WILLIAM Fox-Pitt can still win eventing’s coveted Rolex Grand Slam despite the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials being cancelled.
The Sturminster Newton star had set himself up for a Grand Slam assault at Badminton later this week after winning Burghley last September and then the Rolex Kentucky at the weekend.
The Grand Slam, and its prize of just under £220,000, is awarded if a rider wins consecutive Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton titles in any order.
But its degree of difficulty is underlined by the fact it has only been achieved on one previous occasion, by Britain’s Pippa Funnell nine years ago.
Badminton, which was due to start tomorrow morning, was cancelled on Monday because of waterlogging, the first time since 1987 it has been called off due to the weather.
Rolex and Grand Slam organisers have now confirmed that world number one Fox-Pitt will still achieve eventing’s richest prize if he wins Badminton next year.
In a statement they said: “To confirm, the Rolex Grand Slam will be awarded to any rider who wins all three events consecutively.
“Therefore, with the current contender of the Rolex Grand Slam prize being William Fox-Pitt, who has now won the 2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Fox-Pitt will now have to win the 2013 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in order to claim the prize, as this fulfils the criteria of having to win each of the three events consecutively.
“For the first time in the history of the Rolex Grand Slam, the current situation means that Fox-Pitt could be challenged for the title at the same event if any other rider consecutively wins the 2012 Burghley Horse Trials and also the 2013 Rolex Kentucky.”