William Fox-Pitt won his second Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials trophy today (10 May) with a brilliant clear round in the influential final phase. Chilli Morning becomes the first stallion ever to win the four-star, moving up from second place after dressage, a position he retained after cross-country.
William said: “It’s been quite a long time since I won with Tamarillo [in 2004] which makes you realise how hard it is and how everything has to go right. Chilli has had a fantastic week, he’s gone wonderfully well. It hasn’t been a very relaxing day today, but it was my lucky day and Chilli jumped brilliantly.”
Overnight leader Andrew Nicholson came into the arena knowing he didn’t have a single fence in hand. When a miscommunication between him and Nereo resulted in the horse chesting fence two, it was all over. Nereo went on to have a further two fences down, dropping Andrew to sixth place.
Ingrid Klimke came agonisingly close to becoming the first ever German rider to lift the title for the second time — she also finished second with Sleep Late in 2006. She produced one of only seven clears inside the time around Kelvin Bywater’s challenging showjumping track on Horseware Hale Bob to move up two places to second.
A delighted Ingrid said: “I am so pleased, so proud [of Horseware Hale Bob]. He gave his best and tried so hard. I’ve very thankful to [German team trainer] Chris Bartle. He always believed in us and told us to keep going, so we keep going and now he’s here.”
Former Badminton winner Jock Paget finished third on Clifton Lush after having one down, while Mark Todd moved up from equal 15th after dressage to fourth by jumping clear and collecting a single time-fault. Bettina Hoy completed the top five with Designer 10.
Hard luck stories included Oliver Townend, who dropped from third to 11th when Armada produced a typically disappointing showjumping round with four down. Indian Mill had the same number of fences down under Paul Tapner to drop 10 places from sixth to 16th. Andrew Nicholson’s other ride Calico Joe had five down to fall out of the top 20.
Faults were spread around Kelvin’s course, with the first fence catching out a number of the riders in the early showjumping session.
Don’t miss our special 24-page report on all the Badminton action in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 14 May