Stunning's display lives up to his name

William Fox-Pitt defeated a whole host of Olympic candidates when he rode the ex-Mark Todd horse, Stunning, to win yesterday's Pedigree Masters Section of the Cornbury Park Horse Trials in Oxfordshire.

William Fox-Pitt defeated a whole host of Olympic candidates when he rode the ex-Mark Todd horse, Stunning, to win yesterday's Pedigree Masters Section of the Cornbury Park Horse Trials in Oxfordshire.

Since he is not on the Olympic shortlist, Fox-Pitt had nothing to lose in going for a fast cross-country round while others played for safety. "He's a very quick horse, who likes firm ground and he is better if you put him up a gear," Fox-Pitt said, after his first victory on the 14-year-old chestnut with whom he teamed up a year ago.

The Briton finished a comfortable six points ahead of Australia's double Olympic team gold medallist, Andrew Hoy on Darien Powers, and New Zealand's reigning Olympic champion, Blyth Tait on Welton Envoy. Both finished on the same score, with Hoy taking the higher placing by virtue of a faster cross-country time.

This was Hoy's last pre-Olympic horse trials with Darien Powers, but he intends to ride the fabulous grey in the Eventing Grand Prix at Hickstead on Saturday. "I'd like him to have a good jump round a big arena with a different environment," Hoy said.

Though Tait was delighted with Welton Envoy, who was having his first run since winning the four-star event in Kentucky in the spring, the New Zealander said that the more experienced Ready Teddy and Chesterfield are his favoured partners for the team and individual Olympic contests.

Jeanette Brakewell, fourth in the Masters on Over to You, was best placed of those on the British Olympic shortlist. The results were not, however, of particular relevance with most of the would-be Olympians opting for steady clear rounds.

Pippa Funnell, the European champion, said that Supreme Rock gave her a wonderful ride when finishing seventh. Funnell switches to The Tourmaline Rose for Hickstead's Eventing Grand Prix, which she won two years ago on the same mare.

There were also impressive clear cross-country rounds from Karen Dixon on Too Smart (12th), Leslie Law on Shear H2O (13th) and Mary King on Star Appeal (24th) in this last outing before the British Olympic squad is announced on 3 August.

* Peter Charles rode Traxdata Mulligan to win the Grand Prix on the last day of The Horse Show at Great Leighs in Essex.

CORNBURY PARK HORSE TRIALS (Charlbury, Oxon): Pedigree Masters Section: 1 Stunning (W Fox-Pitt, GB) 31 penalties; 2 Darien Powers (A Hoy, Aus) 37; 3 Welton Envoy (B Tait, NZ) 37. Advanced Section J: 1 Lord Simba (C Landolt, Swit) 42; 2 Chesterfield III (B Tait, NZ) 43; 3 Erbium (S Cutteridge, GB) 47. Section K: 1 Matt Butler (L Law, GB) 38; 2 Climb the Heights (A Nicholson, NZ) 41; 3 Cornerman (P Funnell, GB) 43. Section L: 1 Oscar (P Clark, GB) 37; 2 Shear l'Eau (L Law, GB) 39; 3 Captain Christy (K Gifford, GB) 42.

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