British Olympian William Fox-Pitt confirmed his farewell appearance at the Mars Badminton Horse Trials after a dramatic showjumping finale saw New Zealander Caroline Powell crowned champion.

Fox-Pitt, second going into the final phase, had a chance of becoming Badminton’s second-oldest winner, aged 55.

But six fences down on Grafennacht dropped him to 13th place as a Badminton relationship that began 35 years ago, featuring victories in 2004 and 2015, reached its conclusion.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Caroline Powell celebrates victory. Photo: PACaroline Powell celebrates victory. Photo: PA (Image: PA)

Fox-Pitt had previously suggested this year could be his Badminton swansong as part of him stepping back from elite five-star level eventing following a stellar career that harvested 20 major championship medals, and he said: “I won’t be coming back to Badminton.

“It is a shame to finish on a bit of a downer, but she is a great horse and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

“This is my last Badminton. It has been a great week, I have really loved it, and it has been a great send-off.

“There are no kind of tears and sobbing. I am very matter of fact about it, and I think it’s the right thing.

“It wasn’t my day today, and you have to deal with it. That is the sport.”

Overnight leader Tim Price also saw his hopes of victory disappear amid a clatter of showjumping poles, as 20 faults with Vitali relegated him to eighth.

Powell, meanwhile, jumped from sixth to first on Greenacres Special Cavalier as the London 2012 Olympic team bronze medallist won her first Badminton title and £117,600.

“I wasn’t ready for that one! To win here – wow,” Powell told BBC Sport. “I can’t believe it – it means so much.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Caroline Thomas receives her trophy from the QueenCaroline Thomas receives her trophy from the Queen (Image: PA)

Irish rider Lucy Latta, who was making her five-star debut, finished second as she put herself firmly in the Paris Olympics selection frame.

Latta, who is the cousin of Grand National-winning jockey Robbie Power, went close to becoming the first Irish winner at Badminton since Captain Eddie Boylan 59 years ago.

Somerset-based Alex Bragg took third on Quindiva, with Emily King and Valmy Biats finishing fourth.