William Fox-Pitt poised to claim seventh Bramham title

Bramham International Horse Trials at Bramham Park, Wetherby. William Fox-Pitt rides on Chilli Morning during the CCI*** event.
Bramham International Horse Trials at Bramham Park, Wetherby. William Fox-Pitt rides on Chilli Morning during the CCI*** event.
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Britain’s Olympic medallists are the star attraction at the 40th Bramham International Horse Trials, which begin today at Bramham Park.

After clinching team silver at Greenwich last July, William Fox-Pitt, Zara Phillips and Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson lead the pack of 140 riders from 11 countries across three competitions.

Fox-Pitt is gunning for an incredible seventh CCI3* title, riding both 2012 champion Chilli Morning and Running Order in the main competition, and Before Time in the CIC3* event.

Phillips competes on Black Tuxedo and Lord Lauries in the CCI, while Wilson rides both Beltane Queen and her mother Mary Tweddle’s horse, Annie Clover,

Oliver Townend, Pippa Funnell, Piggy French and Laura Collett are also in action, while New Zealand’s Sir Mark Todd and Leonidas II are expected to offer a stern challenge, along with France’s Donatien Schauly and Nicholas Astier, the 2012 U-25s winner.

Riders will compete across three sections; the Equi-Trek CCI3*, the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3* and the Bishop Burton College Under-25 CCI3*.

Dressage for the CCI and CIC sections begins today, while Saturday’s ever popular cross country day is likely to draw thousands of spectators to watch riders take on course designer Ian Stark’s latest challenge.

Sunday sees the action turn to showjumping in the main arena.

Bramham will also host a number of classes in the Dodson & Horrell Hunter Show today, including Horse of the Year Show qualifiers for light, middle and heavyweight and working hunters.

The Great Yorkshire Show Pony Club Mounted Games feature in the TopSpec Arena on both Saturday and Sunday with the Country Store Pony Club Team Jumping on Saturday. See www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk for updates.