Sixteen years since she last won Burghley, Pippa Funnell returned to the top of the podium and had a wire-to-wire victory with MGH Grafton Street, the 11-year-old Irish gelding owned by Jonathan and Jane Clark. The show jumping finale had everyone on the edge of their seats as Funnell had a dramatic rail halfway through the course. Luckily for Funnell, second-placed Piggy French and Vanir Kamira, and third-placed Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class had both added rails to their overnight scores to give her the cushion she needed to win with a rail down – although she ended just .1 ahead of French.
Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus, Jacqueline Mars’ 12-year-old Anglo Arabian gelding (Sazeram x Wake Me Gently), jumped a picture-perfect clear round to bump up from 11th to finish in 9th place.
“I am thrilled with him. He is a younger horse, and he was a proper Burghley horse this weekend, so I am really excited for the future," said Kieffer. "I can kind of tell him from here on out it is a bit easier. I am not sure if we will ever do a track again that was as big and hard as yesterday’s was. Hopefully, he grows up a lot from that and we can keep tackling big courses."
Kieffer and Vermiculus were one of only 10 clear show jumping rounds today. "I thought they did a really good job with the show jumping course considering how tough yesterday was," she said. "They were definitely a bit kinder about the lines and giving more time between the combinations to give the horses time to take a breath and get going again. It wasn’t the hardest, most technical course, but considering what the horses had to deal with yesterday I thought it was a very fair course."
Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan knocked a single rail, but still moved up two spots to finish inside the top-10. A seriously exciting placing for Grald and Annie Eldridge’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Master Imp x Ardragh Bash) who were competing at their first Burghley and just send their second five-star competition.
In their best Burghley finish, Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 secured a 12th place ribbon. The 14-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Cromwell x Tens of Thousands) had one rail and 1.2 time penalties to finish on a 62.0.
Liz Halliday-Sharp with Deniro Z, the 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Zapatero VDL x Zonne-Trend) owned by the Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties, and Lillian Heard with her own LCC Barnaby, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Guy Cavalier x Lady Tanjour), pulled one rail each to finish in 15th and 18th respectively.
Will Coleman and Tight Lines jumped in the first group this morning and had a lovely clear round to move up into 25th. The Conair Syndicate’s 12-year-old Pur Sang gelding (Turgeon x Merindole) finished on a score of 86.6.
Chris Talley withdrew Unmarked Bills before the final horse inspection so did not go forward to show jumping.
Final results are available here.
Catch up on the previous days coverage with interviews from Samantha Clark here.
The spring eventing season in the Midwest is always a toss-up due to unpredictable weather. Will it rain, will it be sunny, or will it be a snowstorm? No one knows! Mid-America Combined Training Association’s (MACTA) first cross-country schooling of the season was cancelled in March due to extremely muddy footing conditions and by the time our April dates came around, COVID-19 was in full force and we were unable to host our cross-country schooling and schooling show.
The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting organizers and national federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).