Belfast Telegraph

William Fox-Pitt's tears after wait for win at Badminton Horse Trials ends

By Andrew Baldock

William Fox-Pitt shed tears of joy after landing eventing's most prestigious prize with a dramatic history-making victory at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

Not only did Fox-Pitt end a six-year wait for British success, his ride Chilli Morning became the first stallion to win an elite four-star event anywhere in the world.

It was 46-year-old Fox-Pitt's 14th four-star crown of his stellar career, but a first Badminton triumph since 2004, and he collected an £80,000 jackpot.

Germany's Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob finished second, 1.2 penalties behind Fox-Pitt's final score of 39.0, with Jonathan Paget third on Clifton Lush, Mark Todd (Leonidas II) fourth and Bettina Hoy (Designer 10) fifth.

"It is a massive relief," said Dorset-based Fox-Pitt. "I can't believe it.

"I knew I had to jump a clear round, and I thought I just can't have another one pole off.

"I was a little lucky, so I am sorry I made everyone very, very tense watching that!

"It's so exciting. I won here in 2004, and it has been a long wait, but what a horse.

"I am so proud of him. I felt I let him down a little bit in the dressage on Friday, and today I think we made it up.

"I have got an amazing horse, and you feel you just don't want to waste it. It's such a relief for the team. This feels great.

"(Owner) Chris (Stone) couldn't be here, but he sent me a message just to ride Chilli like we were in the field at home, so I had those words in my ears, and it worked," he said.

"The fact he is the first stallion to win a four-star makes me feel quite emotional."

If current form is maintained it would be a major surprise if Chilli Morning does not spearhead the Great Britain eventing team's Rio Olympics challenge next year.

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