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”.
The USEA Classic Series is going strong thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of event organizers who are committed to the thrill of long-format eventing. Dr. Christel Carlson, M.D. is one of the biggest champions of the program. A former competitor, she continues to contribute countless hours to the USEA as an organizer, judge (R), volunteer, and member of multiple committees. She is the owner of Spokane Sport Horse Farm in Spokane, Washington, which hosts two USEA recognized events each year. The facility’s fall event, which closes out the season in Area VII, includes Classic Three-Day divisions at the Beginner Novice, Novice and Training levels.
It was a weekend to remember for eventers from 13 colleges as they convened at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina, from May 26-28 for the 2023 USEA Intercollegiate Championship. The 23 teams gave their all and had tons of fun!
The 2023 Woodside Spring H.T. served as a celebration of the successes of the West Coast eventers that competed in the Kentucky Three-Day Event, as well as what’s in store for the future of the sport in California. On the eve of competition on Thursday, organizers at the Woodside Horse Trials held a party in honor of both Tamie Smith’s historic win in the Kentucky five-star and the team of cross country builders led by Bert Wood that unveiled new courses at The Horse Park. Derek di Grazia designed the new Advanced and Intermediate tracks, with Wood designing the new tracks for Preliminary through Starter.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to offer the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC) at the upcoming USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The Adult Team Championships will be offered once again at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels for members of the USEA Adult Rider Program, and newly added this year, the Modified level will be included in the ATC as well.