Article Date: 20-April-2012
Having claimed victory at the 2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, former Rolex Kentucky champion William Fox-Pitt, is now the current live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam prize.
Fox-Pitt faces the daunting challenge of following up his Burghley victory with back-to-back wins required at both Kentucky and Badminton, with just one week apart.
ROLEX caught up with Fox-Pitt this week whilst he was en route to the airport to see Parklane Hawk safely off on the plane to the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (April 26th 29th).
How is Parklane Hawk? Parklane Hawk is on very good form. He has undergone some good preparation and is feeling fit, so hopefully he will perform very well. In terms of travelling, he is quite a sensitive horse but he comes from New Zealand so he has travelled before. To get them from England to the States, the carry-on is quite excessive. [Parklane Hawk flew out to Kentucky on Tuesday, April 17th].
How has your training and preparations been this winter and spring? It’s gone to plan, and so far it’s been hitch-free. The horse has had three good runs, and he’s on good form for the States.
Why did you pick Parklane Hawk for Kentucky? I discussed it with the owner [Catherine Witt] and that’s just how it worked out. The owner has one horse for Badminton as well and we decided between us that as he’s done Lexington before, we thought it was a good one for Parklane Hawk.
Do you know anything about Derek di Grazia’s [Kentucky Cross-country course designer] changes to this year’s Kentucky cross-country course? I haven’t seen the changes that Derek has made, but from what I understand, he is being a bit more authoritative this year, so I look forward to seeing the new course, as it is hard to predict what it will entail. It could have a good change and feel to it! My main aspiration for the week is that Parklane Hawk consolidates his form from Burghley.
When are you travelling out to Kentucky? I fly out to Kentucky on Monday [23rd April]. It’ll be all about the Rolex this week and then we’ll focus on Badminton and the big dream of winning the Rolex Grand Slam.
In 2001, Rolex created the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. This trophy is awarded to the rider who manages to win the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials event in any consecutive order. Until now, only British rider Pippa Funnell has managed this staggering achievement, winning the title in 2003.
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