Despite two heart stopping moments out on course consummate professional William Fox-Pitt picked up no penalties on the cross country course producing a clear round three seconds inside the time with Cool Mountain to finish on their dressage score of 42.70.
“Just in case you were bored I’d thought I’d keep you all on your toes!” joked William. “He’s so brave, what an amazing horse! It was nobody’s error [at the Messme teacups] we landed underwater and I don’t know how he stood up again. It seemed like forever but I looked at the clock and we were still on it and he went; somehow we found our second wind and were flying.”
“I had asked Yogi before if he’d let us take the direct route at the Rolex combination and he said yes, with Mary out it was a big risk especially when I got too deep into the corner. I had to say ‘come on mate’ and how genuine was he that he said ‘OK’ – I had no reins and no stirrups, he had every right to run out and he didn’t. I’m very proud that he kept on going so well with lungs half full of water.”
Commenting on Mary he said:
“I think we all mentally rely on Mary. To see the Queen of eventing bite the dust nearly gave me a heart attack so it’s great to hear she’s up on her feet and feeling OK. Having her out of the running does put you under extra pressure but you have to get out there and do your best. It’s no good planning for a safe clear, you have to keep on fighting or suddenly the places start to slip through your fingers. Yogi is wonderful at the psychology and in keeping everybody focussed.”