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William Speed Lane Fox-Pitt MBE [1](born 2 January 1969) is an English equestrian who competes in eventing. His career highlights include winning three Olympic medals in the team event, with silver in 2004 and 2012, and bronze in 2008. At the World Equestrian Games, he won team gold and individual silver in 2010, and team silver and individual bronze in 2014. He also won World team medals in 2002 and 2006. At the European Championships, he has won six team gold medals, as well as Individual silver in 1997 and 2005, and Individual bronze in 2013. In 2011, he became the first rider to win five different four-star events,[2] having won the Burghley Horse Trials a record six times (1994, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011), Rolex Kentucky three times (2010, 2012, 2014), Stars of Pau twice (2011, 2013), the Badminton Horse Trials twice (2004, 2015), and the Luhmühlen Horse Trials once (2008). A serious fall in 2015 left him in a coma for two weeks, but he came back to make the British eventing team and attend the 2016 Summer Olympics.

William Fox-Pitt MBE
William Fox-Pitt on Chilli Morning at Badminton 2015.JPG
William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning, Badminton Horse Trials, 2015
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Speed Lane Fox-Pitt
Nationality Great Britain
Born (1969-01-02) 2 January 1969 (age 50)
Hampstead, London, England

Family background and educationEdit

Fox-Pitt was born in Hampstead, the eldest son of William Oliver Lane Fox-Pitt (1932-2012, known as Oliver) and Marietta Speed. His father competed in many sports, and in addition had a career in the City, founding an investment bank now known as Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller. [3] Oliver and Marietta were both equestrian competitors, riding at Badminton and Burghley, and his siblings have been very successful as well.[4] His paternal grandfather was Major-General “Billy” Fox-Pitt, DSO, MC, a Dorset landowner who served in both World Wars and was a founding officer of the Welsh Guards. [5][6]

Fox-Pitt was Educated at Wellesley House School in Kent, Eton College and the University of London.

Fox-Pitt began riding at age four. At 13, he stopped riding because he feared he would be bullied by his peers. With the encouragement of his parents, Fox-Pitt began his outstanding career in eventing at the age of 15.

He is married to former eventer and current ITV Racing presenter Alice Plunkett. They have four children: Oliver, Thomas, Chloe, and Emily.[7]

Sporting careerEdit

He holds the record for the most wins (six) at the Burghley Horse Trials;[8] William's victories coming in 1994, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011. Additional major wins have been at the Badminton Horse Trials in 2004 and again in 2015, at Gatcombe Park in 1995, 2000, 2003 and 2005. Team golds in European Championships in 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009. He took individual silver at the 1997 Europeans, team bronze at the 2002 and 2011 Europeans, individual silver at the 2005 Europeans, team silver at the 2006 Aachen World Equestrian Games, team gold at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, individual bronze at the 2013 Europeans, team silver and individual bronze at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, and team silver at the 2015 Europeans. He also represented Great Britain at the (1996 Summer Olympics/Atlanta), (2004 Summer Olympics/Athens), (2008 Summer Olympics/Beijing), (2012 Summer Olympics/London) and (2016 Summer Olympics/Rio), winning team silver in Athens, team bronze in Beijing and team silver in London. In 2006 he was ranked the leading rider in Britain for the sixth year running and 2nd in the world, and as of 2014 he was ranked 1st in the world. William is married to Channel 4 Racing presenter Alice Plunkett. They have two sons; Oliver (born in August 2005) and Thomas (born 15 November 2006), and two daughters; Chloe (born October 2012) and Emily (born September 2014). William is a regular columnist in the weekly equestrian magazine, Horse & Hound.

In the eventing world, one of his best known partnerships is with the horse Tamarillo.

In October 2015, a fall at a competition in France left him in a coma for two weeks. After regaining consciousness, he had initial trouble with blindness and then double vision, but was ultimately able to earn a spot on the British team for the 2016 Olympics and returned to international competition with the stallion Chilli Morning.[9] He was the only remaining member of the team who won silver in London 2012. [10]

Career highlightsEdit

William Fox-Pitt and Idalgo at the Hillside during the cross-country phase of Badminton Horse Trials 2009.
William Fox Pitt and Before Time at the Ice Pond during the cross-country phase of the CIC*** (Section K) competition at Chatsworth International Horse Trials 2013.


  • 1st Tattersalls Horse Trials CCI*** (Georgisaurous)
  • 2nd Festival of British Eventing Novice Championships (Grafennacht)


  • 2nd Blenheim Palace Horse Trials CCI*** (Oratorio II)
  • 2nd Tattersalls Horse Trials CCI*** (Little Fire)


  • 1st Barbury Horse Trials CIC*** (Clifton Signature)


  • 12th Individual at the Summer Olympics in Rio (Chilli Morning)







  • FEI World number 1 eventing rider
  • 1st Rolex Kentucky Three Day CCI **** (Cool Mountain)
  • Team Gold and Individual Silver at FEI World Equestrian Games Kentucky (Cool Mountain)


  • Team Gold at the European Championships in France (Idalgo)







  • 5th Le Lion d’Angers (Idalgo)
  • 8th Le Lion d’Angers (Igor de Cluis)
  • 1st Boekelo (Tom Cruise)
  • Team gold and 8th individual European Championships, Punchestown, Ireland (Moon Man)
  • 1st CIC World Cup Qualifier, Thirlestane Castle (Stunning)
  • 1st British Open Championships, Gatcombe Park (Stunning)
  • 2nd British Open Championships, Gatcombe Park (Moon Man)
  • 1st British Intermediate Championships, Gatcombe Park (Tom Cruise II)
  • 1st Luhmühlen Horse Trials CIC *** (Tom Cruise II)
  • 1st Bramham Horse Trials CCI *** (Wallow)
  • 2nd Bramham Horse Trials CCI *** (Ballincoola)
  • 7th Saumur (Coastal Ties)
  • 1st Chatsworth CIC World Cup Qualifier (Stunning)
  • 3rd Rolex Kentucky Three Day CCI **** (Moon Man)



  • 5th and Team gold European Champs, Pau, France (Stunning)
  • 4th Bonn Roderberg CCIO (Barclay Square)
  • 4th Saumur (Stunning)
  • 9th Burghley Horse Trials CCI **** (Springleaze Macaroo)




  • Individual silver and Team gold European Open Championships, Burghley (Cosmopolitan II)
  • 2nd Scottish Open Championships, Thirlestane Castle (Cosmopolitan II)
  • 3rd Badminton Horse Trials CCI **** (Cosmopolitan II)


  • 5th Olympic Games Team Competition, Atlanta, USA (Cosmopolitan II)
  • 6th Bramham Horse Trials CCI *** (Lismore Lord Charles)
  • 5th Boekelo (Mostly Mischief)


  • 6th and Team gold European Open Championships, Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy (Cosmopolitan II)
  • 1st Bramham Horse Trials CCI *** (Cosmopolitan II)
  • 1st British Open Championships, Gatcombe Park (Chaka)
  • 6th Blenheim Horse Trials CCI *** (Loch Alan)
  • 5th Boekelo (Faerie Diadem)


  • 1st Burghley Horse Trials CCI **** (Chaka)
  • 2nd Scottish Open Championships, Thirlestane Castle (Chaka)
  • 7th Punchestown (Thomastown)
  • 2nd British Open Championships, Gatcombe Park (Chaka)



  • 4th and Team gold Young Rider European Championships (Steadfast)
  • 3rd Young Rider National Championships (Faerie Sovereign)


  • Individual bronze and Team silver Young Rider European Championships, Achselschwang, Germany


  • 4th and Team gold Young Rider European Championships, Zonhoven, Belgium (Steadfast)


  • Individual silver Junior European Championships, Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy (Steadfast)
  • 5th Junior National Championships


  • 8th Junior National Championships 1985

Partial CCI5* ResultsEdit

Event Kentucky Badminton Luhmühlen Burghley Pau Adelaide
1993 7th (Chaka)
1994   (Chaka)
1997   (Cosmopolitan II)
2001 9th (Springleaze Macaroo)
2002 4th (Stunning)   (Tamarillo)   (Highland Lad)7th (Moon Man)
2003   (Moon Man) 22nd (Highland Lad) 28th (Ballin Coola)
2004 4th (Ballin Coola)11th (Coastal Ties)   (Tamarillo) 11th (Ballin Coola)
2005   (Tamarillo)RET (Ballin Coola)   (Ballin Coola)
2006 RET (Mr Dumbledore)

EL (Coup De Coeur)

9th (Ballin Coola)

WD (Tamarillo)

11th (Birthday Night) 6th (Ballin Coola)

19th (Idalgo Du Donjon)

2007   (Parkmore Ed)5th (Ballin Coola)
2008   (Ballin Coola)18th (Tamarillo)   (Macchiato)   (Tamarillo)  (Ballin Coola) 11th (Idalgo Du Donjon)
2009 6th (Seacookie TSF)23rd (Navigator)   (Idalgo Du Donjon)5th (Macchiato) 8th (Seacookie TSF)RET (Macchiato) 17th (Macchiato)
2010   (Cool Mountain) 34th (Macchiato)

WD (Seacookie TSF)

  (Seacookie TSF)6th (Macchiato)   (Navigator)
2011 4th (Neuf Des Coeurs) 13th (Cool Mountain)

15th (Navigator)

9th (Macchiato)   (Parklane Hawk)

18th (Neuf Des Coeurs)



25th (Macchiato)

2012   (Parklane Hawk)   (Parklane Hawk)

RET (Seacookie TSF)

4th (Bay My Hero)5th (Chilli Morning)
2013   (Seacookie TSF)

RET (Chilli Morning)

5th (Parklane Hawk)52rd (Oslo)   (Neuf Des Coeurs)

4th (Lionheart)

  (Parklane Hawk)

RET (Neuf Des Coeurs)

  (Seacookie TSF)

  (Cool Mountain)

15th (Neuf Des Coeurs)

2014   (Bay My Hero)

9th (Seacookie TSF)

EL (Parklane Hawk)

WD (Cool Mountain)

WD (Cool Mountain) 4th (Bay My Hero) WD (Parklane Hawk)

RET (Seacookie TSF)

2015 4th (Bay My Hero)   (Chilli Morning) 10th (Fernhill Pimms)
2016-17 Did Not Participate
2018 RET (Fernhill Pimms) EL (Little Fire)
2019 8th (Little Fire)

12th (Oratorio)

EL = Eliminated; RET = Retired; WD = Withdrew

International Championship ResultsEdit

Year Event Horse Placing Notes
1987 European Junior Championships Steadfast   Individual
1989 European Young Rider Championships Steadfast   Team
4th Individual
1990 European Young Rider Championships Steadfast   Team
4th Individual
1995 European Championships Cosmopolitan II   Team
5th Individual
1996 Olympic Games Cosmopolitan II 5th Team
1997 European Championships Cosmopolitan II   Team
2001 European Championships Stunning   Team
6th Individual
2002 World Equestrian Games Tamarillo   Team
14th Individual
2003 European Championships Moon Man   Team
8th Individual
2004 Olympic Games Tamarillo   Team
RET Individual
2004 World Young Horse Championships Gidran Sohaj 18th CCI**
Jass de la Fosse 22nd CCI**
2005 World Cup Final Ballin Coola 4th
2005 European Championships Tamarillo   Team
2006 World Equestrian Games Tamarillo   Team
15th Individual
2006 World Young Horse Championships Chuckelberry WD CCI**
2008 World Cup Final Kaleidoscope RET
2008 Olympic Games Parkmore ED   Team
12th Individual
2008 World Young Horse Championships Oslo   CCI*
Neuf des Coeurs 12th CCI**
2009 European Championships Idalgo du Donjon   Team
4th Individual
2009 World Young Horse Championships Oslo   CCI**
2010 World Equestrian Games Cool Mountain   Team
2010 World Young Horse Championships Fernhill Highlight 4th CCI**
Bay My Hero 6th CCI**
2011 European Championships Cool Mountain   Team
7th Individual
2012 Olympic Games Lionheart   Team
27th Individual
2013 European Championships Chilli Morning 6th Team
2013 World Young Horse Championships Top Baits WD CCI*
Luxury F H WD CCI**
Henton For Fun WD CCI**
2014 World Equestrian Games Chilli Morning   Team
2015 European Championships Bay My Hero   Team
RET Individual
2015 World Young Horse Championships Reinstated EL CCI**
The Soapdodger WD CCI**
2016 Olympic Games Chilli Morning 5th Team
12th Individual
2019 World Young Horse Championships Grafennacht 4th CCI***
EL = Eliminated; RET = Retired; WD = Withdrew


William Fox-Pitt on Idalgo clears the Cottesmore Leap at Burghley Horse Trials, 2006


  1. ^
  2. ^ "William Fox-Pitt wins Pau, but Mary King takes HSBC FEI Classics". Horse and Hound. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Oliver Fox-Pitt". The Telegraph. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  4. ^ Fox-Pitt, William. What wil be: The autobiography. ISBN 978-1-4072-2334-6.
  5. ^ "Oliver Fox-Pitt". The Telegraph. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  6. ^ "William Fox-Pitt Survived Gunshot Wound and Pneumonia". Merseyside at War 1914 - 1918. Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  7. ^ "I Love My Hunting: Alice Fox-Pitt". The Master's Voice (26). March 2011. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Fifth Burghley crown for Fox-Pitt". BBC Sport. 7 September 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  9. ^ Staff (6 August 2016). "Fox-Pitt Leads Early in Olympic Eventing". Blood-Horse. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  10. ^ The Telegraph: William Fox-Pitt completes stunning recovery to claim Rio 2016 place

External linksEdit