William Fox-Pitt’s first Olympic ride put down

  • William Fox-Pitt’s first Olympic horse has died, aged 28.

    Cosmopolitan II was put down on 31 October due to old age.

    Owned by Frank and Ann Andrews, the bay gelding competed with William at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where the British team finished fifth.

    His last competition was in 2000, and he later retired to live with William’s former joint head girl, Alison Quinlan, following an injury.

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    “I looked after him for 20 years and sadly recently old age started to catch up with him and I made the heart-breaking decision while I still could,” she said.

    “He just started not to enjoy life as he always did previously.”

    Bred in Ireland, Cosmopolitan II was by the Irish thoroughbred Penistone and out of an Irish hunter mare, Tullyrea Lass.

    Cosmopolitan II was on the gold-medal winning British team at the 1995 European Eventing Championships at Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy.

    He was also the highest-placed British horse, coming fifth individually.

    He came third at his first Badminton in 1997 aged 10 and was the winner of the Frank Weldon Memorial Trophy, which is presented to the rider of the youngest British owned and ridden horse in the top 12.

    The combination again won European team gold as well as individual silver at the 1997 championships at Burghley.

    That year, he topped the event horse rankings and was also named BEIB Event Horse of the Year.

    During his career, he collected 989 British Eventing points and had numerous top-10 placings at advanced level.

    His other notable achievements include first place at Bramham CCI3* in 1995 as an eight-year-old.

    “He was my horse of a lifetime,” Alison added. “I simply adored him and I was unbelievably privileged to have been able to look after him for 20 years.”

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