Sunday, September 02, 2007 17:10 GMT
WILLIAM RIDES A WINNER
William Fox-Pitt is the winner of this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. William takes this year’s title, his fourth Burghley win, with Philip Adkins Parkmore Ed.
Di Boddy’s influential show jumping course with clear rounds at a premium produced one of the most nail-biting finishes ever. All three combinations below the overnight leader, Andrew Nicholson and Lord Killinghurst, had one fence down giving Andrew the benefit of a comfort zone of one fence in-hand. Lord Killinghurst produced one of the most nerve-wracking rounds – rattling almost every fence before taking a pole out of a spread meaning he had to jump the final fence – the Land Rover planks. The blue upright jumped toward the collecting ring had proved the bogey fence of the competition with most horses taking the top plank. Sadly Lord Killinghurst did not prove the exception and another four faults meant the combination were deposed to fourth place.
While William was one of the favourites for the title most had their money on his more experienced ride and previous winner Balincoola rather than four-star debutant Parkmore Ed, an Irish-bred gelding by the Carnival Night son Parkmore Night out of a Diamonds are Trumps mare. “I’m in complete shock,” said William immediately after. “I am so chuffed for Ed but I can’t believe he won it. Burghley might have been too soon for him but he proved it wasn’t.”
Owner Philip Adkins and his rider now believe that Parkmore Ed could be a contender for next year’s Olympics. “They have such a special partnership it would be great for them to go onto the World stage and do it again,” said Philip who also has Ed’s younger brother.
Tom Quigley booted out the fence before the planks but defied the odds to keep the planks standing to give Polly Stockton second place. The former British team member was second here in 2002 on Word for Word.
Andrew Hoy, second here last year with Moonfleet, this year took third with Master Monarch – another to show jump clear until the final planks. The combination produced a masterful cross-country coming home bang on the optimum time. It has not been an easy year for Andrew who had to withdraw Master Monarch from Badminton after a back problem left him unable to move. “He has just made such a remarkable recovery. He did it so easily yesterday and we have not had to do anything special to prepare him for today,” said Andrew.
Just two riders had the satisfaction of ‘double-clear’ on their score sheets – American veteran Bruce Davidson and Jam, 42nd after dressage who moved up to take tenth place and was the highest placed mare to finish. British rider Harry Meade not only had two clear jumping rounds with 17 year-old Midnight Dazzler who rose from 45th to eighth, but was also the only combination from 73 starters that finished on their dressage score.
Jo May and Faere Vision won the prize for the highest placed ‘first time’ British rider to complete.