With his win yesterday on Tamarillo, William Fox-Pitt has brought his Burghley wins up to five, tying the record held by Mark Todd and Virginia Holgate Elliot. Even more impressive, Fox-Pitt was second on Ballincoola, the horse on which he won Burghley in 2005. In that feat, he joins Mark Todd and Blyth Tait who are the only other riders to have taken first and second places in the same event in 1987 and 1998 respectively.
Ballincoola also sets a record for his participation: he is the only horse so far to compete in six successive Burghley horse trials.
There’s an excellent slide show of Fox-Pitt’s stadium jumping round here.
Taking 3rd and 4th place was veteran competitor, Mary King on Imperial Cavalier and Apache Sauce repectively.
The weather was atrocious: rain pelted down and made the footing deep and heavy on the already difficult cross country course. In deference to the weather, four fences were eliminated from the course. Despite that, the weather and the course took their toll: Eleven horses were withdrawn before cross country; 12 horses were retired on course; 10 horses were eliminated; five horses were withdrawn after XC; and two horses failed vet inspections. All in all, only 30 out of the 70 horses entered completed the event!
Some of the falls were very scary, particularly those over the “Mushroom” jump, which caused the demise of several riders. As far as I know, all horses and riders were okay. Photos of Cross Country can be seen here.
Video highlights of the XC phase are turning up on You Tube: