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.
How to follow along:
My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.
Please always remain vigilant when it comes to sending any personal communications via email or text. Every year we receive reports of members and leaders of our sport receiving phishing attempts both online and by phone. These are often communications disguised as being sent from USEA staff or other leaders. As the years go on, the phishing attempts appear to be more directed and tailored.
Tack cleaning is one of those barn chores that might not be our favorite but is certainly necessary for keeping our equipment in top shape. Aside from caring for your tack so it lasts for years to come, regular tack maintenance is important for safety. The last thing you want is the potential for a stitch, zipper, or buckle breaking while you're out on course.
Following feedback from our membership to the rule change proposal for the USEF Rules For Eventing: Appendix 3 – Participation In Horse Trials, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted to modify the rule change proposal, but still to recommend the establishment of rider licenses and increase Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to the regulating authority of the sport US Equestrian (USEF).