Burghley (GBR), 31 August 2012 – In an extraordinary finale to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), the evergreen New Zealander Andrew Nicholson seized his third victory in 17 years at this popular venue while William Fox-Pitt’s third place was good enough – by just one point – to win him a third HSBC FEI Classics title.
Fox-Pitt (GBR), riding Parklane Hawk, had two fences down and Nicholson (on Avebury) one on an influential Jumping track. Between them, they handed the overnight leader Sinead Halpin (USA) a two-fence margin, but to the disbelief of the crowds in the packed stands, the ever-smiling American, who has won many admirers in Britain this week, hit three rails on Manoir de Carneville and finished second.
“It’s a few years since I’ve won a CCI4*, but it just shows you have to keep going in this sport,” said an overwhelmed Nicholson, 51. “I’ve had Avebury since he was a foal and there have been days when he’s let me down and days when he probably thought I let him down, so this is very satisfying.”
Burghley (GBR), 31 August 2012 – Sinead Halpin (USA), who was first reserve for the US Olympic team, finally got her moment in the sun when she took a convincing lead after the Dressage phase at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), finale of the 2011-2012 HSBC FEI Classics.
Halpin, 30, who won the HSBC Training Bursary when third on Manoir de Carneville at her CCI4* debut, Rolex Kentucky in 2011, was 15th at Burghley last year, but her test this time was 10 marks better – 36.5 – and she has a 3.7 penalty margin over the chasing pack.
“It felt good from the moment he went in there,” Halpin said, after earning the only sub-40 dressage mark with an exquisite display of elastic paces, smooth transitions and general showmanship.
“The horse picked up straight away and did some fabulous work, especially the medium trot. I had high expectations, but to be in first place in this company in Britain is amazing. Insane, even!”
Lausanne (SUI), 28 August 2012 – This weekend’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) (30 August – 2 September) looks set to provide a thrilling climax to the HSBC FEI Classics 2012 series, with a bumper international entry and a surge in ticket sales following the huge success of the equestrian events at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Britain’s Eventing summer has been something of a washout and both riders and spectators are clearly looking forward to some high-quality sport in the beautiful park at Burghley. The organisers have received a record entry and will run up to 90 horses representing 11 nations.
Olympians in the field include team gold medallist Dirk Schrade (GER) on Hop And Skip, plus silver medallists William Fox-Pitt (GBR) with last year’s winner Parklane Hawk and Seacookie, and Mary King (GBR) on her home-bred mare Kings Temptress, third last year.
Four members of New Zealand’s bronze medal team will also be competing: Andrew Nicholson, who brings Avebury, the runner-up in 2011, plus either Calico Joe or Mr Cruise Control, Mark Todd (Major Milestone), Jonathan Paget (Clifton Lush) and Caroline Powell (Boston Two Tip).
After a hugely successful early fall campaign for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team, six riders will receive Land Rover Performance Grants based on their performance at the 2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials or the 2011 Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.
2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (CCI4*) – Northampton, UK Boyd Martin led the American effort with the Neville Bardos Syndicate’s Neville Bardos at the Burghley CCI4*. The pair finished seventh, earning a $10,000 Land Rover Performance Grant in addition to the $15,000 base grant which they received prior to their trip to the UK as part of the Land Rover Competition and Training Grant initiative. Their $10,000 Land Rover Performance Grant was based on their top 10% finish at a CCI4*.
“It was fantastic gesture for Land Rover to reward Neville with the $10,000 bonus thanks to his top finish at Burghley,” said Martin. “A huge international trip like this amounts to thousands of dollars in expenses, and this performance grant will be going directly toward offsetting a lot of the costs for Neville’s trip to England. Land Rover has absolutely made my dream of competing at Burghley a reality with their grants.”
Sinead Halpin rode Manoir de Carneville to a 15th place finish at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and will receive a $5,000 Land Rover Performance Grant for their top 20% finish at a CCI4*. Halpin’s trip to her first European CCI4* was funded by the USET Foundation’s Jacqueline Mars Grant.
2011 Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (CCI3*) – Woodstock, UK Tiana Coudray jumped up to a second place finish with Ringwood Magister at the Blenheim CCI3*, marking a return to form for the California combination. They will receive a $10,000 Land Rover Performance Grant based on their top 10% finish. Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen finished fifth and Will Faudree and Pawlow were eighth, which also marked a top 10% finish for both combinations. They will also receive an additional $10,000. Both Faudree and Montgomery received Land Rover Competition and Training Grants to fund their trip, as did Phillip Dutton, who finished 12th on Mighty Nice. Dutton and Mighty Nice finished in the top 20% at Mighty Nice’s first CCI3*, meaning that they receive a $5,000 Land Rover Performance Grant.
American Boyd Martin Defies the Odds with Neville Bardos
Lexington, KY – There are incredible stories and then there is the story of the 2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Not only did William Fox-Pitt ride Parklane Hawk to a record sixth win of his career, but a little American horse named Neville Bardos defied every possible odd to finish seventh in the world’s toughest four-star.
Fox-Pitt and the New Zealand Thoroughbred added one time fault in the show jumping to his dressage score in an otherwise flawless effort over the four days of competition. His dressage score of 39.7 was good enough for second place after the first phase but when overnight leader Simone Dietermann fell off Free Easy NRW on the cross country, Fox-Pitt inherited a lead he then defended with style.
But the story of the competition continued to be a scrappy little failed racehorse from Australia. Neville Bardos fulfilled Boyd Martin’s dream of competing at Burghley and with his tenacity and bravery put a nightmare of a summer behind his family. A barn fire ripped through Martin’s barn in May, and Neville Bardos was trapped in the fire the longest of those horses that survived. They lost six horses in the blaze and Neville Bardos was pulled out of the flames by Martin and Phillip Dutton. He then recovered miraculously after inhaling a massive amounts smoke and burning his throat and lungs.
This nightmare was followed closely by the loss of both Martin’s father in a biking accident in Australia and then his wife Silva’s father to illness in the following weeks – Martin hit rock bottom.
4 September 2011 – William Fox-Pitt (GBR) earned a standing ovation from the rain-soaked crowd as he clinched a record sixth title at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), second-last leg of the HSBC FEI Classics.
Fox-Pitt showed all his famous finesse and calmness as he conjured a clear round with just one time fault on the sodden ground from Catherine Witt’s Parklane Hawk, an 11-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred by Grosvenor.
He has now beaten the five Burghley victories apiece for Ginny Elliot (GBR) and Mark Todd (NZL), and has equalled Lucinda Green’s (GBR) Badminton record of six wins on six different horses.
“This ranks as one of the best achievements of my life,” said a visibly emotional Fox-Pitt afterwards.
“I pretend to look relaxed, but deep down this really matters to me. It’s such an honour to win six times and to be among such legends as Mark, Ginny and Lucinda – and Mark’s still going, so perhaps he’ll beat me next time!
“I can’t believe what’s happened today. The horse was superb because the conditions were against us. I’m so lucky to have him to ride.”
Lexington, KY – The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team have two cross-country superstars in their midst as both Boyd Martin on Neville Bardos, and Sinead Halpin on Manoir de Carneville looked poised and confident as they galloped through Burghley Park. These pairs represented an inspiring future American Eventing over a course that was deemed a ‘throwback’ as the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011.
Clear rounds were difficult to come by over Capt. Mark Phillips boldly designed, old-fashioned feeling track. But Martin and Neville dominated their first Burghley – flying home to an emotional 11th place after the first two phases. They backed up their dressage score of 49.7 with a flawless performance in Neville’s favorite phase. They were one of nine double-clear rounds of the day.
“Neville gave me a great round cross country,” said Martin (Cochranville, PA). “He was strong and bold throughout the course which is wonderful at this sort of event… he loves charging at all the big fences. He pulled up with plenty of energy.”
The fact 12-year-old Neville Bardos (owned by the Neville Bardos Syndicate) is alive is incredible, and the fact the Australian Thoroughbred just cruised around the biggest cross-country track in the world is not far short of a miracle.
Lausanne (SUI), 3 September 2011 – William Fox-Pitt (GBR) has the slimmest of leads to win a record sixth Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), second-last leg of the HSBC FEI Classics, after a thrilling day’s cross-country.
The day was a spectacle of bold riding and flying horses, and Fox-Pitt gave an early masterclass on the New Zealand former racehorse Parkland Hawk, winner of the Blenheim CCI3* last year but short on mileage this year.
Fox-Pitt, who said Parklane Hawk felt as if he had “grown wings” when launching into space off the precipitous drop at the Leaf Pit (fence 4), commented: “It’s a good course for a genuine horse. It was massive all the way, but you never expect a holiday at Burghley.”
Fox-Pitt, who warns that Jumping is Parklane Hawk’s weakest phase, cannot afford an error in tomorrow’s Jumping phase, for the cost of a single rail covers the first four horses after Cross-Country.
“I’m going to enjoy the moment because anything could happen tomorrow,” he said.
New Zealanders Andrew Nicholson, on Avebury, and last year’s winner Caroline Powell on the foot-perfect veteran Lenamore are second and third, ahead of HSBC FEI Classics leader Mary King on her home-bred mare Kings Temptress.
Lexington, KY – The dressage phase of the 2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials concluded on Friday with incredibly close scores under sunny skies. Only 10 points separate the top 21 places. The riders representing the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team are very much in the running heading into Saturday’s cross country. Eighty of the best eventing horses in the world are vying for top honors at one of the most prestigious CCI4* events in the world, and four of the five American horses are in the top 32.
Germany dominated the HSBC European Eventing Championships last week and it is the nation to beat again as Simone Deitermann and Free Easy NRW leads the way at Burghley with a score of 39.3. Deitermann is 4/10ths of a point clear of Thursday’s dressage leader William Fox-Pitt on Parklane Hawk. Fox-Pitt, who has won the event five times for the home team, rode Parklane Hawk to a second- place effort on a score of 39.7 – despite a two-point penalty for an error.
Sinead Halpin (Pottersville, NJ) leads the way for the U.S. with Carraig, LLC’S Manoir de Carneville, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding. The pair moved into 12th with an impeccable effort at their second CCI4* with a score of 46.0. Their effort was obedient and expressive, and they coped with the electric occasion of the main arena with class. Halpin’s trip to England, which also included the Hartpury CIC3* in August, was made possible by the Jacqueline Mars Training Grant awarded by USET Foundation. Halpin received the grant after placing third at the 2011 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone, an effort which earned her and Manoir de Carneville the USEF National CCI4* Championship.
The combination has forged a remarkable partnership, and their effort provided a harmonious impression that was rewarded by the judges.
Lausanne (SUI), 2 September 2011 – Simone Deitermann (GER) and Free Easy NRW are well known for their ability in the Dressage arena, but the German rider still said it felt “amazing” to be in the lead on her first visit to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), second-last leg of the HSBC FEI Classics.
“My horse was quite nervous,” she explained, “and he is not used to performing on a grass arena.”
Despite that, an excellent performance resulted in a score of 39.3 penalties, just 0.4 ahead of the first-day leader William Fox-Pitt (GBR) on Parklane Hawk.
Deitermann, 30, who was 12th at Badminton last year, missed out on the thrilling German domination at the HSBC FEI European Championships last weekend because she and Free Easy NRW had experienced problems in the build-up, including a fall at Bramham CCI3* (GBR).
“This is my chance to qualify for the London Olympic Games,” explained Deitermann, who was third after Dressage at the FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year before suffering a Cross Country fall at the last fence.
She has walked the Cross Country at Burghley with German team trainer Chris Bartle and says: “It is beautiful, but I think it will be quite tough for me.”