DORSET star William Fox-Pitt shed tears of joy after landing eventing’s most prestigious prize with a history-making victory at the Badminton Horse Trials.

Not only did Fox-Pitt end a six-year wait for British success but his ride Chilli Morning became the first stallion to win an elite four-star event anywhere in the world.

It was 46-year-old Fox-Pitt’s 14th four-star crown of his stellar career but a first Badminton triumph since 2004, with Oliver Townend and Flint Curtis the last British combination to come out on top in 2009.

After near-misses at the 2013 European Championships and last year’s World Equestrian Games, when Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning took individual bronze on both occasions, they finally cracked the code in front of a packed Badminton arena.

But while Fox-Pitt celebrated an £80,000 jackpot, there was heartbreak for New Zealander Andrew Nicholson, who followed his rival’s showjumping clear round by having three fences down that dropped him from first to sixth. Nicholson had led the event since Thursday morning.

“It is a massive relief,” said Fox-Pitt, who is based in Sturminster Newton. “I can’t believe it.

“You are so in the lap of the gods when you are lying second going into showjumping. I knew I had to jump a clear round and I thought I just couldn’t have another one pole off.

“I was a little lucky so I am sorry I made everyone very, very tense watching that!

“It’s so exciting. I won here in 2004 and it has been a long wait but what a horse.

“I am so proud of him. I have got an amazing horse and you feel you just don’t want to waste it. It’s such a relief for the team. Hearts were broken at the World Equestrian Games and this feels great today.”

Chilli Morning’s owner Christopher Stone could not attend the gripping finale due to business commitments but Fox-Pitt revealed some words of wisdom had been imparted to him.

“Chris couldn’t be here but he sent me a message this morning that said just to ride Chilli like we were in the field at home, so I had those words in my ears and it worked,” Fox-Pitt added.

“The fact he is the first stallion to win a four-star makes me feel quite emotional. He had that victory coming, he has been knocking on the door.

“I did come here feeling he had a good chance, although I felt very angry with myself after dressage.

“I felt he should have been streets ahead of the field and he wasn’t. I thought I had made his life really difficult after dressage with no room for anything and thank goodness it worked out.”