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Tuesday, August 05, 2008  •  15:41 GMT

FOX-PITT ON TARGET FOR HSBC FEI CLASSICS TITLE

Not only will he carry Great Britain’s gold medal hopes to Hong Kong as one of the five to make up the Eventing team but William Fox-Pitt is also currently leading the HSBC FEI Classics leaderboard.

In fact, it comes as no surprise that a rider with such Olympic pedigree should be leading the HSBC FEI Classics which unite the 4* events at Kentucky, Badminton, Luhmühlen, Burghley and Pau. His fortunate position, sitting in the top spot on the standings, comes from a win on Macchiato in Luhmühlen and a third place with Ballincoola at Badminton.

The 39 year old Briton commented: “It is great that HSBC has come in and linked the 4* events together and created a season-long series. A lot of work has gone into achieving my results this season and it is certainly a boost for confidence heading into the Olympics being at the top of the HSBC FEI Classics Leaderboard”.

The pressure continues after the Olympics, at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, from 4-7 September, where William will face his next challenge in the HSBC FEI Classics, to remain at the top of the standings.

For HSBC, the world’s local bank, this is the first global equestrian sponsorship that they have been involved with. Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship, HSBC commented: “It is really exciting for us to be involved with such a dynamic sport. We are proud to be able to contribute to the prize money of these events and feel that supporting riders this way reflects their dedication and passion and will raise the profile of the sport around the world”.

STANDINGS AFTER THREE LEGS OF THE HSBC FEI CLASSICS IN KENTUCKY, BADMINTON & LUHMUHLEN:

1. William Fox Pitt (UK) – 25 points (Differential Score – 51.00)
2. Phillip Dutton (USA) – 15 points (DS – 41.70)
3. Nicolas Touzaint (FRA) – 15 points (DS – 48.70)
4. Rebecca Holder (USA) – 12 points (DS – 47.30)
5. Lucy Weigersma (UK) – 12 points (DS – 49.80)
6. Frank Ostholt (GER)– 12 points (DS – 51.40)
7. Stuart Tinney (AUS) – 10 points (DS – 52.20)
8. Missy Ransehousen (USA ) – 10 points (DS – 57.30)
9. Caroline Powell (NZL) – 8 points (DS – 52.80)
10.Stephen Bradley(USA) – 8 points (DS – 57.50)

Each 4* event will amass vital points which go towards the HSBC FEI CLASSICS overall ranking where the top 5 are awarded with prize money. The US$1,000,000 contributed by HSBC will be distributed over the next three years, which when broken down makes the first prize the most eagerly sought after in the world of Eventing.

1st: U$ 150,000
2nd: U$ 75,000
3rd: U$ 50,000
4th: U$ 33,333
5th: U$ 25,000