British Olympian William Fox-Pitt (53) is one of the sport’s most successful riders. He first competed at here 33-years ago (1989) and last competed here in 2019 and has won the event twice, in 2004 (Tamarillo) and again in 2015 with the stallion Chilli Morning – the first stallion to win the event. Both Badminton entries Little Fire and Oratorio completed the event in 2019 and both completed Pau in 2021.
In October 2015 William 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, 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 64 international three-day events (CCI) – he gained his 64th this year at Houghton Hall with Little Fire.
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 (16) and Thomas (14) and two daughters Chloe (9) and Emily (7). 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 owned by the Oratorio Syndicate, is a British-bred SHB(GB) registered13-year-old gelding. He was bred by Milly Jenks one of the syndicate owners and her father and 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.
Little Fire owned by the rider and his good friend Jenny Dowling, is a German bred 13-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) competes 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 the 4* at Houghton Hall and completed Pau 5*.
17.0hh , bay , gelding
Sire Graf Top
Dam HERALDIK'S ANGARA (Heraldik)
Breeder Volker Steinkraus
16.3hh , bay , gelding
Sire Oslo Biats
Dam Cinnamon Brulee (Topanoora)
Breeder Camilla Jenks
Owner(s): Oratorio Syndicate