Equestrianism: Tom Cruise and Fox-Pitt secure Saumur title
Monday 24 May 2004
William Fox-Pitt, the winner at Badminton earlier this month, added the Saumur Three-Day Event in France to his list of successes yesterday.
Lying fourth after the dressage on Tom Cruise, the British rider moved ahead on Saturday when completing the only clear cross-country round that was within the optimum time. He secured victory with a clear run in yesterday's show jumping and also led Britain to victory over France and Belgium.
Ten-year-old Tom Cruise, winner of the Intermediate Championship at Gatcombe Park and the Luhmuhlen Three-Day Event in Germany last year, is one of Fox-Pitt's three reserve horses for the Olympic Games.
The youngest competitor at Badminton where he finished ninth, Matthew Wright, 21, made his mark again. He was also ninth at Saumur, this time with Park Pilot, and 15th on Cermont. The Belgian rider, Karen Donckers did even better with her two mounts, finishing third with Nikita and fourth with Palmyra.
Fox-Pitt next competes at this week's UAE Windsor International Horse Trials, where he captains Britain in the inaugural Team Challenge. Also in the team are the Olympic-bound Pippa Funnell and Sarah Cutteridge and the Princess Royal's daughter, Zara Phillips.
SAUMUR THREE-DAY EVENT (France): Final results: 1 Tom Cruise (W Fox-Pitt, GB) 47.0 penalties; 2 Sleep Late (I Klimke, Ger) 54.8; 3 Nikita (K Donckers, Bel) 56.8; 4 Palmyra (K Donckers, Bel) 57.8; 5 Better I Do It (A Lufkin, US) 58.4; 6 Daguet du Rochau (G Pons, Fr) 58.6. Other GB: 9 Park Pilot (M Wright) 65.6; 11 Coup de Coeur (R Gibbs) 66.6; 13 Two Thyme (R Friend)67.8; 15 Cermont (M Wright) 68.4; 20 Sky Sport (M King) 80.0. Teams: 1 Great Britain 192.6 penalties; 2 France 202.0; 3 Belgium 262.0; 4 Australia 264.6.
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