William Fox-Pitt has taken on the ride on Clifton Signature, the four-star horse previously ridden by New Zealand’s Jock Paget.
“There is great excitement here at Fox-Pitt Eventing as we have a new arrival of the horse Clifton Signature who has been previously campaigned very successfully by Jock Paget,” said a piece on William’s website.
“[The horse’s owner] Frances Stead has very kindly asked me to take on the ride in the short term, with a view to doing some normal one-days and hopefully some ERM [Event Rider Masters] classes. The intention is for him to be sold, so hopefully I will be able to find an owner or a syndicate to take him on.
“Signature has had some very good results with Jock over the years and he is still in his prime being only 12 years old, so there is a lot to look forward to with him.”
Clifton Signature, by Espri, finished 14th at Pau CCI4* in 2015 with Jock, as well as fifth in the ERM at Blenheim last year.
Jock moved back to New Zealand at the end of last year after being based in Britain since 2010. Australia’s Kevin McNab has been keeping Signature ticking over, although the horse has not yet competed this year.
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William is taking the horse to Houghton this week to “make the most of the extra few days to get to know him” and hopes to take him to Nunney as their first competition together “if conditions are favourable”.
The news that William has the ride on Signature will be exciting for fans as this top British rider is currently short of horsepower at four-star level — he did not compete at Badminton or Kentucky this year and is not entered for the next four-star on the calendar, Luhmühlen.