William Fox-Pitt won both the CCI** and CCI* at the inaugural Houghton International Horse Trials, and was placed second in the CCI* on his third ride.
Piggy French led the CCI** right up until lowering the penultimate show jump on Lemington Lett Dance, which dropped her to second ahead of Jeanette Brakewell and Take It 2 The Limit (pictured).
Jay Halim, who show jumped full-time until three years ago and still rides for H&H columnist Graham Fletcher, used all his experience to go clear and finish fourth, sneaking ahead of four-faulters Oli Townend (fifth) and Laura Collett (eighth).
Tor Brewer (Upleadon) and Emily Gilruth (Ashdale Cruise Master) finished on identical clean sheets on 53.7, to climb up from 22nd to sixth and seventh respectively.
Nigel Taylor conjured an immaculate test out of Oscar Knight in the CCI* to score an untouchable 34.3 and retained this lead with a fast clear cross-country. William Fox-Pitt was lying slightly off the pace in third (Bee Animas) and fourth (Cool Mountain). But when Bumble Thomas withdrew second-placed Face The Music IV before the final trot-up, and Nigel Taylor (Oscar Knight) rattled two to slip to third, William’s clears once again landed the top spoils.
Piggy French franked her form in fourth place, on a clean sheet, with Chase The Moon, and Chloe Newton made the most lucrative hike up the order — from ninth to fifth — with Eva Peron. Nigel Taylor had a day to forget over the coloured poles, as his Animator II also lowered one to slide from sixth to 10th.
Read this report in full, including photos and further analysis, in this Thursday’s Horse & Hound (31 May, ’07)