William Fox-Pitt ended the reign of Pippa Funnell with an emphatic one-two at Bramham on Wallow and Ballincoola — the first time for almost 20 years that a rider has achieved this feat at the popular Yorkshire venue.
“Obviously, I’m delighted,” said William. “Delighted for the horses but more so for the owner, Judy Skinner, who has supported us through more “downs” than “ups” and thoroughly deserves it.”
Following the loss of his ride on Highland Road, this win was a welcome morale boost for William, who hopes tohave Wallow as a back-up for Athens.
The Bramham finale was a nail-biting affair, as Pippa looked to have the same invincible grip on this competition as she has had so far this season. But Jurassic Rising had three fences down and William, who beat Pippa at Chatsworth, kept his cool and edged up on both his rides, relegating Pippa and her mount to third place.
William’s last win at Bramham came in 1995, aboard Cosmopolitan, but he has been consistently placed. Last year, he wassixth and eighth.
Only 10 horses jumped clear on the final day and Australian Matt Ryan moved up from ninth to fourth place with his faultless round on Bonza Katoomba, while Nigel Taylor and Orbit Dancer rose from 24th after dressage to finish fifth, completing on their dressage score.
Sarah Cutteridge scored equal marks on her two rides, Cool Cocktail and The Wexford Lady, to finish sixth and seventh.
Former North American national champion, William Coleman, rose to the topof the under-25 championship. Riding the 14-year-old Fox in Flight, an Irish-bred horse who joined him this spring, William, 20, improved on his second place after cross country when the overnight leader, Germany’s Dirk Schrade, had two show jumpsdown.
Britain’s multi-silver medallist, Kitty Boggis, came up to second with Five Boys, the horse who partnered her to young rider team glory last season, and Dirk Schrade, who is trained by the Hoys and a member of Germany’s “potential” squad, finished third.
1, Wallow (William Fox-Pitt) 51.0;
2, Ballincoola (William Fox-Pitt) 55.2;
3, Jurassic Rising (Pippa Funnell) 58.6;
4, Bonza Katoomba (Matt Ryan) 60.0;
5, Orbit Dancer (Nigel Taylor) 61.2;
6, Cool Cocktail (Sarah Cutteridge) 61.6;
7, The Wexford Lady (Sarah Cutteridge) 61.6;
8, Courting Danger (David O’Connor) 61.8;
9, Kinsey Control (Caroline Pratt) 63.4;
10, King George II (Mary King) 63.8;
To find out more about the Guardian Collections Bramham International Horse Trials visit: www.bramham-horse.co.uk