Rolex has kindly shared the following interview with us from William Fox-Pitt. Many thanks to Rolex for their continued support of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. It was also announced today that Rolex is sponsoring a Grand Slam of Show Jumping, including the Grands Prix of Spruce Meadows in Canada, Geneva in Switzerland and Germany’s World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen. Thank you, Rolex!
All hotting up here at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day event with William Fox-Pitt lying in 1st place on Chilli Morning after the dressage phase, with Andrew Nicholson lying in both 2nd place on Quimbo and also lying in 3rd place on Calico Joe!
Q. William – how was that?
He’s an exciting horse – I’ve had him for a year now and he’s produced back home by Nick Gauntlett who’s done a superb job with him so I was very lucky he came to me last spring. He really has been very good since then. But this is difference for him – the atmosphere is electric – so many more people – massive difference to Pau so a different track, but you’ve got to give it a go!
He’s a classy horse and I’m very lucky to have him but there’s still some more good ones to come and it’s just the dressage!
He’s a rare horse in that he’s at 4 star level as a stallion – he’d be the only one here – there’s an added pressure on him without a doubt – I’ve always said that if he was a gelding he would be even better but he’s got an amazing presence and he loves being in there saying “look at me all the way – I’m the king” and when you are riding that kind of horse it is a great feeling. I knew he could do a good test but then actually you are a bit more nervous because you don’t want to make a mistake and that was the bit of pressure added, but I would much rather have that than one that’s learning and not up to the job so from that point of view –
He’s covered some mares so he knows his job but he’s got an amazing temperament – he’s travelled over here with all the other horses from the UK – he’s a very kind and dear horse – he’s a lovely personality actually – you can give him a good cuddle and he will never put his ears back – he’s a real gentleman!
Q. You had a brilliant test in there – did you think you were going to score 33?
I hoped it would be in the 30’s. As it was going I was thinking “this is going quite well” as you do and I had a little sneaky preview of the scoreboard once and thought “OK right!” You cant help but look and it can be quite demoralizing but I thought it was worth the risk, but I did feel very confident and hopefully he will finish on that mark and it will be very exciting but as you know things change a lot here there’s some big questions and a superb course for tomorrow with lots of ‘skinnys’ and turns and distances that need to be thought about and I’m looking forward to riding him – he’s fit and well and the footing is amazing considering the rain we had on Wednesday.
Q. You chose to ride him second tomorrow – reasons for that?
I know Sea Cookie so well and he’s been here before and I’ve had him all his four star career or since he was eight so he was a good horse to ride first. Chilli Morning I don’t – there is a little bit of advantage maybe of watching others go first but a little bit of a risk in that if the conditions change you can find the footing can slow you up a lot but I hope it was the right thing, but also Chilli Morning was the first to go in Pau and that’s not a slot that us riders like so I thought I can’t do that to him again!