William Fox-Pitt is on flying form at the Festival of British Eventing. This afternoon he navigated two horses effortlessly around the show jumping and cross-country courses to take first and second place in the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship. Fox-Pitt takes home the £2,500 first prize and £2,000 second prize as well as £552 for finishing second to new father Matt Ryan in Advanced section 2 this morning.
Meanwhile his two novice horses Navigator and Chuckelberry, both just seven-years-old, have proven their potential for the future – maybe even for London Olympics 2012. “I am very lucky to have two such good horses coming along together,” Fox-Pitt told HHO afterwards, “it is a shame that one has to come second.”
The British Novice Championship ran for the first time in 2002 and has only ever been won by men. In 2004 Clayton Fredericks from Australia won on Tennyson and last year Oliver Townend took the title with Best of Spirits.
This year the leader board was once again dominated by boys. In third place after Fox-Pitt with Navigator and Chuckelberry was Nick Gauntlett and Bubbling Brook. Andrew Nicholson claimed fifth place on Nereo and Stephen Way and Kells Pride took eighth.
Needless to say the girls gave the boys a run for their money. Hannah Bate and Beau Bear finished in fourth and Louisa Lockwood and the Diva took sixth place.
Gatcombe’s notoriously tight time dictated the final scoreboard. As the competition drew to a close owner rider Claire Phillips (pictured) was the only person who could trump Fox-Pitt’s scores. Phillips and Niamh produced an impressive 28.7 pen dressage score and jumped a clear round in the show jumping phase. As Phillips stormed around the cross-country as one of only five riders left to jump, the crowd was excitedly cheering her on.
But despite jumping a stylish clear round Phillips was not quite fast enough. Her 16 time penalties relegated her to 12th position and secured Fox-Pitt the British Novice crown.
British Novice Championships 2005
1 William Fox-Pitt Navigator
2 William Fox-Pitt Chuckelberry
3 Nick Gauntlett Bubbling Brook
4 Hannah Bate Beau Bear
5 Andrew Nicholson Nereo
6 Louisa Lockwood The Diva
7 Izzy Taylor Market Parade
8 Stephen Way Kells Pride
9 Clayton Fredericks Dunge’s Laurent Rose
10 Nicola Tweddle The Bees Knees