracatan.
With its vast grassland, splendid beach and lush greenery Ribersborg makes a stunning horse trial setting. The beautifully built cross-country course consists of 27 fixed obstacles over a distance of 4.5 km and includes logs, water jumps, ditches and hillocks.