British Olympic rider William Fox-Pitt (50) has twice won the Mitsubishi Motors trophy at Badminton. He first competed at Badminton 30years ago (1989) and last competed here last year although on that occasion did not complete. He first won in 2004 (Tamarillo) and again in 2015 with the stallion Chilli Morning – the first stallion to win the event. In October 2015 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 albeit with a reduced stable of horses and later that year, with Chilli Morning competed at the Rio Olympic Games – his fifth Olympic appearance.
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 silvers 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 former HSBC Classics series – the accumulator series that tied 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 (CCI) – 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 in 1989 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 former presenter of Channel 4 racing and current presenter on ITV racing. The couple has four children; two sons Oliver (14) and Thomas (13) and two daughters Chloe (7) and Emily (5). They are based in Dorset where William has created a modern training yard. William enjoys skiing and fishing. He has written two books and is also vice-president for the Dorset RDA.
Oratorio is a British-bred 10-year-old gelding. Bred by R Jenks he is by William’s former four-star ride Oslo Biats with who he won Pau and completed Badminton. He is out of the thoroughbred mare Cinnamon Brulee by Topanoora. He was formerly competed to two-star by Laura Collett. William took the ride in 2017 and last year the pair was second at Blenheim last year. This will be the horse’s first at the level.
Little Fire is a German bred 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding – he is by Graf Top (Graf Grannus-Calypso II) out of Heraldik’s Angara by the leading event sire and thoroughbred Heraldik. He is one of six progeny out of Angara and one of three full brothers – the half-brother Butts Anakin (by the thoroughbred Full House) is competing at three-star level ridden by German rider Clemens Hayessen. Little Fire was acquired in 2014 by his owner and WFP. In 2016 he won the young horse CCI1* at Tattersalls and last year at the same venue was second in the CCI3*. He started at his first CCI4* at Pau 2018 but did not complete.
17.0hh , bay , gelding
Sire Graf Top
Dam Heraldiks Angara (Heraldik XX)
Breeder Volker Steinkraus
Owner(s): Jennifer Dowling, London
16.3hh , bay , gelding
Sire Oslo Biats
Dam Cinnamon Brulee (Topanoora)
Breeder Tessa Clarkson
Owner(s): Oratorio Syndicate, Aylesbury, Bucks.