With only six five-stars around the entire world, each time one comes around it is cause for excitement. This year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is especially interesting for U.S. eventing fans as 11 U.S. riders are set to start the competition which gets underway today with the first horse inspection. Seventy-three horses are entered at Burghley with the U.S. entries making up 15 percent of the field. Only two U.S. riders have ever won Burghley – Stephen Bradley in 1993 and Bruce Davidson in 1974. Will this year see a third?
#19 - William Coleman and Tight Lines are the first to set out for the U.S. “Phish” is a 12-year-old Pur Sang gelding (Turgeon x Merindole) owned by the Conair Syndicate. This will be the pair’s fifth five-star, but first Burghley. Their best result at the level came in 2018 when they finished 12th at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE).
#23 – Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 are back at Burghley for third year in a row. Indy 500 is a 14-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Cromwell x Tens of Thousands). This will be their sixth five-star together – they have competed at Kentucky and Burghley every year since 2017 and they had their first five-star run without cross-country faults this spring at the LRK3DE to finish 18th.
#28 – Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan are making their Burghley debut. The 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Master Imp x Ardragh Bash) is owned by Annie Eldridge. Grald and Simon finished 12th this spring at LRK3DE – both of their first five-star runs.
#37 – Doug Payne and Vandiver, the 15-year-old Trakehner gelding (Windfall II x Visions of Grandeur) owned by the rider, Jessica Payne, and Debi Crowley. Payne took over the ride on Vandiver in 2015 and since then they have competed at the LRK3DE three times with their best result coming this spring when they finished fifth.
#45 – Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z will be the fifth U.S. pair to start at Burghley. The 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Zapatero VDL x Zonne-Trend) is owned by the Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties. Deniro Z debuted at the level in 2018 at Luhmühlen where they finished in eighth place. This spring they had an early fall on the cross-country course at LRK3DE, so are looking for a good result for their third five-star start.
#50 – Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills are taking their first trip overseas. Talley and the syndicate owned Unmarked Bills, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Posse x Kelli’s Ransom), competed at their first five-star this spring at LRK3DE finishing in 27th place.
#52 – Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot haven’t returned to Burghley since they had to withdraw before show jumping in 2014, but Jacqueline Mars’ 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising x Shannon) is looking for redemption. This will be the pair’s eighth five-star with their best result coming at Luhmühlen in 2017 when they finished eighth.
#59 – Buck Davidson and Jak My Style, Kathleen and Robert Cuca’s 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, entered his first five-star this spring at LRK3DE, but when Davidson broke his collarbone on another ride he was forced to be withdrawn. Burghley will be Jak My Style’s first five-star cross-country and show jumping.
#61 – Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby are entered at Burghley for the third year in a row. This will be the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding’s (Guy Cavalier x Lady Tanjour) seventh five-star. Their best result at the level came in 2017 when they finished 13th at the LRK3DE.
#71 – Savannah Fulton and Captain Jack have been based in Germany all year and are capping off their season abroad with Burghley. The Full Moon Farm Syndicate’s 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Numerous x Lady Malone) previously competed at Burghley in 2017, but had to withdraw after a clear cross-country round. This is their fifth five-star having twice also competed at LRK3DE and this spring at Badminton.
#73 – Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus already have two top-10 LRK3DE finishes under their belts but are contesting their first Burghley together. The 12-year-old Anglo Arabian gelding (Sazeram x Wake Me Gently) is owned by Jacqueline Mars which makes it two horses that she owns competing this year.
While he doesn’t ride for America, U.S.-based Dominic Schramm is also set to compete at his first Burghley with the Naked Horse Eventing Syndicate’s Bolytair B, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding (Polytair x Nobelle). They will be #35.
Wednesday, September 4
4:00 p.m. (11:00 a.m. EST) – First Horse Inspection
Thursday, September 5
9:10 a.m. (4:10 a.m. EST) – Dressage
Friday, September 6
9:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m. EST) – Dressage
Saturday, September 7
11:00 a.m. (6:00 a.m. EST) – Cross-country
Sunday, September 8
9:00 a.m. (4:00 a.m. EST) – Second Horse Inspection
10:30 a.m (5:30 a.m. EST) – Show Jumping (top 24 start at 9:30 a.m. EST)
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It’s the turn of the world’s best Eventing athletes to stand under the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games spotlight over the next few days as all but one of the horses presented at this morning’s horse inspection at Baji Koen Equestrian Park were confirmed for action by the Ground Jury.
And they're off! Eventing kicks off today in Tokyo (Thursday, July 29 – 7:30 p.m. ET), with the first of three Olympic dressage sessions. Competitors from 29 nations will go head to head, vying for a spot on the coveted Olympic podium.
There were a few last-minute dramas at the first horse inspection for the Tokyo Olympics which took place in the main equestrian park at Baji Koen Equestrian Centre at 9:30 a.m. JST today.