William entered the arena with a fence in hand, but he didn’t need it with the 11-year-old four-star first-timer Parklane Hawk. Showing all of his experience, William picked the best of the ground for his relatively inexperienced mount and left all of the fences intact, picking up just one time-penalty along the way.
A delighted William said: “I can’t believe it. He is still a little green in the showjumping, but he was superb today! He is a phenomenal horse and I am so lucky to have him to ride.”
Heavy rain had taken its toll on the ground with the top 24 riders facing difficult conditions. Andrew Nicholson dropped from 2nd to 8th place with Avebury with three down, but pulled up to 2nd with Nereo with one of only 13 showjumping clears inside the time.
A number of horses looked to be struggling with the ground, and the back rail of the oxer in the middle of the treble combination (fence 6b) fell with increasing regularity. Fence 8, a 1.30m upright of red and white poles, also caught a number of horses out.
Mary King swapped places with 2010 Burghley winner Caroline Powell by virtue of have only one down on Kings Temptress. Eighteen-year-old Lenamore had the back rails off two oxers to finish in 4th place.
New Zealand’s Jonathan Paget and Clifton Lush leapt up from 14th to 5th with a clear inside the time, while Clea Phillipps (Lead The Way) improved 12 places to finish 6th. American rider Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos, a horse who narrowly escaped with his life from a stable fire earlier this year, finished 7th with just one rail down.
H&H blogger Lauren Shannon’s double clear saw her finish an impressive 9th with Zero Flight. Lauren collected the award for the best under-25 rider for the second year in succession, receiving a voucher for a bespoke riding coat from Dege & Skinner of Saville Row. Zara Phillips and High Kingdom completed the top 10.
Final Burghley Horse Trials 2011 results
1. Parklane Hawk (William Fox-Pitt) 40.7
2. Nereo (Andrew Nicholson) 45.1
3. Kings Temptress (Mary King) 47.4
4. Lenamore (Caroline Powell) 50.8
5. Clifton Lush (Jonathan Paget) 52.7
6. Lead The Way (Clea Phillipps) 53.6
7. Neville Bardos (Boyd Martin) 53.7
8. Avebury (Andrew Nicholson) 54.8
9. Zero Flight (Lauren Shannon) 55.5
10. High Kingdom (Zara Phillips) 55.7
Don’t miss next week’s Horse & Hound (8 September) for our 10-page special Burghley magazine report including comments from course-designer Mark Phillips, analysis of every phase and the full leader board.