As he did last year, New Zealand’s Sir Mark Todd pulled off a near foot-perfect performance towards the end of the day to head the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials dressage leaderboard going in to tomorrow’s cross-country phase. Last year was with Leonidas II but this year it was with Burghley debutante Kiltubrid Rhapsody, with whom he finished sixth at Badminton in the Spring.
The eye catching grey skipped once in his extended trot but still earned an unassailable score of 26.4. “He was very good,” admitted Todd. “From where he is in his training he couldn’t have done much more today. He was a bit nervous warming up but he has a wonderful temperament and is just getting better and better.”
Todd's compatriot, Tim Price, husband of this year’s Badminton and Luhmuhlen winner Jonelle, sits second with Ringwood Sky Boy on 26.9. Fourth here in 2016 and fifth in 2017, this combination could certainly be in the mix on Sunday afternoon.
When asked about what aspects of the quirky 15-year-old’s test he was most impressed with, Tim replied, “we stood still three times! He’s gone sideways and backwards when halting in tests at major competitions in the past – maybe this is him finally maturing.”
Long-time leader Oliver Townend now lies third with MHS King Joules on 27.2 but has a strong hand to play over the weekend with last year’s winner Ballaghmor Class fifth on 27.9 and Cooley SRS seventh on 29.4.
Great Britain’s Sarah Bullimore and Reve Du Rouet currently sit fourth and Germany’s Andreas Dibowski with FRH Butts Avedon sixth.
Buck Davidson and Park Trader. Peter Nixon/Burghley Photo.
Buck Davidson and Park Trader are the best of U.S. riders following dressage. The pair scored a 32.1 for equal 16th. Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby are in 47th on a 36.4 and Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 are in equal 49th on a 36.6.
Tomorrow’s cross-country phase will be, without doubt, extremely influential, with just over three seconds separating the top five and 10 seconds separating the top 10.
“There are some big jumps out there and I can’t remember ever going up and down hill here so much, or going up the big pull up Winners Avenue at around the seven to eight minute mark” said Todd. “It’s going to be a stamina test and the optimum time is going to be tough to get.”
Cross-country action starts tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. with Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules first out of the start box.
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In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
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.