Sixteen years since she last won Burghley, Pippa Funnell returned to the top of the podium and had a wire-to-wire victory with MGH Grafton Street, the 11-year-old Irish gelding owned by Jonathan and Jane Clark. The show jumping finale had everyone on the edge of their seats as Funnell had a dramatic rail halfway through the course.
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.
Three of the U.S. riders got to take a turn at the top of the dressage leaderboard today at the 2019 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. 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 the first out for the U.S. this morning and their 28.4 gave them the first spot ahead of Thursday’s leader, Eliza Stoddart and Priorspark Opposition Free.
The first day of dressage at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials saw four U.S. riders take their turn in the main arena. Thirty-four riders came forward today in front of the ground jury of Nick Burton (GBR), Christina Klingspor (SWE), and Xavier Le Sauce(FRA), and it was Burghley debutant, Eliza Stoddart on Priorspark Opposition Free, Anne and Bruce Staley's 11-year-old British Sport Horse gelding (Fleetwater Opposition x Raunds Freeway) who took the overnight lead on a 28.7. Stoddart lives down the road from Burghley and with riding a British-bred horse it is a true hometown event for the pair. Only five riders managed to make it into the 20s today.
All horses presented at the first horse inspection at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials have been accepted by the ground jury of Xavier Le Sauce(FRA), Nick Burton (GBR), and Christina Klingspor (SWE). The 11 U.S. horses passed without incident, and Samantha Clark was able to catch up with many of them about their preparations for one of the biggest events in the world. Learn more about all of the U.S. pairs here.
With only six five-stars around the entire world, each time one comes around it is cause for excitement. This year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is especially interesting for U.S. eventing fans as 11 U.S. riders are set to start the competition which gets underway today with the first horse inspection. Seventy-three horses are entered at Burghley with the U.S. entries making up 15 percent of the field. Only two U.S. riders have ever won Burghley – Stephen Bradley in 1993 and Bruce Davidson in 1974. Will this year see a third?
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
New Zealand’s Tim Price retained the lead he held after cross-country to take the title at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials with Ringwood Sky Boy. Fifth here last year, the pair produced one of just eight clear show jumping rounds to complete on 27.3, ahead of last year’s winners Great Britain’s Oliver Townend with Ballaghmor Class on 31.9 and New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson and Swallow Springs on 32.1.
As predicted, it was all change at the top of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials leaderboard after today’s cross-country phase.
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.
Despite being first into the arena this morning at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, no one managed to top defending champion and current World Number One Oliver Townend’s leading dressage score of 27.2 with MHS King Joules. There were, however, some new faces from the morning line up, and a British top five by the end of the afternoon session.