William Fox-Pitt (pictured) scored his fifth Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials win when he clinched an emotional victory this afternoon with his old campaigner Tamarillo. To cap his brilliant weekend, he also finished second with Ballincoola.
Having jumped Ballincoola out of order for one down, William had already won when he entered the ring on Tamarillo, although which horse would take the laurels was still in question.
Tamarillo had three in hand over his stable-mate, and used up one life early on at the second fence, but he only lowered one more pole to take the title.
“The show jumping on Tamarillo was actually very relaxing,” said William. “Ballincoola was in top spot, so I went in thinking, ‘well, surely he won’t have four fences down, and if he does, never mind.’ He felt very bright and, as usual, quite distracted.
“But after what he did yesterday I think he’s allowed to have two down. He made the cross-country feel easy and I don’t think I’ll have many horses like that in my last few years eventing.”
Mary King also held her third and fourth positions with a fence down apiece on Imperial Cavalier and Apache Sauce.
“After my big mistake when I fell off at Badminton in the spring, I felt I’d let the horse down so much, so it’s great to come here and get a really good result,” she said of Imperial Cavalier, while she commented that she is delighted with Apache Sauce’s improvement and feels there is more to come from him.
The only two clear rounds in the show jumping came from Nicola Wilson (Opposition Buzz) and Clea Phillipps (Lead The Way), who moved up from eighth and ninth overnight to take fifth and sixth.
William’s result — his third win in four years here — means he equals Mark Todd and Ginny Elliot’s record of five Burghley wins, and he is the third person to manage a one-two at the event, following in the footsteps of Mark Todd (1987) and Blyth Tait (1998).
1. Tamarillo (William Fox-Pitt, GB) 47.8
2. Ballincoola (William Fox-Pitt, GB) 55
3. Imperial Cavalier (Mary King, GB) 58.7
4. Apache Sauce (Mary King, GB) 60.7
5. Opposition Buzz (Nicola Wilson, GB) 61
6. Lead The Way (Clea Phillipps, GB) 61.6
Don’t forget to buy Horse & Hound next Thursday (11 September) for a 12-page special report, colour photographs and Burghley winner William Fox-Pitt’s comment.