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William Fox-Pitt leads Britain to World Equestrian gold

William Fox-Pitt

Britain win gold at World Equestrian Games

Britain's eventers won team gold and William Fox-Pitt claimed individual silver at the World Equestrian Games.

Leading after the dressage and cross-country, Britain started poorly as Tina Cook had eight faults in the jumps.

But with the best three rounds counting for the team, Nicola Wilson, Mary King and Fox-Pitt's clear rounds saw Britain win ahead of Canada and New Zealand.

Dorset-based Fox-Pitt had to settle for second after German Michael Jung's clear ensured he clung on to top spot.

New Zealander Andrew Nicholson (Nereo) took the individual bronze.

Olympian Fox-Pitt could have had three fences down and Britain would still have clinched team gold following Wilson's and King's excellent rides on Opposition Buzz and Imperial Cavalier respectively.

However, he steered Cool Mountain around safely to finish with an individual score of 42 penalties, nine behind Jung, and give his team a final tally of 139.40, 12.10 points better than the Canadians.

It was Britain's first team title at the Games - which are held every four years - since 1994, when Cook and King were also part of the line-up.

William Fox-Pitt on Cool Mountain
Fox-Pitt celebrates after his clear round in Lexington

Having, started the day in the silver position, the United States finished out of the medals in fourth thanks to team member Karen O'Connor's four-fault round, which featured one refusal.

Jung's Germany were fifth, Belgium took sixth while the Irish team of Geoff Curran, Mark Kyle, Sam Watson and Patricia Ryan finished seventh.

Briton Pippa Funnell, who was not part of her country's team, jumped clear on Redesign to take fifth, one place ahead of King, with Wilson 15th.

Sunday's successes completed a healthy medal haul for Britain at Kentucky Horse Park this week, following dressage star Laura Bechtolsheimer's three silvers - one of those in the team event, where she was joined by Carl Hester, Fiona Bigwood and Maria Eilberg.

"With the exception of Tina's hiccup, it has been just about the perfect week," reflected Britain's chef d'equipe and performance manager Yogi Breisner.

"It was incredible and very rare for the three counting riders of the team to finish on their dressage scores. It's exceptional.

"One of the reasons it has been such a good week is a reflection of the lottery funding and help we get from Sport England.

"That whole package enables us to prepare the best we can for a championship, which was reflected in the dressage competitions earlier in the week and now with us."



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see also
Bechtolsheimer wins third silver
02 Oct 10 |  Equestrian
Bechtolsheimer adds to medal haul
29 Sep 10 |  Equestrian
GB take dressage silver at Worlds
28 Sep 10 |  Equestrian
Equestrian sport on the BBC
05 Sep 07 |  Equestrian


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