Kiwi Caroline Powell became the first New Zealand woman to win the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England at the weekend. Caroline, who hails from Christchurch but is now based on the Scottish Borders at Kelso, joins fellow countrymen Blyth Tait, Andrew Nicholson and Mark Todd on the roll of honour.
Riding the popular 17-year-old grey gelding, Lenamore, they put in a foot perfect performance and remained unphased by pressure after finishing dressage and cross country in pole position with a score of 38.7. Lenamore was one of the oldest horses in the competition and stands at just 15.3 hh.
Seventy six riders from twelve different nations competed for this coveted title, with first ever entries from China and Lithuania. Renown as being a tough challenge with its undulating cross country course and thirty demanding fences, Burghley requires both skill and stamina in abundance.
Last year’s winner Oliver Townend and Carousel Quest put in a heroic attempt to make history by becoming the first horse and rider combination to win in consecutive years, finishing in fourth place.
Australia’s Clayton Fredericks and Be My Guest II finished third, improving their overnight position in sixth with a clear round show jumping.
Ruth Edge, who led after the dressage discipline, had a disappointing cross country round, retiring shortly after a stop at the Trout Hatchery complex.
William Fox-Pitt, who has won here five times, finished in second place riding Seacookie in his bid to win Burghley for a record sixth time. This result leaves him in the enviable position heading the race to win this year’s FEI Classics Series and its £92,000 prize. The series concludes in Pau, France in November, which is the fifth of this year’s four-star events. Caroline now stands in third place for the series after winning Burghley, undoubtedly her greatest victory to date.
By Lynn Lawson