British eventer William Fox-Pitt is back in the saddle with a vengeance following a serious accident last year, winning the young horse class at the Tattersalls Horse Trials for the second year in succession.
Fox-Pitt rode Jennifer Dowling’s seven-year-old gelding Little Fire to win the Cooley Farm CCI1* Young Horse Class on Saturday, after producing a dressage score of 35.60 for second place, then moving up to first after a clear cross-country round and just one showjumping fault.
Finishing in second place was New Zealand’s Tim Price riding his own Kincooley Cruising, completing the competition on 40.50. In third place was Great Britain’s Tom McEwen riding Ginny Rusher’s Royal Roxey finishing on a final mark of 40.50.
It was Fox-Pitt’s first win since his horror accident in France last year, when he fell from Reinstated at Le Lion d’Angers in October. He was kept under sedation for more than a week and was in intensive care for two weeks in hospital in France after the accident.
After months of rehabilitation, Fox-Pitt was cleared by his specialist to return to competition in March.
Fox-Pitt’s last win on British soil was also on Little Fire, when they took out a novice class at Pontispool last September.
Several other classes at the Tattersalls International Horse Trials and Country Fair, in association with Horse Sport Ireland, completed on Saturday.
A hotly contested renewal of the Land Rover CCI1* class saw Great Britain’s Dani Evans step onto the winning podium to claim the title. Riding Ann Butler’s Marstonpark Lupina, the pair completed all three phases to finish and win the competition on a score of 39.50.
In second place was fellow Brit Emilie Chandler riding Cooley Roller Coaster, finishing on 41.50 and in third place was Jonathan Paget from New Zealand with Optimus Prime (42.40).
After coming second in the same class year, a determined Zara Nelson riding for Ireland on Kieran Connors’ Millridge Buachaill Bui made her return to Tattersalls a winning one to take out the Berney Bros. CCI1* Pony Class. After producing the best dressage score of 41.70, Nelson maintain the lead throughout the contest with a clear round over the cross-country obstacles and just 4 faults in showjumping.
Ireland’s Sophie Foyle finished in second place riding Ballyvee Moll (53.20) and in third was fellow Irish competitor Isabelle Comerford riding Colour Me Fancy on 54.70.
The young guns were out for the Tredstep Ireland CCIJ1* and it was Britain’s Eleanor Hope who landed the title with Margaret Hope’s MGH Smarty. The pair produced a dressage score of 41.40 to put them into second place but a clear round in cross-country and just 4 faults in showjumping secured the win.
In second place was Ireland’s Izzy Riley riding Ballycarron Lad (50.70) and finishing in third place was Britain’s Emma Roberts with Enumero ending the competition on 52.70.