Equestrianism: Fox-Pitt continues to dominate

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The Independent Online

As at Chatsworth four weeks earlier, William Fox-Pitt was the only rider to achieve the difficult feat of beating Pippa Funnell at the Bramham International Horse Trials in West Yorkshire yesterday.

This time he managed it twice, filling the top two places on Wallow and Ballincoola, with Funnell in third place on Jurassic Rising with whom she had held a slender overnight lead after the cross-country.

Fox-Pitt thought his chance of victory had disappeared when Wallow had one show-jumping error, which left Funnell with a fence in hand. "I thought there was no chance of Pippa having more than one down, but she was very kind and had three," he said.

Wallow had been due to run at Saumur in France two weeks ago, but Fox-Pitt decided to re-route him to Bramham after a disappointing dressage test had left the 10-year-old with no hope of a top place.

"It proved to be the right decision," Fox-Pitt said. "I've had him since he was a four-year-old and he repaid my confidence in him. I'd not pushed him before, but he found it easy to get inside the cross-country time."

Fox-Pitt's other mount, Ballincoola, confirmed his jumping ability when he was one of only three horses to finish on his dressage score. "Dressage is his weaker link, but he's getting better," Fox-Pitt said of the nine-year-old, who may be one of his mounts when he attempts a repeat of last year's victory at Burghley in September.

GUARDIAN COLLECTIONS BRAMHAM INTERNATIONAL HORSE TRIALS (Bramham Park, West Yorkshire): Final results: 1 Wallow (W Fox-Pitt, GB) 51.0 penalties; 2 Ballincoola (W Fox-Pitt, GB) 55.2; 3 Jurassic Rising (P Funnell, GB) 58.6; 4 Bonza Katoomba (M Ryan, Aus) 60.0; 5 Oreit Dancer (N Taylor, GB) 61.2; 6 Cool Cocktail (S Cutteridge, GB) 61.6; 7 The Wexford Lady (S Cutteridge, GB) 61.6; 8 Courting Danger (D O'Connor, US) 61.8; 9 Kinsey Control (C Pratt, GB) 63.4; 10 King George II (M King, GB) 63.8.