William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning, Badminton Horse Trials, 2015
|Full name||William Speed Lane Fox-Pitt|
2 January 1969 |
Hampstead, London, England
William Speed Lane Fox-Pitt (born 2 January 1969) is an English equestrian who competes in eventing. His career highlights include winning three Olympic medals in the team event, with silver in 2004 and 2012, and bronze in 2008. At the World Equestrian Games, he won team gold and individual silver in 2010, and team silver and individual bronze in 2014. He also won World team medals in 2002 and 2006. At the European Championships, he has won six team gold medals, as well as Individual silver in 1997 and 2005, and Individual bronze in 2013. In 2011, he became the first rider to win five different four-star events, having won the Burghley Horse Trials a record six times (1994, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011), Rolex Kentucky three times (2010, 2012, 2014), Stars of Pau twice (2011, 2013), the Badminton Horse Trials twice (2004, 2015), and the Luhmühlen Horse Trials once (2008). A serious fall in 2015 left him in a coma for two weeks, but he came back to make the British eventing team and attend the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Fox-Pitt was born in Hampstead, the eldest son of William Oliver Lane Fox-Pitt (1932-2012, known as Oliver) and Marietta Speed. His father competed in many sports, and in addition had a career in the City.  He was born into an equestrian family, with both parents having ridden around Badminton and Burghley and his siblings having been very successful as well. His paternal grandfather was "Major-General "Billy" Fox-Pitt, DSO, MC, a Dorset landowner who served in both World Wars and was a founding officer of the Welsh Guards" 
Educated at Wellesley House School in Kent, Eton College and the University of London, Fox-Pitt began riding at age four, he stopped when he was 13 because he thought he would get bullied then again starting when he was 15 and started eventing at age 15.
He holds the record for the most wins (six) at the Burghley Horse Trials; William's victories coming in 1994, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011. Additional major wins have been at the Badminton Horse Trials in 2004 and again in 2015, at Gatcombe Park in 1995, 2000, 2003 and 2005, and team golds in European Championships in 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009. He took team bronze at the 2011 Europeans, individual bronze at the 2013 Europeans, and team silver and individual bronze at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. He also represented Great Britain at the (1996 Summer Olympics/Atlanta), (2004 Summer Olympics/Athens), (2008 Summer Olympics/Beijing), (2012 Summer Olympics/London) and (2016 Summer Olympics/Rio), winning team silver in Athens, team bronze in Beijing and team silver in London. In 2006 he was ranked the leading rider in Britain for the sixth year running and 2nd in the world, and as of 2014 he was ranked 1st in the world. William is married to Channel 4 Racing presenter Alice Plunkett. They have two sons; Oliver (born in August 2005) and Thomas (born 15 November 2006), and two daughters; Chloe (born October 2012) and Emily (born September 2014). William is a regular columnist in the weekly equestrian magazine, Horse & Hound.
In October 2015, a fall at a competition in France left him in a coma for two weeks. After regaining consciousness, he had initial trouble with blindness and then double vision, but was ultimately able to earn a spot on the British team for the 2016 Olympics and returned to international competition with the stallion Chilli Morning. He was the only remaining member of the team who won silver in London 2012.