At the end of the HorseQuest Horse Inspection 70 horse and rider combinations from 10 nations make up the start list for the 2018 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
The Members of the Ground Jury, Angela Tucker (President) Dr Ernst Topp, and Sandor Fulop ensure that all horses are fit and ready to compete at this prestigious 4* competition. Two horses were held for re-inspection; Fernhill Frankie II (Joseph Murphy) and Verdi (Clelia Casiraghi) and subsequently withdrawn by their riders.
Last year’s winner and world number one Oliver Townend presented three horses MHS King Joules, Ballaghmor Class, and Cooley SRS and looks a strong contender to retain his title in 2018. As ever Antipodean riders such as Tim Price riding Bango and Ringwood Sky Boy, Mark Todd riding NZB Campino and Kiltubrid Rhapsody and Andrew Nicholson riding Jet Set IV and Swallow Springs are sure to pose a strong challenge, alongside an experienced field of home grown talent including Kristina Cook on Star Witness and Sarah Bullimore on Reve du Rouet.
Former double Olympic Champion Sir Mark Todd (62) will be the oldest rider in the competition, while first-timer, Sam Eckroyd (21) is the youngest rider entered. A strong Irish contingent has made its way to Burghley Park this year, led by Elizabeth Power, Austin O’Connor and Michael Ryan. While Germany’s sole representative is Andreas Dibowski. Katrin Khoddam Hazrati represents Austria and Ludwig Svennerstal, Sweden. There are three representatives from the USA: Buck Davidson and Park Trader, Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby, and Andrea Baxter and Indy 500.
The best dressed riders were Caroline Powell and Alexander Bragg – judged by Emma Warren of HiHo Silver and Lisa Hancock, Chief Executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
Ros Canter, a member of Britain’s Eventing team at the forthcoming World Equestrian Games, will ride the guinea pig dressage test with Zenshera, in front of the Ground Jury at 9:10 a.m. on Thursday, August 30th before the first rider Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules kicks off the competition in the Main Arena at 9:30 a.m.
When the overnight leader cantered into the show jumping arena at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and had the first rail down, Erin Sylvester knew that she had just clinched the CCI4*-L win. It isn’t just another CCI4*-L win though – it is a truly historic one as she and Paddy The Caddy, Frank McEntee’s 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Azamore x Slamy), will be the final names inscribed on the Fair Hill trophy.
All horses who presented this morning at the final horse inspection at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event were accepted, but one notable horse wasn’t presented. D.A. Duras, Jacqueline Mars and Debbie Adam’s 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Numero Uno x Medoc) was withdrawn by Lauren Kieffer before the horse inspection. The pair were sitting in third place in the CCI4*-L so their withdrawal moves up the majority of the division.
The scoreboard was kept working at full tilt on cross-country today at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International as 24 of the 41 CCI4*-L starters picked up some sort of jump penalty on Derek di Grazia’s course. The leader position changed several times throughout the afternoon as 15 penalties were handed out by the ground jury, but Waylon Roberts and Lancaster kept their slate clean to take over the top spot.