Former Mark Todd ride Stunning dies at 26

William Fox-Pitt and Stunning on their way to winning The British Open at Gatcombe in 2003
William Fox-Pitt and Stunning on their way to winning The British Open at Gatcombe in 2003. © Fox-Pitt Eventing

The eventer Stunning, a former ride of both Mark Todd and William Fox-Pitt, has been euthanised at the age of 26.

The New Zealand thoroughbred – named Curator in his short racing career down under –  was bought by George and Jayne Apter as an 11-year-old in New Zealand and in 1997 went to Britain. He was campaigned by Mark Todd until 1999 when he went to Fox-Pitt.

Stunning was retired in 2004 and gifted to Fox-Pitt’s head girl, Jackie Potts, who hunted him with Portman.

He was retired from his final event, at Pau in 2003, but had won his previous five starts and was third three times before that.

Fox-Pitt said that while Stunning  was inconsistent at four-star level they had “some super years together and I feel very privileged to have ridden him. “We all felt the time was right to say goodbye and although he will be sorely missed by us all he will be remembered fondly.

“He excelled at three-star and advanced with wins at Blenheim CCI*** (2000), The British Open at Gatcombe (2003), Thirlestane CIC*** (2003 & 2004), Chatsworth CIC*** (2003), Lulworth CIC*** (2004) and advanced classes at Cornbury, Brockenhurst(2000) and Aston-le-Walls (2002 and 2003),’ Fox-Pitt said.

“He also won a Team Gold at the 2001 European Championships in Pau, finishing sixth individually, amassed a total of 1342 British Eventing points and won the British Eventing Leading Points award in 2002.”

As Curator (Ring The Bell x Stunning Star, by Stunning) in New Zealand, his racing career was undistinguished. The best he finished from four starts from 1200m to 2000m was seventh.

In his eventing career, Stunning earned more than £30,000 prize-money.








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