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