William Fox-Pitt is to lose the ride on Tom Cruise II, the consistent — and potential four-star — 10-year-old bay gelding on whom he has won three CCI*** competitions.
Together, the combination also won at Luhmühlen and Boekelo in 2003, as well as Saumur in France, earlier this year.
Sue Somner, the gelding’s owner, is moving him in order to keep him nearer her Sussex home.
“I’m very sad not to be riding him,” says Dorset-based William, who had hoped to take Tom Cruise to Burghley or the European Championships in 2005.
“He’s a horse I got on well with, but Sue found it increasingly difficult to have him away from home and Tom isn’t a horse that I would want to ride at four-star level without having him based at my yard. His departure does leave a bit of a gap in my string.”
Before William took over the ride in May 2003, Andrew Hoy rode Tom, and before that Brook Staples, as well as his owner. The decision about who will take over the ride has not yet been made.
Horse & Hound was unable to reach Sue Somner for a comment.