William Fox-Pitt in the placings in Bicton CCI4*-L dressage as fellow British Olympian withdraws from top 10 *H&H Plus*

  • Find out what William Fox-Pitt said about his test – and why another British Olympian withdrew after a test that put her in the top 10

    William Fox-Pitt’s test on nine-year-old Graffenacht in the Bicton Horse Trials dressage was one of the best of the afternoon performances in the CCI4*-L. It earned him 30.4 for 11th overnight, at this event supported by Chedington.

    The mare belongs to Susan Eggleton, who bred her out of Nachtigall who she rode to 13 British Eventing wins up to open intermediate level.

    “Graffenacht is probably the best mare I’ve had, though I’ve ridden lots of lovely mares. I think she’s the real deal,” said William. “She’s a doer, she just says, ‘Get on with it’. She’s quite a hardy thing, she has her own opinions, but she has a lovely temperament.”

    Kitty King actually achieved the best mark this afternoon in the Chedington CCI4*-L, but she withdrew after scoring 30.3, which would have put her 10th on Alex Wakeley’s Cristal Fontaine.

    “He’s absolutely fine and I was delighted with his test, but I’ve walked the course with his owner and had a long discussion and we don’t feel it’s the right track for his first four-star long,” she told H&H.

    “We think a lot of him and don’t feel it’s quite the track for him at this stage in his career. Looking at his future, we both came to the conclusion to save him for another four-star long further down the line.”

    Ros Canter slipped into 13th with Michele Saul’s Lordships Graffalo, who was second in the eight- and nine-year-old championships at Burnham Market last year and recently won a CCI4*-S at Aston-le Walls.

    “He’s actually very inexperienced at this level, but he’s truly beautiful and he’s really rideable. We all think the world of him, so we’re really excited,” said Ros. “The changes weren’t our best, but they’re still 50/50 whether they come off even in training so they weren’t a disaster either. But everything else was really solid.

    “He came to me as a three-year-old and I broke him in and have done everything with him, so we just know each other well. He’s quite a character on the ground – he’s beautiful to ride, but we fail to be able to put his manners in on the ground. He walks all over everybody, he chews everything, but in a very nice way.”

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