(FRA, 30 August 2014) William Fox-Pitt, riding Chilli Morning, has regained the lead he had on day one of the competition after a flawless cross-country round in the Eventing discipline, with Sandra Auffarth (GER) riding Opgun Louvo taking second place, and Michael Jung (GER) riding Fischerrocana FST in third place, at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, in Normandy.
World Number One William Fox-Pitt retakes the lead
William Fox-Pitt showed why he is the world number one after a flawless round in the cross-country, riding the brilliant stallion, Chilli Morning. Fox-Pitt was 35th to go in the 90-strong field over the extremely testing conditions at the Haras Du Pin site, and rode a brilliant round with just 12 time faults. Fox-Pitt took all the direct options in order to save energy and valuable time, and in so doing retook the lead he had after day one of Dressage.
The 35-fence course proved extremely testing with 60 competitors completing the course and no competitors finishing within the optimum time. Two fences were removed from the final competition before the start in deference to the testing ground conditions after torrential rain earlier in the week. Just 10 points now separate the top 10 placings, and one penalty fence in tomorrow’s deciding show jumping phase covers the top five riders. It will be an extremely tense finale to an outstanding Eventing competition, with the home nation’s hopes resting on Maxime Livio (FRA) riding Qalao Des Mers, who is in eighth position.
Germany is in a very strong position, with overnight leader Sandra Auffarth lying in second place and Michael Jung in third place. New Zealand take up fourth and fifth position with Jonelle Price and Andrew Nicholson respectively, and will be hoping to go one better than their team Bronze position at the 2010 World Equestrian Games held at the Rolex Stadium in Kentucky.
Sandra Auffarth (GER):
I liked the course and all the questions [fences] for the horses and the riders, but I didn’t like the ground so much. I think that was the main part of the course (the going) and the reason why the horses were a little bit tired, but I am really happy with my horse – his jumping was fantastic and I had a really great round.
William Fox-Pitt (GBR):
I could not have been more proud of my horse; he just tried really, really hard. The ground conditions were tough – every stride tough, but he worked hard. I took him easy in the first part because the most important thing that Yogi Breisner (GBR Performance Manager) said was “just get home – it is no good looking amazing for eight minutes and not getting home,” so I did waste a little time, but I certainly didn’t have much petrol in the tank at the end. I am so proud of him as he kept on trying. He deserves what he achieved today and there is nothing I can do now – we will have to see what happens but I am very relieved!
Michael Jung (GER):
It was hard work for the horses – with the soft ground, my horse lost a lot of energy between the fences, but Fisherrocanna is a fantastic horse; she was fighting from the beginning to the end. The last water [Rolex combination] is really tough and I am very happy about my round. Everything was very good on the fences and my horse gave me a great feeling – just the last water she was a little bit tired but she was good.
Rolex Testimonee Zara Phillips Cruises Cross-Country
Zara Phillips (GBR) showed all her skills as a previous World Champion by steering her horse High Kingdom around the challenging cross-country course, with a stunning clear round. Commenting on her ride, Phillips said, “I really enjoyed it [going out first for the British team] as you can just go out and ride it, and go straight, and get on with it. I know how good my horse is and to go out and get a clear round for the team is great. You’ve really got to be sensible out there and just get them home. You’ve got to look after them and just make sure you keep jumping.”
Having been World Champion in 2006 in Aachen, Rolex Testimonee Phillips knows exactly what it takes to win and will be going in to the final show jumping phase of the competition at the Stade D’Ornarno in Caen tomorrow full of confidence, and hoping to secure another top podium finish.
For more information on the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and full results, please visit www.normandy2014.com.
Rolex and the World Equestrian Games
Rolex’s association with the World Equestrian Games began in 2002 in Jerez, Spain and the brand is at the forefront of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which takes place between 23 August and 7 September in Caen, France where a record 74 nations intend to take part.
The exceptional bond between Rolex and the World Equestrian Games has no doubt been instrumental in attracting 12 new countries to make their debut this year; a glorious achievement in the development of the sport on a global scale. Across the 15 days, approximately 1,200 media will follow 1,000 competitors as they compete across eight official disciplines including the Olympic sports of Show Jumping, Dressage and Eventing in front of over 500,000 spectators.