British rider William Fox-Pitt (49) last competed at Badminton in 2015, winning the Mitsubishi Motors trophy with the stallion Chilli Morning – securing his second Badminton win.
Later that year in October he sustained a serious head injury whilst competing in France and spent a week in an induced coma. He was back competing in April 2016 but reduced his string of horses and last competed at four-star at Burghley 2015 with Fernhill Pimms, his Badminton entry this year.
William who is based in Dorset, is one of the World most successful riders and has previously topped the World rankings three times (2002, 2009 & 2010) and been British number one seven times. He was a member of the British team at the 2014 WEG winning team silver and individual bronze with Chilli Morning with who he won European individual bronze (2013) and the pair represented GB at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – his fifth Olympic Games. In 2012 he was a member of the British silver medal team at the London Olympics.
William has won seven team gold, two individual silver and one individual bronze at European Championships. He has won two Olympic team silver (2004 & 2012) and team bronze (2008). His World Championship success includes, team bronze (2002), team silver (2006 & 2014) individual bronze (2014) and in 2010 at Lexington, team gold and individual silver.
He is also the three-time winner of the HSBC Classics series – the accumulator series that ties Europe’s premier four-star events together. He is the only rider to have won Burghley on six occasions (1994, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008 & 2011), and the only rider to have won five of the World’s six-four-star events (Badminton, Burghley, Luhmuhlen, Lexington & Pau) and is the winner of 59 international three-day events – he gained his 59th, the CCI2*at Tattersalls in 2016 with Secret Night.
William represented Britain at Junior and Young Rider European Championships winning his first medals (ind Junior silver in 1987 & YR team gold in 1988 & ‘99). He first completed Badminton aged 20 but had to wait until 2004 to achieve his ambition of winning. After school he gained a languages degree from London University before setting up his own yard.
His parents, Oliver and Marietta, rode at Badminton and Marietta was in the British Team in the 1960’s. William is married to Alice (nee Plunkett) a former four-star event rider and a presenter of Channel 4 racing. The couple have four children; two sons Oliver (13) and Thomas (11) and two daughters Chloe (5) and Emily (3). They are based in Dorset where William has created a modern training yard. William enjoys skiing and fishing.
He is a board director for the Event Riders Association, has written two books and is also vice-president of the Dorset RDA.
Fernhill Pimms, owned by Catherine Witt and Carol Gee is an Irish-bred AES registered 14-year-old gelding. Bred by Imelda Creighton he is by the Dutch-bred KWPN stallion Ard VDL Douglas (by Darco) who stands in Ireland. He is out of the thoroughbred mare Celestial Drive by Dublin Taxi. He was produced to two-star level by Duarte Seabra and William took the ride in 2013, in 2014 they won the CCI2* at Osberton.
16.1hh , bay , gelding
Dam Celestial Drive (Dublin Taxi)
Breeder Ms Imelda Creighton
Owner(s): Catherine Witt & Carol Gee, Worleston, Cheshire