Having started his tenure as cross-country course designer some 30 years ago, Captain Mark Phillips has built an enduring partnership with Land Rover Burghley. His expertise and creativity continue to deliver epic competitions year after year; thrilling the crowds and challenging the World’s best riders to their limits. Phillips is recognized as a true equestrian; a former Olympian and winner at 4* (now 5*) level, he is also a much respected and sought after coach and instructor.
Captain Mark Phillips comments: “Whilst I am still enjoying every moment of work with Burghley’s fabulous team, I’m not getting any younger and want to retire while I still feel at the cutting edge and on top of my game.”
Phillips remembers his early years at Burghley and Bill Henson (then Event Director) telling him to “make Burghley, Burghley” something which has continued ever since. He adds: “I am grateful to the event directors Bill and latterly Elizabeth Inman for all their support, which has helped me, to help them, make Burghley the event it is today.”
Elizabeth Inman, Event Director at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials says: “Mark knows how we wonder every year at his ability to keep ‘pulling it out of the bag’ and next year (2020) will be particularly poignant as his swan song. Undoubtedly our cross-country track – acknowledged as probably the most technically challenging test of all the 5* events, both from a competitor’s and designer’s perspective, has benefited hugely from the superlative all-round experience and skill that Mark Phillips has brought to the event.
“So yes, difficult shoes to fill, but softened by the good news that we are appointing Derek di Grazia into the role of course designer in 2021.”
Derek di Grazia is recognized for safe, sensible, yet tough courses and has been one of the top cross-country course designers in the USA for over 15 years. He is the appointed course designer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Di Grazia continues to compete at 4* level, is also a recognized coach and trainer and is known for his quiet, modest demeanor, demonstrating many of the very qualities that have worked so well during Mark’s tenure.
Derek di Grazia says: “It is a great honor to be appointed course designer for this very special competition and I’m truly excited to have a chance to design the cross-country phase within Burghley Park’s very unique landscape. It is a fantastic project to have in my sights following on from the 2020 Olympic Games.”
Elizabeth Inman concludes: “We look forward with enthusiasm and confidence to this next chapter in the history of the Event and to Derek continuing to “make Burghley, Burghley”.
Attention USEA members! Registration for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! The convention will be held in person on December 7-11, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel in Savannah, Georgia.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce the selected Young Rider athletes for the Emerging Athletes 21 Program (EA21) national camp, now that the EA21 regional clinics have concluded. Twelve riders were accepted into each of the five regional EA21 clinics, taught by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) instructors, and now riders have been selected from the regional clinics to participate in the inaugural EA21 national camp this winter.
Ninety percent of training a horse is getting the horse to understand exactly what you want them to do. In general, horses are generous and willing creatures who want to please us; very seldom do they behave badly on purpose. Horses don’t come out and say, ‘Let’s make Mom’s (or Dad’s) life miserable today by going as poorly as possible - most prefer to do the right thing, as long as they know what that is.
Regardless of the level at which a horse is competing, its veterinary team is at the forefront of most decisions regarding its career and well-being. Liz Arbittier, VMD, CVA, has been working with equine athletes for over two decades. Graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) in 2001, she worked in private practice with a focus on sports medicine and pre-purchase exams until joining Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center Field Service team in 2013. Situated in the heart of Area II’s eventing scene, the team provides ambulatory services to the surrounding area, which is home to multiple Olympians.