William Fox-Pitt and Andrew Nicholson are ready to return to eventing after recovering from last year’s serious accidents.
Fox-Pitt suffered a head trauma after falling at an owl hole fence during the cross-country phase of the 2015 World Championships for Young Horses at Le Lion d’Angers last October. He spent about a month at Angers hospital before flying home to begin his rehabilitation at Poole General Hospital.
Last Friday, the Olympic gold medallist announced that he has been given the green light to return to competing.
“Yogi [Breisner] came down this week and we jumped four horses together and it very much feels like all systems go,” Fox-Pitt said in a statement that appeared on his website. “A big thank you to everyone who has supported me through my recovery. I am looking forward to working with Chilli Morning and the rest of the horses and getting going with the season.”
Fox-Pitt hopes to make his comeback at Burnham Market at the beginning of April. Meanwhile, Harry Meade and Hector Payne competed two of Fox-Pitt’s horses at Aldon last weekend — Meade was aboard Reinstated, the horse Fox-Pitt was riding when he fell in France, while Payne teamed up with Dynasty.
Aldon was also the backdrop for Andrew Nicholson’s return. The Kiwi rider, who risked remaining paralysed after suffering a neck injury from a fall at Gatcombe last summer, entered six horses at Aldon and rode one of them, Perfect Stranger, to victory in the Open Intermediate class.
Nicholson’s target, according to what he told the New Zealand Herald earlier this year, is to compete at Badminton in May.