WILLIAM FOX-PITT triumphed at the 50th Land Rover Burghley International Horse Trials aboard Parklane Hawk.

Fox-Pitt enjoyed a brilliant cross country round when he was two seconds inside the optimum time.

While the poles fell for most partnerships in a slippery show jumping finale, Fox-Pitt produced a fabulous yet nail-biting clear but with just two time faults.

His final total of 40.7 points saw him claim a record sixth win at Burghley.

Even more impressively, it was Parklane Hawk’s first attempt at a CCI**** event.

The closing phase couldn’t have been more dramatic for the 50th anniversary of the event with very soggy ground and the top ten riders separated by just a few points.

“The conditions were against him (Parklane Hawk) and going into the arena I was feeling quite sick,” said Fox-Pitt.

“I had to go in there saying ‘believe in him’ but realistically thinking what were the chances of a clear round. I am so lucky to have him.”

Parklane Hawk was only acquired by Fox-Pitt 18 months ago, and is set to continue with William next season.

“He is still green but is one of my big hopes for next year,” said Fox-Pitt.”

A clear round from Marlborough-based Andrew Nicholson and Nereo had put the pressure on the top four riders. Mary King and her homebred mare Kings Temptress had one down, while Andrew on second-placed Avebury took out three poles to drop down the order to a final eighth place.

Nereo therefore moved up to finish second.

“Both my horses have done well and Nereo did a good job but William’s horse jumped immaculately,” said Andrew.

Other local riders were out in force and many first-time combinations had great results.

Tom McEwen, from Swindon, had a phenomenal Burghley debut. He rode Dry Old Party to a confident cross country round but sadly had 12 faults show jumping to drop back to 19th.

The 20-year-old did not leave empty-handed, however; Tom won the prize for the highest-placed British first-timer as well as the HSBC training bursary – not bad for the youngest rider on the start list!

Cheltenham’s Zara Phillips had her first real outing with new ride High Kingdom, her replacement for the recently retired Toytown. The pair had a really strong cross country to finish tenth ovrall.

“I would have been happy with a top-20 finish,” said Zara. "He's only 10 years old. I'm hoping he's going to be at the top for a long time.”

Kitty King, riding High Havoc, was just one of the riders who fell victim to Sunday’s terrible weather conditions and was eliminated in the show jumping for two refusals during the heaviest rainfall.

GATCOMBE HORSE TRIALS have announced that the five-star Cotswold hotel Whatley Manor & Spa will sponsor their Autumn International event.

The September edition of the trials will be held from the September 16-18 and will be the third major event held at the Gatcombe Estate this year.

To add some extra interest, head chef at Whatley Manor’s Michelin 2* restaurant, Martin Burge, will be offering spectators the chance to watch a live cooking demonstration on the Sunday, prior to the last prize giving.

Out of more than 600 entries, it is expected that 12 nations will be represented.

Now in its 16th year, the event is held on a different area of the Gatcombe Park Estate to that used by the Festival of British Eventing.

Admission for car and occupants is just £6. For admission plus programme it is £10.

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Evelyn Dyer (Evie) from Brinkworth and her pony Treasure won the 2ft 3in Open Class at Cricklands Junior Championships of Great Britain, held at the David Broome Event Centre in Chepstow.

The national show jumping event took place over the Bank Holiday weekend and was Evie’s fourth gold medal at the championships over the past three years.

The finals were held over three days with more than 80 competitors from across the country qualifying to compete in Evie’s class.

The championship was decided in the very last event when Evie took first place by a clear two seconds in the jump-off. She was then crowned overall champion having won the most points during the national festival.

Evie said: “The most nervous part of the whole competition was walking on to the podium to receive the winner’s sash and gold medal from show jumping legend David Broome.”

Evie and her younger sister Florence, aged nine from Oaksey Primary School, also won a silver medal at the championships in the team competition.

There were more than 30 teams from around the country. They were unfortunate to miss out on the gold medal by only 0.3 of a second.