William Fox-Pitt and the magnificent chestnut stallion Chilli Morning, the most successful British eventing combination of recent years, have taken the lead at this early stage of the Dodson & Horrell Challenge.

The pair, winners of Badminton 2015 plus championship medals at world and European level, are on the excellent score of 37.0 at the halfway stage of the dressage phase of this prestigious competition which, this year, will be a crucial Olympic selection trial for riders from all nations. 

British riders Izzy Taylor from Oxfordshire, riding Allercombe Flora (score 38.7), Nicola Wilson from North Yorkshire (Bulana, 42.6) and Gemma Tattersall from West Sussex (Chico Bella P, 41.3) are currently in second, third and fourth places, all vying for a place on the British team heading for the Rio Olympic Games in August.

The sight of Fox-Pitt, a regular visit to Chatsworth and a team silver medallist at London 2012, was a particularly thrill for spectators as he has only competed lightly so far this season following a serious head injury at a competition in France last October. 

“We’ve got a way to go before we beat Michael Jung [the reigning German Olympic champion], but I’m very pleased considering this is Chilli’s first big outing this season. He’s got such an amazing temperament for a stallion and it’s just great to be back here at Chatsworth,” said Fox-Pitt of his gentlemanly mount.

Fox-Pitt will also compete Cool Mountain in tomorrow’s Event Rider Masters class, the first leg of an innovative new series for the world’s top-ranked riders. Fox-Pitt, a former world number one, is currently ranked 10th in the world. 

Australian rider Christopher Burton, the current world number two, and New Zealander Sir Mark Todd, number three, will also be in action tomorrow as will British Olympians Kristina Cook and Zara Tindall (nee Phillips) plus leading riders from France, Germany, the USA and China.

A strong Irish contingent has descended on Chatsworth and one of their number, Oxfordshire-based Austin O’Connor, has already won prizes: he was first and third in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Class for five-year-olds with Kate Jarvey’s Six O’ Clock Somewhere and his own and his partner Amy Crerar’s Watermill Gonzalo. 

Lincolnshire-based Ros Canter, who came second on Quite Something, had an enviable dilemma when she rode three horses into the top 10 in the four-year-old section and had to scrabble around for spare jockeys to perform the final gallop.

She managed to persuade Frenchman Cyril Chatel to hastily don riding clothes to ride Landlord, and this proved a good decision as the horse finished third, while Ros herself won the class on G Star Van De Klinkenberg. 

“You don’t like to plan for these things and then you wish you had,” laughed Ros, who had taken over producing the winning horse when owner Sharon Bayston suffered a shoulder injury.

Tomorrow’s visitors to the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials are ensured a feast of entertainment: as well as the show jumping and cross-country action for the novice and one-star international classes, there’s scurry driving, falconry, the hilarious Sheep Show, arena eventing and dog agility and a gundog demonstration. 

“It’s been an excellent first day which has set the stage for an action-packed weekend,” said Sam Horrell, Chief Executive of Dodson & Horrell, the title sponsor. “Chatsworth looks amazing and the weather forecast looks good ahead of an exciting weekend of competition and family entertainment. We are thrilled to be a part of it.”
For more information, visit Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials
-ends-
Notes to editors:

For a full list of competitors and start times, plus live results, visit www.bdwp.co.uk/cha

For details of the Event Rider Masters series and live streaming of tomorrow’s action at Chatsworth, visit www.eventridermasters.tv

For press enquiries during the event, please contact the on-site Chatsworth International Horse Trials press officer:
Rachael Morley
07889 083194
morley274@btinternet.com

For general media enquiries, please contact Chatsworth pr agency:
Liz Bee
Redbrick Communications
0115 910 1500
lizb@redbrickcommunications.com 

For Dodson & Horrell media enquiries please contact the Press Office at JB Promotions – 01458 250200
Or email April@jbpromotions.co.uk

Dodson & Horrell
Dodson & Horrell Ltd is a family run business that is proud of its heritage. The company is Europe’s leading specialist equine feed manufacturer and a worldwide authority on nutrition and feeding. A pioneer of manufacturing methods the company has been leading the way in equine nutrition and nutritional research for over 75 years and exports to over 42 countries.

As official supplier of nutrition to Equestrian Team GBR since 2009 Dodson & Horrell works closely with the entire team to deliver nutritional advice to both the Performance and World Class Programmes.  

In addition Dodson & Horrell supports a variety of top equestrian athletes who make up 
‘Team D&H’.  The ambassadors play a vital role within the company by highlighting the quality of the feed and nutritional advice representing a variety of disciplines - carriage driving, eventing, 
para-dressage, showjumping and dressage. 

Dodson & Horrell’s Brand Ambassadors are:
Dressage: Richard Davison, Anna Ross
Driving: Boyd Exell (AUS)
Eventing: Laura Collett, Piggy French, Harry Meade, Zara Phillips, Spencer Sturmey
Para-dressage: Lee Pearson, Sophie Wells 
Showjumping: Lauren Hough (USA), Yazmin Pinchen

Dodson & Horrell has a long history in supporting equestrian sports across all levels, from its title sponsorship of the iconic Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials to sponsorship of the British Dressage Novice Championships, the British Showjumping Amateur & Veteran Championships and The Festival of British Eventing Novice Championships as well as over 25 years of support for Point-to-Point racing.  

Dodson & Horrell were honoured to be granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment in 1985 for horse feed and is proud to continue as Horse Food Manufacturer to HM Queen Elizabeth to the present day. 
Follow Dodson & Horrell on the social channels:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dodsonandhorrell   
Twitter: @DodsonHorrell 
Instagram: @dodsonhorrell
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/dodsonandhorrell 

Chatsworth
The Chatsworth House Trust is dedicated to the preservation of Chatsworth House, the art collection, garden, woodlands and park for the long term benefit of the public. 
The charity promotes the study and appreciation of Chatsworth as a place of historic, architectural and artistic interest and of natural beauty, and encourages the use and enjoyment of Chatsworth by visitors for education and recreation. 
Chatsworth is a member of the Treasure Houses of England, 10 of the most magnificent palaces, stately homes and castles in England. www.treasurehouses.co.uk
Chatsworth is only 16 miles from the M1, 10 miles from Chesterfield, and 8 miles north of Matlock, in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park and is well served by transport links throughout the UK.

Follow Chatsworth on social channels:
Facebook: http://facebook.com/chatsworthhouse
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChatsworthHouse
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/OfficialChatsworth
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chatsworthofficial
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+chatsworthhouse

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