William Fox-Pitt celebrates his 53rd birthday today (2 January). The event rider needs no introduction with 14 five-star, more than 50 three-day event and more than 20 international one-day event titles to his name. He has competed at five Olympic Games and countless senior European and World events, where he has amassed a number of medals. William has been a British team regular for many years, representing Team GBR at several Olympic, World and European games. He has been British number one multiple times and was the first British rider to become the World Number One in eventing. He has won Badminton twice; in 2004 with Tamarillo and in 2014 with Chilli Morning, who is the only stallion to have ever won the event and he also has notched up a remarkable six Burghley titles to boot.
1. Stunning, an ex-racehorse by Ring The Bell, was ridden up to CCI4*-L level by Mark Todd before joining William’s yard in 1999. He was fourth at Kentucky CCI5* in 2002 but he was a real three-star specialist, with wins at Blenheim, Thirlestane, Chatsworth and Lulworth to his name as well as taking the Britsh Open Championship in 2003. Before his death, aged 26 in 2012, Stunning enjoyed hunting with the Portman in his retirement with William’s head groom Jackie Potts.
2. Successful four-star horse Macchiato was an Argentinian-bred horse by Octante who raced in Australia before William bought him from a video. He won at Luhmuhlen on his CCI5* debut as well as claiming CCI4*-L wins at Blair and Bramham.
3. William with his wife Alice Plunkett and two of their children, Oliver and Thomas
4. William with Tamarillo during a photocall for members of the British Olympic Eventing Squad for Athens Olympics in 2004 at Waresley Park, Bedfordshire.
5. Winners of the gold medal-winning team at the senior Europeans at Pratoni in Italy in 1995. Left to right: Charlotte Bathe, Tina Gifford (Cook), William Fox-Pitt and Mary King.
6. Moon Man on his way to winning one of his two British Open Championship titles at Gatcombe.
7. William with his Athens Olympics teammates at a photo call at Windsor in 2004. Pictured front row from Left, Pippa Funnell, William Fox Pitt, and Sarah Cutteridge. Back Row, Yogi Breisner and Leslie Law.
8. William and Ballincoola on their way to winning Burghley in 2005
9. William and Seacookie, who had several top four-star (five-star) placings including a win at Pau in 2013. They’re pictured here competing at Chatsworth in 2008
10. Highland Lad on his way to winning Burghley in 2002
11. William and Tamarillo competing at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez in 2002 where they won a team bronze medal
12. Chilli Morning en-route to winning Badminton in 2015, becoming the only stallion to do so
13. Fernhill Pimms at Blenheim in the eight- and nine-year-old CIC4*-S in 2013, where he won
14. Team GBR at the London Olympics in 2012. Left to right: Zara Tindall on High Kingdom, Tina Cook on Miners Frolic, Mary King on Imperial Cavalier, Nicola Wilson on Opposition Buzz and William on Lionheart
You may also be interested in…
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.