Tag Archives: Burghley Horse Trials

Oliver Townend Takes His Second Burghley Title with Ballaghmor Class

Photo: Oliver Townend riding Ballaghmor Class. (FEI/lLibby Law)

British fill first four places while Michael Jung (GER) easily secures his second FEI Classics™ title

Oliver Townend (GBR) kept his head in a tense final jumping round at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, last leg of the FEI Classics™, to score his first CCI4* victory for eight years and head a British sweep of the top four places.

He overcame a nerve-racking moment when the 10-year-old Irish Sports Horse Ballaghmor Class crashed through the upright gate but, fortunately for him, the previous pair in the arena, Gemma Tattersall (GBR) and Arctic Soul had given him breathing space when they had a fence down.

“This is very, very special. Such a lot can go wrong with a young horse – and he’s only just learned to do flying changes – but he’s in a different class to anything else I’ve ridden recently.” — Oliver Townend (GBR), Burghley winner

Tattersall finished third, slipping one place behind Piggy French (GBR), who jumped clear on the mare Vanir Kamira to move up from fifth after cross country to the runner-up slot. It was a particularly triumphant return for French, who has taken a year off from the sport to have a baby.

“Our jumping round wasn’t that pretty, but who cares? Burghley is the toughest four-star in the world and to do well here is a dream!” — Piggy French (GBR), runner-up

Tom McEwen (GBR) riding Toledo de Kerser rose three places to fourth, a career best, with a beautifully judged clear round and Kristina Cook (GBR), one of the British gold medal team at last month’s FEI European Championships in Strzegom, moved up from 10th to seventh on Star Witness.

Richard Jeffry’s track produced seven clear rounds from the 40 finishers, two of which were with time faults.

New Zealander Tim Price was the highest-placed non-British rider, in fifth on Ringwood Sky Boy. America’s Lynn Symansky was sixth on Donner and Andrew Nicholson (NZL) and the gallant 17-year-old Nereo were eighth with two rails down.

FEI Classics™

Although Michael Jung had retired across country after a rare mistake with La Biosthetique Sam, the German still secured the top prize in the FEI Classics™ following a win at Kentucky and second places at Pau and Badminton.

French rider Maxime Livio, who was not competing at Burghley, remained in second place, counting a win at Pau and a second at Kentucky, and Nicola Wilson (GBR) remained in third with a fourth place at Pau and a second at Lühmuhlen.

“It’s been a brilliant season,” summed up the FEI’s Catrin Norinder, head of the Eventing and Olympic department. “All six events have been thrilling and we’ve seen some fantastic performances from athletes and horses who have portrayed our sport in the very best light.”

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class Head a British Trio at Burghley after Cross Country

Photo: Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. (FEI/Libby Law)

Oliver Townend (GBR), very last out on the cross country at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, sixth and final leg of the FEI Classics™, produced a superb display of horsemanship on the inexperienced Ballaghmor Class to head a British one-two-three.

Townend, 31, won Badminton and Burghley in 2009 and is the British number one, but has struggled to find a consistently top horse since then. However, the Irish-bred 10-year-old by Courage galloped and jumped easily and looks a star for the future, finishing on a score of 40.6.

“Ballaghmor Class was wild as youngster – everyone’s had a go at falling off him – and he has done lots of things he shouldn’t, but then so have I!” — Oliver Townend (GBR), cross-country leader

Fellow Briton Gemma Tattersall held the lead for most of the day on the ex-racehorse Arctic Soul with one of only three rounds inside the time and she is within a rail of Townend going into the final jumping phase with 43.0 penalties.

“Arctic Soul felt strong and feisty, which was not helped by my having a cold, but we have an amazing partnership.” — Gemma Tattersall (GBR), second after cross-country

Izzy Taylor (GBR), whose great-aunt Anneli Drummond-Hay (GBR) won the first Burghley in 1961, is in third place on a new ride, Trevidden, by the great eventing sire Fleetwater Opposition, on 45.6.

“It was one of those rides when you’re having such a great time that you have to remind yourself to concentrate!” — Izzy Taylor (GBR), third after cross-country

A huge crowd enjoyed perfect sunshine and thrilling sport with 29 clear rounds and plenty of excitement right until the very end on Mark Phillips’s cleverly designed track.

As the Brits surged up the leaderboard – Piggy French (Vanir Kamira), Tom McEwen (Toledo de Kerser) and pathfinder Kristina Cook (Star Witness) are fifth, seventh and 10th – there were some unexpected mishaps for senior riders.

Dressage leader Sir Mark Todd (NZL) was up on the clock with Leonidas II when he fell off on landing over the brush at the Discovery Valley (fence 26) and third-placed Michael Jung (GER) and La Biosthetique Sam made the first mistake of their championship career with a runout at a skinny brush in the Trout Hatchery and subsequently retired.

Kristina Cook, fifth on Calvino ll, was held on course in front of the Discovery Valley and perhaps lost concentration as she had a frustrating runout and dropped to 18th place.

Andrew Nicholson (NZL) had a fall with first ride Qwanza at the new Storm Doris fence – angled logs from a tree which fell in the February storm – but is in sixth with 7.6 time penalties on his Badminton winner Nereo.

In an international line-up, Tim Price (NZL) is fourth on Ringwood Sky Boy, by the same sire as Ballaghmor Class, US athletes Lynne Symansky (Donner) and Boyd Martin (Steady Eddie) are eighth and ninth and dressage runner-up Lauren Kieffer (Veronica, USA) is 13th with 28 time penalties.

Follow all the action with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

Legendary Todd and Leonidas II Take Over Dressage Lead at Burghley

Photo: Sir Mark Todd and Leonidas II. (FEI/Libby Law)

Dressage day two influential as Sir Mark Todd (NZL) leads from USA’s Lauren Kieffer and Michael Jung (GER)

Nearly 40 years after the legendary Sir Mark Todd (NZL) first rode at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) he is in the lead after dressage with Leonidas II on a mark of 36.7. In a star-studded line-up, the double Olympic champion heads the USA’s Lauren Kieffer on Veronica II by just 0.3 of a penalty, with world number one and FEI Classics™ leader Michael Jung now in third on La Biosthetique Sam.

The tall, lean New Zealander, 61, who last triumphed at Burghley in 1999, made an elegant picture on the German-bred 13-year-old, the bay gelding remaining obedient yet lively and light in his paces as well as beautifully supple.

“I may have won Burghley five times, but I haven’t won it this century! Finally, this horse is starting to grow up. When I got him as a six-year-old he was so impetuous, but now he knows what he’s meant to do and I’ve got every confidence in him.” — Sir Mark Todd (NZL), overnight leader going into cross country

Kieffer and the mare Veronica have a second place at Kentucky 2016 and 17th at Badminton this year under their belt, but it is their first visit to Burghley.

“Most of the American riders are sitting on thoroughbreds, so we’re pretty happy about tomorrow’s cross-country, but Burghley is something that’s in a class of its own and we have all studied it pretty carefully.” — Lauren Kieffer (USA), second after dressage

Two more senior riders, Andrew Nicholson (NZL), 55, on Nereo and Britain’s Kristina Cook, 46, on Calvino II, scored under 40 penalties and are in close contention in fourth and fifth places. Nicholson, currently fourth in the FEI Classics™, has also won Burghley five times, although never on the 17-year-old Nereo, his winning mount at Badminton this year.

Cook, a multiple winner of team medals, including at the recent FEI European Championships in Poland, is renowned for her skill as a cross-country rider but has never won a CCI4*, and her mark of 39.6 may give her the best chance yet.

“I don’t really do dressage in the 30s! So I’ll be going for it tomorrow. Calvino is only small-framed but he has the heart of a lion.” — Kristina Cook, fifth after dressage and highest-placed of the home side

Cook will be first out on the cross-country course on Star Witness, currently 40th after dressage.

Follow all the action with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

Michael Jung Tops Dressage after Day One at Burghley

Photo: Michael Jung with La Biosthetique Sam FBW. (FEI/Libby Law)

GBR’s Gemma Tattersall in overnight second with Arctic Soul and Mackenna Shea (USA) third on Landioso

World number one Michael Jung (GER) has yet again set the target with a beautifully ridden dressage test on his old friend La Biosthetique Sam, now 17, to take an early lead at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, sixth and final leg of the 2016/2017 FEI Classics™.

The double Olympic champions, winners here in 2015 and current FEI Classics™ series leader, impressed the ground jury — Martin Plewa (president, GER), Katarzyna Konarski (POL) and Harry Payne (GBR) — to earn the only sub-40 mark of the day, 38.9 penalties, and lead over British national champions Gemma Tattersall and the former racehorse Arctic Soul by 4.1 penalties.

“Sam is on good form. You have to be 100% perfect in all es to win and this was not our best dressage performance, but I think the cross-country is tough enough to change the result.” — Michael Jung (GER), first-day dressage leader

Tattersall, fifth individually at the FEI European Championships in Poland recently, has worked hard at containing the sensitive thoroughbred Arctic Soul in the dressage. This represents a considerable improvement on their mark of 55.8 at Badminton when brilliant performances in the jumping phases elevated them a remarkable 60 places to eventual seventh.

“I’m chuffed to bits. Arctic Soul is very shy, so the key is getting him to feel confident, rideable and relaxed. Today he allowed me to place him so that all his movements were correct.” — Gemma Tattersall (GBR), second after dressage

American rider Mackenna Shea, 24, has made a great start to her first run at Burghley and is in third place on a score of 46.1 on Landioso, a 15-year-old Dutch-bred gelding that she has produced since he was four. Shea has based herself this summer with British rider Rodney Powell, but their campaign started late due to Landioso suffering from shipping fever.

“‘I didn’t realise what a big step Burghley would be after Kentucky. Just walking the course takes so long!” — Burghley first-timer Mackenna Shea (USA), third after dressage

Jung may have an unassailable lead in the FEI Classics™ — his nearest rival, Maxime Livio (FRA) is not competing — but has he left the door open in the dressage for Burghley honours?

A host of stars could challenge for the lead. These include Zara Tindall (GBR) and High Kingdom, the pair that finished third behind Jung (on fischerRocana) at Kentucky (USA) in April, and American rider Lauren Kieffer on the lovely mare Veronica.

A quartet of New Zealanders is also likely to feature at the top of the leaderboard: Badminton winners Andrew Nicholson on Nereo, five-time Burghley winner Sir Mark Todd on Leonidas ll, 2010 winner Caroline Powell with Onwards and Upwards, and Tim Price (Ringwood Sky Boy).

Nicola Wilson (GBR), currently third in the FEI Classics™, does not have a Burghley ride and looks vulnerable to being overtaken in the series by the likes of Nicholson, fourth on the leaderboard, Price, eighth, and Tindall, ninth, all three holding obvious chances to take the prize money on offer for third.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

Three US Athletes Finish in Top 20 at 2016 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI4*

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive (RedBayStock.com)

Stamford, England – A world-class field of 71 combinations competed in the 2016 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, including five U.S. combinations. At the end of Sunday’s show jumping phase, Land Rover/USEF Eventing Competition Grant recipient Phillip Dutton as well as Holly Payne-Caravella and Elisa Wallace finished in the top 20 of the field after four grueling days of competition.

Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Ann Jones and Thomas Tierney’s Fernhill Fugitive began the CCI4* with a respectable dressage test. They had great trot work but bobbles in the flying lead changes, scoring 50.5 from the Ground Jury of Sue Baxter (GBR), David Lee (IRL), and Anne Mette-Binder (DEN). A rainy cross-country day added another factor to a massive track designed by Captain Mark Phillips (GBR), but Dutton and the 2005 Irish Sport Horse gelding set out determinedly. They answered all the questions posed by the jumping efforts, but incurred 38.8 time penalties on a day were no combinations made the optimum time. Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive had a single rail down for four jumping penalties over Richard Jeffery (GBR)’s show jumping track, which only saw five double-clear rounds, to finish in 18th place on a score of 93.3.

“Burghley is the toughest four-star cross-country in the world. Fernhill Fugitive showed incredible toughness on cross-country – we just need to work on going faster,” Dutton said. “Show jumping went really well today. It was a great learning experience for him and me.”

Elisa Wallace and Simply Priceless Syndication LLC’s Simply Priceless and Holly Payne-Caravella (Gladstone, N.J.) and the Fox Syndicate’s Never Outfoxed finished in the top 20 alongside Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. Wallace (Jasper, Ga.) and the 2001 Australian Thoroughbred gelding were the pathfinders for the U.S. contingent, beginning with a fabulous dressage test which scored 46.8. They tackled the cross-country course on Saturday, jumping cleanly but collecting 30.4 time penalties. Wallace and Simply Priceless had three rails in the show jumping phase for 12 jumping penalties to finish in 14th place on a score of 89.2. Payne-Caravella (Gladstone, N.J.) and the 2006 Thoroughbred gelding had a decent dressage test to score 55.8, and shot up the leaderboard with a clean cross-country round that tallied 18.4 time penalties. Unfortunately, they had five rails giving them 20 jumping penalties in their show jumping round. They finished on a final score of 94.2 for 19th place.

Two other U.S. combinations also competed at Burghley, Libby Head and Sir Rockstar and Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against, but their weekend came to an end with eliminations on cross-country day.

Christopher Burton (AUS) and Nobilis 18 won with a score of 49.4, followed by Andrew Nicholson (NZL) and Nereo in second with a score of 53.2 and Jonelle Price (NZL) and Classic Moet in third with score of 54.1.

Find out more about the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI4*.

By Kathleen Landwehr

Christopher Burton Fulfils Burghley Dream

Christopher Burton and Nobilis 18. (Trevor Meeks/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), September 4 2016 – Christopher Burton (AUS), one of the most talented riders to hit the Eventing circuit in the last few years, emerged victorious on Nobilis 18 at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), final leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, even if he did live a little dangerously in the closing stages of the competition.

Such was Burton’s supremacy after the first two phases that he entered the Jumping arena with four fences in hand, but he did manage to hit four – if he’d had another he would have handed a sixth Burghley victory to the invincible Andrew Nicholson (NZL), who rose a place to be second on Nereo with just one down and a couple of time penalties.

Jonelle Price (NZL) scored her best CCI4* result this year, third on Classic Moet with just four faults, and her husband, Tim, who had taken the pressure off Burton with his three fences down on Ringwood Sky Boy, ended up in fourth place.

“I tried to keep it interesting for you all,” said Burton wryly. “Nobilis is usually a careful jumper, but he felt a bit tired and the ground was perhaps a little dead, but that’s three-day eventing for you.

“Never in my wildest dreams did it occur to me that I would win Burghley. I’d walked past all the plaques on Winners’ Avenue – all these old boys with their names on them! – and thought it would be nice to have my name there too.”

Andrew Nicholson may not quite count as an “old boy”, but he is 21 years older than Burton and he admits that he is not back to full strength after breaking his neck 12 months ago. “You don’t know how special this is,” he told the television cameras.

And it was particularly appropriate that this result should come on Libby Sellar’s 16-year-old Nereo, three-times a runner-up at Burghley, a winner of World and Olympic medals and a one-man horse with which the Kiwi genius has particular affinity.

Jonelle Price, who scored her best ever Burghley result, admitted that she was disappointed with her Dressage mark, which left her in 22nd place. “I feel as if I’ve been digging myself out of a hole from the start, first after the Dressage and then when I got time penalties with the wrong line at the Dairy Farm on the Cross Country. But now, of course, I’m delighted.”

Cedric Lyard (FRA) on Cadeau du Roi and Oliver Townend (GBR) on Samuel Thomas benefited from clear Jumping rounds and rose to fifth and seventh places, split by Bettina Hoy (GER), sixth, who incurred eight faults on Designer 10.

Only three other riders achieved clears over Richard Jeffrey’s influential Jumping track: Shane Rose (AUS) on Virgil, 16th, Tim Price on Bango, 21st, and Ros Canter (GBR) on Allstar B, 25th of the 38 finishers. Bill Levett (AUS) withdrew Improvise overnight when in ninth position.

Andrew Nicholson was also pleasantly surprised to find himself the recipient of 20,000 USD for leaping into third place in the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, an astonishing achievement considering he has only competed at two CCI4* events this season – he was fifth at Luhmühlen in June.

No one was ever going to catch Michael Jung (GER), the runaway winner of the 40,000 USD FEI Classics™ 2015/2016 first prize with victories at Kentucky and Badminton plus a second place at Pau last year, but Tim Price, who was third at Pau and fourth at Luhmühlen as well, managed to hold onto second place and he takes home a cool 30,000 USD.

It has been an FEI Classics™ season of great thrills and stories, but one man has stolen the show and set the standard: the unmatchable Michael Jung.

About the Burghley winner

Christopher Burton, 34, is the current world number two. He has won Adelaide CCI4* twice, in 2008 on Newsprint and in 2013 on the catch ride TS Jamaimo, but he really sprang into the public consciousness with a brilliant trailblazing Cross Country ride at the London Olympic Games in 2012 where he finished 16th on Holstein Park Leilani.

Burton, who is married to fellow rider Rebekah, has been settled in Britain, in Surrey, for five years, notching up several good international placings including third and fourth places at Burghley last year on TS Jamaimo and Haruzac, and second place on Nobilis 18 at Blenheim CCI3*.

This year, he won the CCI3* at Saumur on Santano ll, his ride in the Rio Olympic Games where he led after the Cross Country phase and finished in eventual fifth place with a team bronze medal.

Nobilis 18 is an 11-year-old Hannoverian-bred gelding by Nobre owned by Sue Lawson, Carolyn Townsend and Chris Burton.

About the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016 winner

Michael Jung (GER), 34, has won an individual medal every year since 2009, six of them gold, and is the first rider in history to have held Olympic, World and European titles simultaneously.

Riding La Biosthetique Sam, he won the world title in Kentucky (USA) in 2010, double European gold in Luhmühlen in 2011 and double Olympic gold in London (GBR) in 2012 plus individual gold and team silver at the Rio Olympic Games (BRA) this year. He has won three European titles on three different horses: in 2011 on Sam, in 2013 on Halunke and in 2015 on FischerTakinou. He also won world team gold and individual silver medals on fisherRocana FST in 2014.

Jung, who lives at Horb, Germany, where his parents, Joachim and Bridgette, own a riding establishment, has also won Kentucky twice in succession on FischerRocana and in the last 12 months added victories at Burghley and Badminton on Sam to take the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. This is his first FEI Classics™ victory.

FEI Classics™ 2015/2016 Final Leaderboard – see full results here

Use hashtags #FEIClassics #Eventing

By Kate Green

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Media Contact:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Burton Rules Supreme at Burghley

Christopher Burton (AUS) and Nobilis 18 (Trevor Meeks/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), September 3, 2016 – Christopher Burton (AUS) and Nobilis 18 were pure class at the end of a challenging Cross Country day at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), final leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016. They had the second fastest time of the day – finishing just 8 seconds over the optimum time of 11 minutes 11 seconds – and now have two fences in hand to win Sunday.

Burton had to wait until nearly the end of the day and admitted to nerves. “Sitting watching in the riders’ tent didn’t help,” he confessed. “But I’m delighted now; the horse gave me a great feel.”

Experienced antipodean riders dominated an exciting day and now fill seven of the top 10 places. Last year’s runners-up Tim Price (NZL) and Ringwood Sky Boy are in second place again, with the third fastest round of the day (6 time penalties), and five-time winner Andrew Nicholson (NZL) is lying third on the 16-year-old Nereo, collecting 12 time penalties.

“Nereo doesn’t really like it at Burghley, because he’s a long-striding horse and finds the undulations difficult, but he always does the job,” said Nicholson. “I’ve got a soft spot for him. I’ve taken him all round the world and he always comes up with the goods.”

Jonelle Price (NZL), now in fourth place, was quickest of all, only 4 seconds over time on Classic Moet, but was cross with herself for having to take a muddled line through the fence dressings at the Dairy Farm (fence 14). However her performance was, in reality, brilliant, for time penalties in double figures were the order of the day even before the heavy rain started to fall around lunchtime.

Bettina Hoy (GER), the Dressage runner-up on Designer 10, admitted to feeling “intimidated” and set off tentatively, but the further she went the more polished she looked and she finished strongly with 19.2 time penalties to take fifth place at this stage.

Hoy said: “It was tough and I was a bit ‘backwards’ to start with and had to give myself a good talking-to, but what a horse! I’m so pleased. I don’t have many horses nowadays so I think I am able to have a good relationship with them and they help me out.”

Sir Mark Todd (NZL) has risen four places to sixth with NZB Campino, having feared that the German-bred 14-year-old would not like the undulating ground. Todd and Nicholson were two of the best riders through the water complex at the Trout Hatchery (20, 21), both opting for a bold four strides instead of five to on the curve from the corner to the third element, a skinny in the second pond.

Caroline Powell (NZL) has dropped three places to seventh on Onwards and Upwards with 21.6 time penalties, but France’s Cedric Lyard and Cadeau du Roi, a classy Thoroughbred galloper, have moved up from 14th to eighth and Australia’s Bill Levett has risen three places to ninth on Improvise.

British number one Oliver Townend, fifth after Dressage on MHS King Joules, was last out on course and was going well until he missed his line at the Trout Hatchery. Townend then retired after a run-out at the third element of the Discovery Valley (27), but he is now the best-placed of the home side in 10th place on his first ride, Samuel Thomas.

Blyth Tait (NZL), riding at Burghley for the first time in five years, pronounced himself “rapt” with the former hunter Bear Necessity V. They dropped two places to 11th after negotiating a couple of unplanned long routes, but Tait joked modestly: “If Andrew Nicholson gets 12 time penalties, then 24 is very good for me!”

Olympic reserve Kristina Cook (GBR) was at her very best on Star Witness, despite the horse pulling off a shoe, and is in 12th place, a rise of 32 places after Dressage. They had a nervous moment when the horse tripped in the water at the Trout Hatchery and had to jump the big brush corner out of trot, but Cook never lost her conviction.

“Burghley is always enormous and scary and you have to pick your horse,” said Cook, who works as assistant to her racehorse trainer brother Nick Gifford. “Star Witness is amazing; he’s a Thoroughbred with a pony attitude, and he makes me look fast, which I love.”

Cook described the course as “big and testing” but said the organisers had done “a fantastic job” on the going which other riders reported to have held up well, despite an afternoon of torrential rain.

Andrew Hoy (AUS), who had been in sixth place after Dressage on The Blue Frontier, took a ducking in the Trout Hatchery, but he is in 15th place after a good ride on Rutherglen. Sam Griffiths (AUS), eighth after Dressage on Happy Times, made a valiant effort to continue after a stirrup broke, but was unfortunately forced to pull up.

Fellow Australians Shane Rose, Sonja Johnson and Paul Tapner didn’t have the best of days either. Rose pulled up Shanghai Joe at the Road to Rio double in the main arena (28, 29) and incurred 11 penalties for breaking a frangible device at the Cross Rails (25); Johnson fell from Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison at the Rolex corner (15), and Tapner was taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up after a fall with Up In the Air at the rails at Herbert’s Hollow (22).

Forty riders completed with 28 clear rounds; Holly Payne-Caravella (USA) is best of the 16 Burghley first-timers in 17th place on Never Outfoxed.

Although Christopher Burton is the clear leader going into Sunday’s Jumping phase, and looks set to become the first Australian to win Burghley for 10 years, the cash prizes in the FEI Classics™ are till up for grabs with Tim Price and Mark Todd, in particular, looking to make gains, and riders placed sixth to 10th all within a rail of each other.

Follow the finale with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk and video action on www.burghley.tv.

Use hashtags #FEIClassics #Eventing

By Kate Green

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Media Contact:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Burton Blazes the Trail at Burghley

Christopher Burton (AUS) and Nobilis 18 (Trevor Meeks/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), September 2, 2016 – The stylish Christopher Burton (AUS) is on course to win his first CCI4* on British soil after storming into the lead at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), final leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, with a stunning Dressage test on the 17hh Nobilis 18.

Burton, who also led the Dressage at the Rio Olympic Games last month, eventually finishing fifth with a team bronze medal, wowed the Ground Jury, Sue Baxter (GBR, President), Anne Mette-Binder (DEN) and David Lee (IRL), with his graceful riding and the Hannoverian gelding’s luxurious paces and balanced outline., scoring just 30.2 penalties.

He now has 4.3 penalties in hand over first-day leader Bettina Hoy (GER) in a top 10 which, as predicted, is dominated by antipodean flags.

“Nobilis was fantastic and I’m so proud of him,” said Burton of the 11-year-old that was initially produced by last year’s Burghley winner, Michael Jung (GER). The pair has won four of their nine international starts and were second at Blenheim CCI3* (GBR) last year.

“He can be quirky and he got rather lit up at Badminton [where they fell on the Cross-Country], but here he let me ride him and put my leg on. I can’t believe it.”

This time last year, five-time Burghley winner Andrew Nicholson (NZL) was watching on television at home, as he recovered from a broken neck. However, the 55-year-old Kiwi never doubted he would return to top level and now he is back at the event that brings out the best in him, in third place on Nereo, with the excellent mark of 35.2.

The 16-year-old chestnut gelding, a world bronze medallist in 2010 and an Olympic team bronze medallist in 2012, produced a smooth test, with particularly smart lateral work, the only slight hiccup coming when the horse trod on himself during the rein-back.

Nicholson, 55, has had the Spanish-bred Nereo since a three-year-old. “I think the soft going in the arena perhaps shut his power off a bit, and as he’s a sensitive horse I thought I’d accept it rather than pushing him,” he reported. “Nereo has been one of my favourite horses ever since I got him and I trust him to behave with the crowd and to concentrate.”

Another New Zealander, Caroline Powell, who won Burghley in 2010 on Lenamore, is right up at the sharp end, in fourth place on Onwards and Upwards with the good score of 37.8, and the 2009 winner, Oliver Townend (GBR) is best of the home side on fifth place on MHS King Joules, a horse previously ridden by Andrew Nicholson and Mary King (GBR), on 38.1.

Two Irish-bred horses are in sixth and seventh: The Blue Frontier, ridden by dual Burghley winner Andrew Hoy (AUS), and last year’s runner-up, Ringwood Sky Boy with Tim Price (NZL).

Burton’s Rio team mate Sam Griffiths (AUS) is having his seventh Burghley ride on the 17-year-old Happy Times and is in eighth place on 39.6. “He’s like Roger Federer – he’s quite old but I like to think he’s still got it!” joked Griffiths.

Two seasoned New Zealanders complete the top 10, with Blyth Tait (Bear Necessity V) heading five-time winner Sir Mark Todd (NZB Campino) by 2.2 penalties.

Tait, who has only competed once at Burghley since he first retired from the sport in 2004, was thrilled at the progress made by his mount, an 11-year-old former hunter, following their 13th place at Badminton.

“If Pippa [Funnell] or Bettina had him, he’d probably be better, but we’ve come on together and the horse has exceeded all my expectations,” he said.

“Burghley has always been a happy hunting ground for me. The unique undulations will be influential, and the size of the fences is frightening, but they make you ride well.”

Seventy horses completed the Dressage; Rodolphe Scherer (FRA) was eliminated when the Ground Jury decided that Makara de Montiege looked unlevel.

Burton, a dual winner of the Adelaide CCI4* (AUS), wasn’t allowing himself to get too carried away. “I think I’m more terrified than excited. It’s hard to feel confident when you’re facing the Cross Country at Burghley – it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been here, the Leaf Pit is still huge – but I’m on a blood horse and this place always gets me going.”

Andrew Nicholson considers that Course Designer Mark Phillips, who has produced a “fair and horse-friendly track”, has “got the hang of making the optimum time near impossible”. This means that a thrilling competition is in store, and the heavy rain that is forecast in the middle of the day could change the leaderboard.

The action starts at 11am local time; follow with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk and video action on www.burghley.tv. Please check www.burghley-horse.co.uk for broadcast times.

Use hashtags #FEIClassics #Eventing

By Kate Green

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Media Contact:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Bettina Hoy Has Designs on Burghley

Bettina Hoy (GER) and Designer 10 (Trevor Meeks/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), September 1, 2016 – Bettina Hoy (GER) lit up the arena on day one of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), final leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, with a beautifully executed Dressage test on Designer 10 that was in a class of its own and may prove hard to beat.

The only fault in a show-stopping exhibition of lightness, smoothness and balance seemed to be a bit of tension in a flying change, and, with a score of 34.5, Hoy has a comfortable eight-penalty margin over Bill Levett (AUS) on Improvise after the first day of Dressage.

The experienced German rider’s illustrious career stretches back to the 1984 Olympics and she took the European title at Burghley in 1997 on Watermill Stream. Hoy, 53, is a popular and familiar face on the British circuit, but she has never won a CCI4* here, her best result being fifth at Badminton this year on Designer 10.

“I think Designer must have been having a little chat with [my other horse] Seigneur Medicott, who usually does the better test, as he felt great in there,” said an elated Hoy. “I’ve developed a special programme for him in the warm-up because he can get a bit tense. Every time I feel him tighten, I go into rising trot and that helps.”

Hoy reported that she had been working hard with her trainer, Sebastian Langehanenberg, as her 12-year-old Westphalian gelding by Dali X “is not built for dressage”. He had suggested changing from a snaffle bit to a double bridle because having two bits in his mouth seemed to settle the horse.

Hoy added: “I’m feeling very motivated after Rio [where she was training a Russian rider]. Burghley holds a special place in my heart and, although it won’t be a dressage competition, I know Designer can do it.”

Levett, also 53, has been based on Britain for many years and has been getting closer to CCI4* success all the time. He re-routed Improvise to Luhmühlen, where the horse finished 13th, after an early retirement at Badminton in May.

Paul Sims, 31, a relative newcomer to this level, finds himself the best British rider at this stage, having scored his best CCI4* dressage result on the white-faced Glengarnock to lie third on 46.6. This is their third Burghley, having finished 25th last year. Sims admitted to feeling quite confident: “He’s a reliable cross-country horse, as long as I don’t make any mistakes.”

Burghley first-timer Elisa Wallace’s (USA) campaign got off to a good start when she scored 46.8 on the American Thoroughbred Simply Priceless for fourth place at this stage. “He can be quite tense so it’s been a huge journey to get him to be expressive,” she said. “When I looked up at the scoreboard and saw the score, I couldn’t believe it.”

Hoy’s main challengers Friday look to be New Zealanders Sir Mark Todd (NZB Campino) and Andrew Nicholson (Nereo), who have 10 Burghley wins between them, plus the Dressage leader in Rio, Christopher Burton (AUS) on Nobilis 18 and his team mate Sam Griffiths on the veteran Happy Times.

Follow the action on www.burghley.tv and live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk.

Use hashtags #FEIClassics #Eventing

By Kate Green

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Media Contact:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Antipodean Stars Vie for Glory at Burghley

Andrew Nicholson (NZ) and Avebury (Trevor Holt/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), August 31, 2016 – The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) has long brought out the best in antipodean riders and predictions are that one of the strong representation from ‘Down Under’ will triumph in this final leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, set against a typically historic British backdrop of ancient parkland surrounding a beautiful 16th-century country house.

Four New Zealanders have won the prestigious Burghley trophy 13 times between them since Sir Mark Todd scored the first of his five triumphs in 1987, and they will be aiming to give Kiwi supporters a boost after the team came agonizingly close to a medal at the Rio Olympic Games earlier this month.

Todd, who rides NZB Campino, and Andrew Nicholson (Nereo and Qwanza), another five-time Burghley winner, probably understand the challenging nature of the parkland here better than anyone else and have produced many vintage cross-country rounds over the decades. Victory for either would be hugely popular, but there’s also former winners Blyth Tait (Bear Necessity V) and Caroline Powell (Onwards and Upwards) to consider, plus the 2015 runner-up Tim Price (Ringwood Sky Boy and Bango) and his wife Jonelle (Classic Moet).

Andrew Hoy (Rutherglen and The Blue Frontier), whose two victories were 25 years apart (in 1979 and 2004), is the only former Australian winner in the field (the other was Lucinda Fredericks), but Olympic team bronze medalist Christopher Burton (Nobilis 18) has been the in-form rider this year and starred at Burghley 2015 in third and fourth places.

Burton’s team mates Sam Griffiths (Happy Times) and Shane Rose (Shanghai Joe and Virgil) are also in the frame, as is the USA’s individual Olympic bronze medalist Phillip Dutton (Fernhill Fugitive).

None of them can catch Olympic champion Michael Jung (GER), the runaway leader of the FEI Classics™, but Price, Todd and Rose are all closely bunched in the race to secure the subsidiary cash prizes.

Eight nations are represented in the field, but it is the British who will perhaps be most anxious to seize the trophy back onto home ground for the first time since William Fox-Pitt won in 2011. Fox-Pitt is absent this year, but contenders include Olympic team member and 2003 winner Pippa Funnell (Second Supreme), 2009 winner Oliver Townend (MHS King Joules and Dromgurrihy Blue) and Kristina Cook (Star Witness).

Around 75 horses will come before the Ground Jury in the first horse inspection and Tom Crisp (GBR) on Coolys Luxury will be first into the Dressage arena Thursday morning at 9am (local time).

Follow the action on www.burghley.tv and live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk.

Use hashtags #FEIClassics #Eventing

By Kate Green

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Media Contact:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38