William Fox-Pitt (pictured) stole victory from his long-standing rival Andrew Nicholson in a tense final phase at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this afternoon.
With all the top four after cross-country within one show jump of each other and the final planks falling with monotonous regularity, the closing stages were always going to be tense.
Polly Stockton, third overnight, had the penultimate fence, a parallel, down on Tom Quigley. Then William and Parkmore Ed came in and left everything up, until the final plank, which fell.
But Lord Killinghurst was tapping fences from the start and when he brought down fence 10, Andrew had used up his fence in hand. The final plank tumbled to seal his fate, and he dropped to fourth.
In a boost for Britain’s hopes for next year, Parkmore Ed’s owner Philip Adkins — who has competed the horse himself, with William only having him back sporadically — confirmed that he will be available for William for next year’s Olympics.
“I’d like to do everythihng I can to support William and Ed in a campaign to take them to Beijing and win a gold medal there,” said Philip.
William feels the horse would be particularly suitable for an Olympics, with its two show jumping rounds, because he is an excellent jumper.
“He would have jumped clear today if I hadn’t got him too deep to the planks,” he said. “It’s great to go into the ring with a horse who really wants to jump a clear round.”
Andrew Hoy had the last down to move up to third on Master Monarch. Harry Meade (Midnight Dazzler) and Bruce Davidson (Jam) jumped the only penalty-free rounds to rise to eighth and tenth places.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound next week (6th September) for a full report, colour pictures and cross-country course-designer Mark Phillips’s comment.
1. Parkmore Ed (William Fox-Pitt, GB) 45.8
2. Tom Quigley (Polly Stockton, GB) 46.8
3. Master Monarch (Andrew Hoy, AUS) 47.2
4. Lord Killinghurst (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 47.6
5. Ballincoola (William Fox-Pitt, GB) 49.2
6. Nullabor (Clayton Fredericks, AUS) 57
7. Shaabrak (Lucy Wiegersma, GB) 57.6
8. Midnight Dazzler (Harry Meade, GB) 59.8
9. Fairfax (Rodolphe Scherer, FRA) 64
10. Jam (Bruce Davidson, USA) 66.6