Bramham Horse Trials has historically been a happy hunting ground for William Fox-Pitt and 2005 proved no exception. He led throughout the competition on Mr Dumbledore and moved up from fourth after dressage to take second place with his second ride Idalgo.
Both horses were contesting their first three-star competition, but Fox-Pitt demonstrated why he is among the world’s top event riders as he managed to keep their minds on the job during the challenging final phase.
Idalgo arrived at the Fox-Pitt yard with a reputation for being difficult, while William had admitted after the cross-country that he was unsure whether the Australian-bred Dumbledore would cope with the atmosphere on the final day. However, clear rounds from both horses, with Dumbledore picking up just a couple of time penalties, sealed both victory and second place for the British team regular.
Fox-Pitt said afterwards. “I didn’t expect Dumbledore to jump clear. He’s got all the ability in the world, but you never know how he is going to react.”
In third, some 20 penalties behind the winner, was Polly Stockton with Sir Lancelot. Stockton was one of only five riders to jump clear without time penalties around the challenging show jumping track.
Caroline Powell was less lucky, picking up 13pen in the final phase, which dropped her from third to fourth. Powell was also fifth with her second ride Ballycathro.
Phoebe Buckley won the under-25s section with Jeanette Brakewell’s former ride, The Busker. A polished performance in all three phases saw her lift the title of Bishop Burton College under-25 champion ahead of overnight leader Izzy Taylor with Flint Curtis. Taylor had a disappointing three fences down in the show jumping, which dropped her out in contention to fifth. Second was Daniel Leech ahead of Piggy French in third.