William’s victory meant that had Mary (below) finished lower than eighth she would have handed him top spot in the HSBC FEI Classics, but her beautiful clear on Imperial Cavalier lifted her from 10th overnight to finish a comfortable fourth. This is Mary’s first win in this series, which links the world’s four-stars.
William’s first round of the day was a disaster when Macchiato, who lay ninth overnight, had eight down. But he improved with just the first off on the Skinners’ Lionheart – who rose to third from sixth – and then jumped a clear when it really mattered with Oslo (above right), second overnight.
“This hasn’t been the luckiest event for me, but I thought if I couldn’t jump a clear on Lionheart or Oslo I’d be pretty rubbish, as they are spectacular horses with big futures,” said William, who joked that he had kept the maximum possible number of owners happy as the syndicate-owned Oslo had 18 owners (or friends of owners) here this weekend.
Australia’s Christopher Burton was the overnight leader on the Finlays’ Holstein Park Leilani, but it was soon over when he had fence four down and two more knocks dropped him to eighth.
The showjumping was influential today, with tired horses jumping in high temperatures on a less than ideal surface, and there were only five faultless rounds.
Andrew Nicholson’s one down lifted him to second on Nicky and Robin Salmon’s Cruising son Mr Cruise Control and Nicolas Touzaint’s single error left him fifth and best of the French on 2007 Pau winner Hildago De L’Ile.
Clayton Fredericks, third overnight with Bendigo, was going well until he had the back rail off the parallel at fence nine and then the upright over the water tray (fence 12) fell too to drop him to sixth.
William Fox-Pitt’s first Pau victory makes him the first rider to win five different four-stars.
Pau is not just the final event of the HSBC FEI Classics for 2011; it is also the first event of the 2012 standings. The series now continues at Adelaide (17-20 November) – the Australian International 3 Day Event is joining the HSBC FEI Classics for the first time – and culminates at Burghley next year.
Full report in H&H next week, 20 October issue.
1. William Fox-Pitt on Oslo, GB 44.2
2. Andrew Nicholson on Mr Cruise Control, NZL 50.2
3. William Fox-Pitt on Lionheart, GB 50.7
4. Mary King on Imperial Cavalier, GB 51
5. Nicolas Touzaint on Hildago De L’Ile, FRA 51.5
6. Clayton Fredericks on Bendigo, AUS 52.9
7. Lucy Wiegersma on Simon Porloe, GB 54.3
8. Christopher Burton on Holstein Park Leilani, AUS 55.7
9. Clayton Fredericks on Dunges Laurent Rose, AUS 58
10. Frank Ostholt on Mr Medicott, GER 58.3