William Fox-Pitt revealed his plans for this season for his four top horses — all previous four-star winners — in a recent interview with H&H. The full interview is published in the magazine this week (issue dated 7 April) to celebrate William’s return to competition last weekend after a serious head injury in October.
The Hon Teresa Stopford Sackville’s Cool Mountain, the winner of Kentucky in 2010 and the individual silver medallist at the World Equestrian Games that year, is now 16. He “has no great ambition” and is on the yard for William’s benefit while he gets back into action.
“He owes us nothing, but his owner was very keen he came back as a safe conveyance,” explains William.
The Fox-Pitt Eventing Partnership’s Oslo, who is 14 and won Pau in 2011, missed last season with injuries. He will be aimed at the new Event Riders’ Masters, a series of CIC3* competitions.
The 2011 Burghley winner Parklane Hawk, who is also 16, is entered for Badminton.
“That’s what he should do and what I’d like to do with him if I’m riding well, but we’ll see,” says William.
“I would love to be at Badminton for my sponsors, Jeep, and for his owner Catherine Witt, plus it’s nice for the team here to have Badminton in sights, but I feel strongly that it’s not a necessity. I’ve been to lots of Badmintons and I’m not owed anything, I do know that.
“We’ve all very much got the attitude that if he’s on good form, why not? And if he’s not, he’ll maybe aim for Burghley later on.”
Finally, there is last year’s Badminton winner, Christopher and Lisa Stone’s stallion Chilli Morning, another who is now 16.
He was not competed after Badminton last year as the plan was to save him for a tilt at the Rio Olympics — which would be his final competition before he retires to stud. William will stick to one-day events as he bids for selection for the Games, building up towards Bramham CIC3* in June.
- “It was great to be out again: William Fox-Pitt returns to competition
- What makes 2015 Badminton winner Chilli Morning so good?
- Beginners’ guide to Olympic eventing at Rio 2016
“He doesn’t need to run a lot and you also wonder what he needs to jump over, he must know what he’s doing by now,” says William. “So it’s just having him on good form and that’s the priority. Beyond that everything is a bonus and everything is a wait and see.”
Don’t miss the full interview with William in today’s magazine (dated 7 April) — he discusses why he decided to return to eventing, as well as how his sight, sense and taste have been affected by the accident.