William Fox-Pitt’s former ride enjoying second career on the hunting field

  • Navigator, who won Bramham in 2008 with William Fox-Pitt, is now enjoying a second career on the hunting field.

    The 18-year-old gelding had been competed for the past three years by Sophie Beaty (pictured, below), granddaughter of one of Navigator’s owners, Catherine Joice.

    Burnham Market Horse Trials 22 09 2013Navigator has now been retired from competition and has been seen out with the Bicester and Whaddon Chase and the Pytchley.

    “Navigator has given my mother incredible enjoyment — and heartache when injured — over the years,” Annabelle Beaty, Sophie’s mother, told H&H.

    “It is great that he has retired sound and is very much enjoying another life — I am just hoping that by next season he might be sensible enough for me to hunt too.”

    The former four-star eventer is still owned by William, alongside Catherine and Lynne Earle.

    As well as his Bramham win, Navigator was runner up at Pau in 2010 and last year finished 18th in the CIC at Bramham with Sophie. Before coming to the UK he raced in Australia.

    “He is the kind of horse that is your best friend when you are riding him but is a grumpy old man to look after on the ground, who at times won’t even be caught in the stable,” said Sophie.

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    “He is a big horse at 17.2hh, but is a complete gentleman to ride. He has only ever been ridden in a snaffle and he has gears like a racing car.

    “We would always compare him to a Ferrari as he has such an amazing rhythm and gallop when watching him cross-country.”

    She added that it has been a “privilege and great experience” to have had the ride and that he is “thoroughly enjoying” his time hunting.

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