Britain’s William Fox-Pitt Leads After Olympic Eventing Day One, Germany Tops Teams So Far

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William Fox-Pitt after taking lead after first of two days of eventing dressage. © 2016 FEI/Dirk Caremans
William Fox-Pitt after taking lead after first of two days of eventing dressage. © 2016 FEI/Dirk Caremans

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 6, 2016–Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt, two weeks in a coma after a head injury last fall, took the lead after the first of two days of Olympic evening dressage Saturday.

On Chilli Morning, a 16-year-old stallion, William produced a score of 37.00 in the first of three phases to top a score of 37.60 set by Australia’s Christopher Burton and his nine-year-old gelding, Santano II.

Added to 47.20 logged by team mate Gemma Tattersall on Quicklook V, Great Britain was third before the remaining 31 horse-and-rider combinations in Sunday’s second day of dressage.

Defending Olympic champion Michael Jung on Sam, the horse he rode to spearhead the German team and individual gold four years ago was on 40.90 with compatriot and reigning world champion Sandra Auffarth on Opgun Louvo fourth on 41.60 to be at the top of the team standings. Australia was second among the 13 teams.

“All along Rio has been my target, totally,” William said. “It was unrealistic, but it was mine.

“I was in a coma for a couple of weeks and my sight was quite dodgy. I went from blind to seeing double so when I started jumping there were two jumps. It’s been a journey, but I’ve had so much support. Mentally I was very tired, I probably still am. I feel like I’m waking up, but slowly.”

Results–Dressage Day 1

TEAM
1 GER Germany 82.50
2 AUS Australia 83.90
3 GBR Great Britain 84.20
4 FRA France 85.40
5 NZL New Zealand 91.00
6 IRL Ireland 93.80
7 USA United States 94.30
8 SWE Sweden 98.80
9 CAN Canada 101.40
10 BRA Brazil 104.50
11 ITA Italy 105.80
12 NED Netherlands 111.70
RUS Russian Federation 66.00