It’s been a long time since I last won here, which makes you realise how hard it is and how many things have to go right. When you’ve got Andrew Nicholson going ahead of you it’s easy to think it’s all over, but it was my lucky day
William Fox-Pitt made history at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials this afternoon when he piloted Chilli Morning to victory with a superb clear round in the final showjumping phase.
Christopher and Lisa Stone’s 15-year-old is the first stallion to win the world’s most prestigious event and he did so in exemplary fashion, finishing on his dressage score of 39. The overnight leaders, New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson and Nereo, made three uncharacteristic errors, clattering through three showjumps to drop to sixth.
This is a second Mitsubishi Motors title for the 46-year-old British rider from Sturminster Newton in Dorset, who last lifted the coveted trophy in 2004 with Tamarillo.
“It’s been a long time since I last won here, which makes you realise how hard it is and how many things have to go right. When you’ve got Andrew Nicholson going ahead of you it’s easy to think it’s all over, but it was my lucky day,” he said.
Germany’s Ingrid Klimke equalled her best ever Badminton finish – she was also runner-up in 2006 with Sleep Late – when she rose from fourth to second place with a brilliantly judged clear round with her own spring-heeled bay gelding, Horseware Hale Bob.
“Normally Bob plays second fiddle to Escada [Ingrid’s 2013 individual European Championship silver medallist] but now he’ll have to go back and have a chat with her,” laughed Ingrid. “I have the man in red [German team trainer Christopher Bartle] to thank for this result as he has been the one who has encouraged me to keep going with Bob and to come here.”
New Zealander Jock Paget moved up a place from fourth to third despite lowering one rail with Lucy Allison and Frances Stead’s Clifton Lush.
“I’ve had a good feeling from Lush all week and he did his maximum for me in all three phases,” said Jock.
Another Kiwi, Mark Todd, conjured a brilliant clear jumping from Diane Brunsden and Peter Cattell’s Leonidas II and added just one time fault to leave him in fourth place.
Bettina Hoy made it two in the top five for Germany when she finished fifth with Designer 10.