William Fox-Pitt landed an extraordinary hat-trick at the Doubleprint Festival of Eventing at Gatcombe last weekend.

The man of the moment was first in the British Open on Stunning and second on Moon Man (who won it in 2000), as well as being victorious in the Intermediate Championship earlier in the day on Tom Cruise II.

Pippa Funnell and Primmore’s Pride, the defending British national champions and leaders after the dressage, had gone into the final phase lying third.

Despite Primmore Pride’s rangy stride, the pair lacked pace over Gatcombe’s twisting undulations, and 11.8 time-penalties dropped them to 11th.

Mary King and King Solomon III reproduced the same consistency that put them fourth at Badminton to finish third behind William.

“Stunning really deserved this,” said William. “His show jumping is not that secure, but he really does try. In his past seven outings he’s had four wins and three seconds, so I’m really going to miss him when he retires.”

Bad day for Bettina

With just the last fence to jump in Gatcombe’s British Open Championship, Bettina Hoy must have believed that she could break her luck. Although she is formidable on the flat, too often her early leads vanish in a cloud of dust across country.

Now she’d cleared all the tricky stuff, only the last remained, and all eyes were on the clock. But Bettina saw a long stride and Ringwood Cockatoo tried to slip a short one in. Bettina got over it, but her horse didn’t.