Saturday, 9 April 2011

William Fox-Pitt Isn't Retiring - Unofficially

The New Fox-Pitt Luxury Liner
Mark Todd doubted it, and after today I agree! In a recent interview William Fox-Pitt indicated he was giving up after London 2012, soon after that interview Mark Todd said he doubted it would happen having seen William out buying more young horses, and today William turned up to Larkhill Horse Trials in a shiny new horsebox, the cost of which would probably cover the GDP of a small African nation. So I for one will need a little more convincing. Perhaps he's just planning a comeback, without the need to comeback!

I attended Larkhill for a special filming mission which didn't really work out, but it wasn't a completely wasted trip as I hadn't been here for some years, and it's a lovely event for the lower level horses - relatively flat and fabulous ancient turf on an established point-to-point course. A good early season pre-novice and novice event sat in the middle of Salisbury Plain. The drive down from Marlborough takes you through some 'chocolate box' countryside too, but if you're unfortunate enough to be travelling from the south or south west you have the traffic congestion around Stonehenge to contend with in the last few miles.

I was last here about 8 or 9 years ago with a 'dressage' horse I bravely thought might event! Truth is I took the horse on thinking with my heart not my head. He was stunning, looked just like the 'Lloyds Bank Stallion' and an absolute sweetheart, but detested jumping, and hated getting his feet wet. At Larkhill he reared at fence 3, three times. This just happened to be where some friends who had admired him earlier were sitting, and the first competition of mine my mother had ever attended. She later remarked how she wished he'd reared again as she didn't get a picture. As impressive as his rear was, to the gasps of the small crowd,  I explained this was not a desired trait. With foot perfect, and effortless flying changes I was able to sell him onto Japan for a para-olympian and Athens, so all's well that ends well.

Nicely Marked Skewbald Eventer | I'd Like One Please
Whilst other distractions during the day prevent me doing justice to any form of 'event report' the likes of which you might expect to see on eventing nation, it does give me the opportunity to post a picture of a lovely skewbald horse I came across (my current fad). The courses here are pretty straightforward and in fact I barely noticed someone I was with ride the cross country - in the time it took me to compose a short email they had started and were walking back along side me having finished before I pressed send.

Larkhill is definitely one for the list, although I didn't walk the cross country there were enough high rollers from the eventing circuit to make me think it's not a problematic event in any way, and certainly the turf I walked across I'd be happy to gallop on. Just the type of event you want in the early part of the season for youngsters.

More news next week on something I discovered to my disadvantage today, until then have a great weekend and until then.....go find me a nicely marked skewbald event horse...please. (There I go again thinking with my heart not my head)

Oh, and for all you Fox-Pitt fanatics that love twitter, William (or someone on his behalf) has joined twitter (see @foxpitteventing). It'll be interesting to see if this is an "Oliver Townend" style twitter account or more 'straight from the horses mouth' like Paul Tapner's.

1 comment:

  1. Monty,
    Thank you so much for your kind words about my Reba horse and I. I was the outrider on the blood bay horse (Reba) at jump 1.

    This was my fourth year as an outrider. I am very proud to represent the 3 Day Rolex as an outrider.

    Reba and I compete in mini events-fox hunting-and dressage.

    Thank you again for your kind words,

    Kay George