MARLBOROUGH-BASED Andrew Nicholson could not retain his Pau Horse Trials four-star title as William Fox-Pitt triumphed emphatically.

Nicholson finished fifth with Mr Cruise Control despite dropping two rails showjumping, but would have been disappointed to retire newcomer Viscount George after two refusals.

The New Zealander also rode Quimbo who was sitting fourth after dressage, but they incurred an unlucky run out when the horse never really locked on to a skinny ‘B’ element despite looking impressive on the rest of the course.

Hodson’s Tom McEwen finally got the change of luck he deserved as he partnered Dry Old Party to 11th with a superb double clear that only a handful managed.

Little Cheverell-based Lucinda Fredericks looked on course for a winning performance when she and Flying FInish topped the tables after dressage, being the only pair to produce a sub-40 dressage test.

However, a run out at the second water cost them and they slipped out of contention, before adding two rails from a tricky showjumping track on the final day.

The British Eventing season drew to a close back home and Paul Tapner was in action as he took six rides to Aldon Horse Trials.

The Highworth-based Aussie recorded some worthwhile results, including a win for Inishmor at Intermediate level.

He produced a smart dressage for 28.2 and added only minor time penalties across the country, whilst Bonza King of Rogues was third in the same section, marginally behind.

Tapner rode Counterparty to fourth in her first attempt at Novice, just having one rail showjumping which was a superb end to her first season eventing.

Boston JRP signed off his season with a massive personal best at one-star level that saw him come fourth.

Bonza Rusty May has been super-consistent since Tapner took over the ride and they were sixth at Open Intermediate this time round.

Tapner’s final ride, Dulverton Mandoline, came 12th in the BE100, putting her recent elimination behind her, just having a couple of rails to add from her showjumping round.

Membury’s Laura Collett had top-five finishes with both her rides at Aldon. Cooley Again stepped up to Novice, adding just four faults showjumping for fifth place, whilst Nankin W produced a double clear and dressage test good enough for second in the Young Horse one-star section.

Alicia Hawker also took two to Aldon, piloting Vanir Jensen Busted to 11th in their section with a double clear, all the more impressive for his first outing at CIC one-star.

Magical Spirit produced a nice dressage test, but picked up some cross country penalties to finish further down the order at Novice.