WILLIAM Fox-Pitt is closing in on his sixth Bramham Horse Trials CCI*** title, after another stunning day of competition at Bramham Park.
Illustrating the class that is expected to drive Britain’s Olympic eventing hopes in London, Fox-Pitt stayed out in front in the senior competition after Saturday’s cross-country.
Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson suffered a fall from Inde as she attempted Ian Stark’s 2012 course, but Fox-Pitt went clear in just 10 minutes 31 seconds on Chilli Morning, a horse he has been riding for only a few weeks.
After his dressage round of 39.2 penalties, Fox-Pitt goes into Sunday’s showjumping knowing he can afford to knock a fence down and still claim the title.
Behind the Olympic medallist is Frenchman Sylvian Davesne on Oregon du Coty, with Australian Sam Griffiths now third and fourth on Paulank Brockagh and Happy Times.
Meantime, Fox-Pitt is leading the charge in the CIC***, securing showjumping clear rounds on Neuf des Coeurs and Lionheart to sit first and sixth.
Elsewhere, Zara Phillips’ push towards securing Olympic selection received a boost.
She is now third in the CIC with High Kingdom having also jumped clear.
Andrew Nicholson holds on to third while Friday’s leader Laura Collett now sits ninth.
Nicola Wilson is 19th on Opposition Buzz and 28th on Applejack II.
Sadly, there were two horse fatalities afer the Bramham CCI cross country, Clea Phillipps’ Lead the Way collapsed after fence 14 and Michael Jackson’s Jagganath also collapsed after a clear round.