It is very rare that the annual beast of eventing sport - Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials - avoids the windswept rain and chills of early May. This year, however, blue skies romped and the sun shone down on the cross-country course in Gloucestershire's stunning countryside as Britain's William Fox-Pitt managed to claim his 2nd Badminton victory title on that - not so - 'Chilli Morning'.

Having spectated and walked the course myself among thousands of others at yesterday's event, the difficulty of the Giuseppe Della Chiesa's new look cross-country course could not be denied; Paul Tapner, who lay in 2nd place after Dressage - the 1st phase of the three-day event - predicted that no more than 5 would clear the course within the optimum time.

In the end, nevertheless, there were none. Of the 35 competing, 23 went clear, but none were within the optimum time; Badminton '15 was described by Horse and Country TV as 'one of the most drama-filled cross country days in decades'.

Indeed, suspense was fierce. Following Saturday's cross country phase, New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson and Nereo looked sure to claim a win, yet three down in the Show jumping today saw his heartbreak, as he plummeted from 1st to 6th place in seconds as the crowd watched with baited breath. Germany's Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob finished in 2nd, 1.2 penalties behind Fox-Pitt.

46-year-old Fox-Pitt's tears of joy as he celebrated his 2nd Badminton conquest, with the most prestigious £80,000 eventing prize, marked the first British success at the beautiful Badminton Estate for 6 years, while his mount Chilli Morning made a history-making victory being the first stallion to win an elite four-star event worldwide.

The Dorset-based champ stated: 'I can't believe it. You are so in the lap of the Gods when you are lying 2nd going into show jumping. [ … ] I won here in 2004, and it has been a long wait, but what a horse. I am so proud of him'. It is always wonderful to hear of the rider's admiration and devotion to his ride; the guardian reports that the 15-year-old Chilli Morning will now take a much needed break, yet if his current form continues, it will be no surprise if the pair do not lead Great Britain's eventing team into the Rio Olympics challenge next year.