William Fox-Pitt And Alice Plunkett

The World’s official leading eventer William Fox Pitt starts a new season and his preparations for a crack at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (May 1-4), from a new base and backed by a new line-up of sponsors.

William and his partner Alice Plunkett have moved with the horses to Dorset and with support from a team of backers; Equissage, Musto Clothing, Barrus, Biotal and Monarch Equestrian, look set for a strong campaign.

Although William has yet to win Badminton he came a close second last year with Tamarillo, with whom he also won team silver at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez. Tamarillo tops his entries for this year along with stablemate, the surprise Burghley winner, Highland Lad. Moon Man will also have an entry but if tactics go to plan he and William will be crossing the Atlantic the week before to contest the American, Rolex Kentucky, event.

"To go one better at Badminton with Tamarillo would be fantastic but that would be a perfect world. Badminton will be a step into the unknown for Highland Lad but I hope it will prove a natural progression and that he will cope with the big atmosphere. And of course I am hoping for an injury free event this year," said William whose success last year came despite riding with a painful groin strain.

William’s partner, former eventer, Alice Plunkett is also on board for a hectic weekend as the ‘attheraces’ presenter is involved in the re-launch of Radio Badminton and will also be the correspondent for BBC Radio Five Live.

"Having Radio Badminton back on air is really exciting – radio is such a good medium - everyone at the event will be able to keep in touch wherever they are," said Alice, who is the only female rider to have completed the course at Badminton and Aintree. "

While Badminton has always been special – this year will be a particularly exciting and busy weekend for the team with a lot to look forward to. William has two great prospects and he will be having a shot at that Mitsubishi Motors trophy that’s for sure."

Published : 22/02/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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