‘Life is coming back’: William Fox-Pitt plus British Nations Cup team rule at a spectator-filled Houghton

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Great Britain scored at the FEI Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International Horse Trials (27-30 May), the first leg of the 2021 Eventing Nation’s Cup series.

The British trio — Tom McEwen, Georgie Spence and Mollie Summerland — pulled off faultless jumping performances to finish on their dressage score of 98.5.

“It’s a great privilege to ride on a Nations Cup team,” said Mollie. “I find this series invaluable. The more mileage and experience I can get under team pressure — I find it really useful, hopefully for championships in the future.”

The Irish team (Joseph Murphy, Austin O’Connor and Susie Berry) took second place, ahead of Australia (Kevin McNab, Sam Griffiths and Sophie Adams) in third.

‘Life is coming back now’

William Fox-Pitt and Little win a hot section

William Fox-Pitt clinched a hot CCIO4* short.

More than 100 world-class combinations featured on the starting list, with a masterful double jumping clear from William and Little Fire cementing their place at the top of the leaderboard.

“I’m very happy with him,” said William. “This is the first time that I’ve actually asked any questions of him and put my foot down a little bit.”
A limited number of spectators were in attendance at the Norfolk event, which enjoyed beautiful sunny bank holiday weather. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, most 2021 fixtures have been run behind closed doors.

“It was great to see people here enjoying it and having a very good time,” added William Fox-Pitt.

“I think life is coming back into the world now, which is great.”

Canter dominates

Ros Canter led both CCI3*L sections from start to finish. She topped section B aboard Shannondale Nadia, while Izilot DHI netted section C.

Ros described her section C winner as “probably the most talented horse she has had in her yard.

“I’m really proud of my horses this week, they’ve both been stars,” she said. “They’re both quite young horses and have got a lot to learn still.

“They’ve done personal bests in every phase, so I couldn’t be more delighted with them. It’s really exciting for my whole team and my owners that we’ve got some nice horses coming up through the ranks.”


Emily King and Imposant headed the CCI2*L.

“He was super; he did just what I asked,” said Emily.

“He’s quite an anxious horse and he’s never jumped in a ring as big as that and with crowds, so I didn’t know how he was going to respond. He was super and I am so proud of him.”

In the Young Rider National Championships, Oliver Jackson lifted the title riding Viktor Krum. This was ahead of Georgina Wood (Coronel MCJ) and Jemima Stratton (Global H).

“It’s so inspirational to be riding and competing alongside some of the top riders in the world,” said Viktor.

“Being side-to-side with them in the prize-giving is really something else.”

Photos supplied by Hannah Cole Photography

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