An exciting day of cross-country at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials saw just over half the pairs finishing. Sixty-four horses left the start box of Captain Mark Phillips’ cross-country course and 33 crossed the finish line. Only a single pair – Badminton winners Piggy French and Vanir Kamira – managed to make the time, but it is overnight leaders Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street who stay ahead of the pack. Funnell added 4.0 time penalties with Jonathan and Jane Clark’s 11-year-old Irish gelding to sit on a 26.8 – just .1 ahead of French. Rounding out the top three is Oliver Townend and his 2017 Burghley winner, Ballaghmor Class, who dropped down one placing with 2.0 time penalties.
Lauren Kieffer kept her spot as the best of the U.S. riders but dropped in the overall standings from fourth to 11th with 26.4 time penalties on Vermiculus, Jacqueline Mars’ 12-year-old Anglo Arabian gelding (Sazeram x Wake Me Gently).
“I wasn’t as competitive as I would have liked. I would have liked to have been quicker, but that was the card we were dealt today,” said Kieffer. “I couldn’t ask more from him. He is 12 and just jumped clear around Burghley and hopefully, he will grow from that.”
The fastest U.S. round of the day went to Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan who were making their Burghley debut and only their second five-star start. Annie Eldridge’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Master Imp x Ardragh Bash) added 15.6 time penalties to move up from 48th place to 12th. They now sit just 0.6 penalties behind Kieffer and Vermiculus.
On their third visit to Burghley, Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 were determined to put in a clear cross-country round after being eliminated in 2017 and picking up 20 penalties in 2018. This time proved to be the charm for the 14-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Cromwell x Tens of Thousands) as they only added 19.2 time penalties to their overnight score to move from 46th to 13th position.
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, the 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Zapatero VDL x Zonne-Trend) owned by the Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties, were in an excellent position heading into cross-country, but a few long routes and changes of plan dropped them from seventh to 15th with 34.4 time penalties.
Lillian Heard is another U.S. rider who wished she could have gone faster, but she was thrilled with her round with LCC Barnaby, her own 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding’s (Guy Cavalier x Lady Tanjour) who was making his seventh five-star appearance. They added 28.8 time penalties to move up 34 spots into 20th position.
The U.S. trailblazers, William Coleman and Tight Lines, the Conair Syndicate’s 12-year-old Pur Sang gelding (Turgeon x Merindole), ran into trouble at the Leaf Pit and picked up 20 penalties for a run out at the skinny brush at the third element. They earned another 11 penalties for activating a pin on the back rail of fence 10, the oxer at the top of the Trout Hatchery, and 23.2 time penalties. Their score of 86.6 has them sitting in 28th place.
Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Posse x Kelli’s Ransom), sit in 32nd on a score of 99.6. They accrued 11 penalties for knocking down the back rail of the oxer at fence 13 (the Maltings) and 48.0 time penalties.
Hannah Sue Burnett retired Harbour Pilot, Jacqueline Mars’ 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising x Shannon), after a runout at Clarence Court at fence 20.
Three of the U.S. horses fell on course but are all reported to be back in their stables and resting comfortably as are the riders. Doug Payne and Vandiver fell at fence 13, The Maltings; Buck Davidson and Jak My Style fell at fence 16, the second of the white gates at The Lake; and Savannah Fulton and Captain Jack fell at fence 20, the last part of the Clarence Court.
The final horse inspection is set to begin at 9:00 a.m. (4:00 a.m. EST) tomorrow with show jumping to follow.
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The USEA would like to feature your IEL team! The USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) is in its first year and currently has 82 registered teams from every USEA area and 46 events hosting an interscholastic team challenge.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is thrilled to welcome back longtime sponsor, FITS Riding, Ltd. for 2021. They are returning as a Bronze Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Adult Team Championships, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Classic Series, and a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. As a sponsor of these USEA programs, FITS Riding will generously provide gift certificates as prizes for the Intercollegiate championship competitors, AEC and ATC competitors, and Classic Series winners.
“I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it was an amazing experience.” Twenty-five years ago, Kerry Millikin and her off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding, Out and About (who was only 8 years old at the time) won the individual Olympic bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, making her one of five females to have earned an individual Olympic medal for the U.S.
The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced athletes and horses in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill (CCI5*-L) will be competing for $300,000 in prize money. Additionally, the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Eventing National Championship (CCI3*-L), running in conjunction with the 5 Star, will award $25,000 in prize money. Both events, as well as the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, will take place this October 14-17 at the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Cecil County, Maryland.