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.
Click HERE for full results
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is humbled to announce the return of long-time partner The Dutta Corporation as the “Title Sponsor of the 2023 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships,” which include the East Coast Championships at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in Elkton, Maryland, on Oct. 19-20 and the West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, on Oct. 27-28.
When Team SmartPak Rider Silva Martin saddles up, it’s always with a helmet. Silva’s riding career has taken her from Germany all across the world before she settled in the United States in 2007—well before helmets were popular in dressage. When the traditional top hat ruled the dressage ring, riders often schooled in baseball caps or nothing at all.
Aspen Farms in Yelm, Washington, served as the beautiful backdrop for this year’s USEA Area VII Championships. In total, there were 11 championship divisions offered from the Beginner Novice level through Intermediate, in addition to the event’s regular horse trial divisions. USEA President Lou Leslie was onsite to lend a helping hand and help issue awards during the prize-giving ceremonies. Meet the 11 new USEA Area VII Champions below!
The USEA is sad to report that Mr. Medicott (Cruising x Slieveluachra) passed away on September 17 at Ms. Jacqueline Mars’ Stonehall Farm in Virginia where he has enjoyed his retirement since 2019. The Irish Sport Horse gelding made quite the mark on the sport of eventing in the U.S., completing more than 50 FEI events over the course of his career with five different riders and finishing in the top 10 at 30 of those competitions. Mr. Medicott attended two Olympic Games and one World Equestrian Games for two different countries over the course of his career. “Cave,” as he was known around the barn, was 24 years old at the time of his death.