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Express Eventing

22-November-2012
22-November-2012 12:37
in General
by Admin

Due to a busy season I hadn’t had the opportunity to get involved with Express Eventing but when Sam Griffiths offered me the opportunity to be his wild card entry and to ride his and Juliet Donald’s horse Real Dancer in the first leg of the 2012/13 series in London at The Excel, I jumped at the opportunity.

 

I was up in London at Horse World Live for a lecture Demo on the Friday which I really enjoyed so it fitted in well to stay in London and compete on Saturday before flying out to Australia (for HSBC) on Saturday night.

 

The atmosphere in the Excel was great and the competition particularly hot with Lucinda Fredericks bringing out her Olympic mount Flying Finish and Mark Todd, Oliver Townend and Matthew Wright all looking very competitive.

 

My teammate for the day, Bill Levett, got us off to a great start leading the dressage on his fantastic old campaigner Hippolyte.  Alex Hui Tian and Lucinda Fredericks soon headed him though, so the pressure was definitely on as I warmed up. 

 

Charlie had turned ‘Albert’ out beautifully but not in the classic Fox-Pitt style, spraying him with silver glitter spray and putting silver glitter hoof oil on him.  By the time I noticed it was too late and Mark Todd had a good laugh at my attempt to dazzle the judges.  However, Charlie’s approach obviously worked as I scored 15 in the freestyle dressage to music and took a commanding lead!

 

Using Sam’s tried and tested routine and music things couldn’t have gone better and I was thrilled.

 

The cross country went in reverse order of merit.  Mark Todd was classically brilliant, as always, and Bill Levett went very quickly as well.  It caused all sorts of problems so I was delighted when my horse jumped a clear in a respectable time, but certainly not the fastest.  This meant we kept hold of our lead heading in to the show jumping, which is his weakest phase.

 

The show jumping course caused loads of problems with only one clear round.  The poles were plastic and light so this didn’t bode well for me.  Unfortunately, although he warmed up really well, he rolled four poles which dropped us down the order to finish 4th.  I am hugely grateful to Juliet Donald for being such a great sport and for Sam Griffiths for making it very easy for me.  It was just a shame we couldn’t have left a few more show jumps up.

 

I am now in Australia to watch Adelaide CCI4*.  Quarantine restrictions meant I was unable to travel a horse this time but I have come out for HSBC and am here doing a master class on Saturday morning before the cross country starts and some course walks and Q&A’s for HSBC during the weekend.  The hospitality so far has been fantastic and the weather even better. There are only 16 starters in the 4* which is a shame but I am looking forward to watching the Australian based riders at this fantastic event.

 

 www.expresseventing.co.uk

 

 

 

© 2013 William Fox-Pitt. Photos copyright of William Murray in partnership with Fox-Pitt Eventing. With contributions from Kit Houghton, Fiona Scott-Maxwell, Julia Shearwood, Gavin Hudspith, Ian Loveland & Adam Fanthorpe.

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