The British Animal: Anglo-Arab
January 6, 2005
William Fox-Pitt is photographed with Tamarillo, on which he won Badminton last year. Described by Mr Fox-Pitt as ‘the horse of a lifetime’, Tamarillo, who is a third Arab and two-thirds Thoroughbred, was bred in this country by Finn Guinness. He is owned by Mary Guinness, and Mr Fox-Pitt has been riding him for four years. ‘He’s a freak of nature. He’s highly athletic as well as being intelligent and trainable.’ But that does not mean that he is a pushover: Mr Fox-Pitt also describes him as ‘opinionated’, a characteristic that can sometimes cause problems in the dressage. ‘I live in hope that he will behave and reach his full potential and, as he is only 212 years old, this is a distinct possibility.’ It was a big disappointment for his rider and the rest of the British team when Tamarillo was withdrawn from this year’s Olympics, owning to injury. The pair are now working towards the Beijing Games in 2008.
When he is not wowing the equestrian world, Tamarillo lives at Mr Fox-Pitt’s estate in Dorset, where he presides over the yard with an attitude becoming a champion. ‘He is an extraordinary mixture of a lot of things: he’s very greedy and he lets his presence be known, but he’s also extremely kind and quite lazy. I think he sees us as his porters-cum-waiters.’