GLOUCESTERSHIRE: Freerunner Mat Armitage completes the world’s most notorious equestrian cross country course without the aid of a horse. The 22-year-old from the Wirral, Merseyside jumped over all 28 of the course fences, some of which are nearly five feet high, even besting royal equestrian Zara Phillips, who crashed out of the event part-way round the course on Sunday. The video shows Mr Armitage clearing the double brush fence in the water on the course in Badminton in Gloucestershire with ease, at the exact same spot where Phillips was forced to retire from the competition after her horse, High Kingdom, crashed into a fence flag. However despite clearing all the fences with plenty of room to spare, he was considerably over the 11-minute 13-second time limit, taking almost four hours to complete the 6km course. Mr Armitage said he was challenged to jump the course by his girlfriend, event rider Amy Williams. He said: “I have been free running for almost eight years now and this was one of the toughest courses I’ve run. It was a lot more difficult than it looked. I had to count out my strides up to each fence, the same way a horse and rider would, to make sure I made it over. The fences are much bigger up close than they appear when you see them on the TV, and I did struggle with a couple of them.”–TG