A More than capable substitute........…William Fox-Pitt to ride for Team Griffiths on Express Eventing Saturday at HorseWorld Live! - 01 November 2012
When the organisers of Express Eventing – the one seat, sees all version of equestrian eventing – revised the competition format introducing teams of riders, they had two key objectives. One was to guarantee the top names from the world of eventing to the venues at which the Series will take place throughout 2012-13 and their audiences. The other was to allow the competing athletes the flexibility of offering a substitute rider for one of the rounds of competition…..but not the Final.
So when Australian Olympic rider Sam Griffiths –Express Eventing finalist in 2011, qualifying at The British Festival of Eventing at Gatcombe Park on Real Dancer, - knew that he would be unable to take part in the first round of the 2012-13 Series due to a long standing commitment in Australia. He took steps to ensure that Team Griffiths would be left in very safe hands.
Eventing legend, William Fox-Pitt, will now ride Real Dancer on Sam’s behalf in the first round of the Express Eventing 2012-2013 Series at HorseWorld Live! on Saturday 17th November 2012 at London’s ExCel Arena.
William who is one of the most successful British event riders of all time, took part in the very first Express Eventing competition in 2008 and has followed its development throughout. In 2011 he became the first athlete to win Burghley six times on six different horses and is one of the first people to win 1*, 2** and 3*** competitions at the same event on the same day – a feat he achieved at Tattersalls in Ireland. He won Olympic Team Silver in London 2012, Olympic Team Bronze in Beijing in 2008 and Olympic Team Silver in Athens 2004.
Speaking today, he commented. ‘’ I think Express Eventing is a great concept and is now taking the sport of eventing to a new and wider audience. In 2010, the competition was restricted to Young Riders and during the 2011 Series, I was rather focussed on London 2012, but I am delighted to be taking part in the first round of the Series particularly on a horse that has competed so successfully before.’’
Sam added. ‘’I was thrilled to be invited to be a Team Principal for the 2012-13 Series but when I realised the unavoidable date clash, I acted quickly to ensure that in my absence, the team would be given the best possible chance of picking up valuable points that contribute to the overall Series. Really, who better is there to increase your chances of doing well than William Fox-Pitt. I have also chosen fellow Australian Bill Levett as my second team rider for the first round of the Series, so there is a serious possibility that I won’t get my place back!’’
Speaking on behalf of Tricorn Events, Equestrian Director Stephen Renouard commented. ‘’ We are totally committed to delivering the very top athletes from the eventing world to our host venues and the new and established audiences now following the Series. This year’s list of confirmed riders endorses this and we will continue to work with them and other interested parties to ensure that the Series continues to evolve in a positive manner. The flexibility we have introduced in enabling the Team Principals to select their second rider and if necessary to miss one of the competition rounds, can only add to the tactics they adopt and the overall drama of the Series.
The first round of the 2012-13 Series takes place on Express Eventing Saturday at HorseWorld Live, ExCel, London from 17th – 19th November 2012. Tickets can be purchased via www.horseworldlive.com A limited number of tickets are still available for the Express Eventing Gala Dinner at Hilton, Docklands, Riverside after the competition. Yogi Breisner will be the after dinner speaker and the competing athletes will be in attendance. Tickets are £55 each, or £495 for a table of ten. For more details, please visit www.expresseventing.co.uk
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