William Fox-Pitt and Nicola Wilson clear inside time at WEG

  • Britain has made an excellent start in the eventing cross-country at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, with two riders clear inside the time.

    Nicola Wilson — the first rider out on course — had a superb round, taking all the straight routes to finish 3sec inside the 11min 14sec optimum time.

    “I’m emotional — that was the most lovely ride I’ve ever had,” she said afterwards. “At Fontainebleau I had him in a snaffle and I struggled with the brakes so here I had him in a little Waterford and he was fantastic.

    “I’m delighted to have made the time and brought back plenty of information for the others. The course rode as it walked, big and bold, and there were no hidden surprises.”

    William Fox-Pitt followed suit on Cool Mountain, finishing in 11min 9sec, having taken one long route at the Scalloped Hedges at fence 26.

    “He felt fantastic and was cruising all the way round on the minute markers,” said William. “I planned to go the long route there and didn’t know how long that would take, but after that I looked and my watch and knew we were going to be fine.”

    William is in the lead individually at this early stage

    Australia and Sweden suffered disappointment with their first riders — for the former, Paul Tapner retired Inonothing who went lame at fence 13, Fort Boonesboro, while Swede Linda Algotsson’s Stand By Me refused to jump into the first water at fence 5, the Salato Wildlife Centre.

    German pathfinder Dirk Schrade also failed to complete — he and Gadget De La Cere fell at the penultimate, the Kentucky Covered Bridge. And German individual Simone Deitermann, third after dressage, had a fall at the last fence to end her Kentucky dream.

    However, America (Boyd Martin), France (Pascal Leroy), Canada (Selena O’Hanlon) all got their first riders round clear in the time.

    Log back on for more updates on the eventing, full report in H&H out 7 October.

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