Future eventing stars compete at this year’s Burghley Winergy Young Event Horse final

Georgina Anstee and Primitive Habit won the five-year-old class at this year’s Burghley Winergy Young Event Horse final. Bred on the Isle of Man by Dizzy Rigell and now owned by Sue and Eddie Davies, Primitive Habit was second in last years four-year-old-final and has show jumped successfully.

Judged by Steve Hadley, Althea Gifford, Ginny Elliot and Linda Brudenell, both classes showed the huge rise in standards and the professionalism of the preparation. Di Boddy’s jumping course was inviting, but tested boldness, athleticism and scope. Hard ground, made slippery by heavy showers, caught out some of the least experienced horses.

The final phase, where judge Althea Gifford examined the horses for “star quality”, saw the 10 top-scoring horses being asked to gallop on both reins as a group, and then in groups of three.

Brigit Ensten took second place on Paul Rackham’s The Night Flight. Brigit was also sixth with Ruth McMullen’s Sir Nickleby. Tiny Clapham, another specialist in these classes, was third with Cyril Embrey’s highly-rated Phoebus.

The four-year-old winner, GinnyRose’s Slick Mick, headed the dressage and jumping scores. Bred in Lincolnshire by Jenny Burt, he was broken-in in May, contested a qualifier in July and was then turned away.

“We didn’t think he had qualified, so when we got the letter some weeks later, we had rather a shock!” said Ginny.

Helen Wilson and the Irish-bred Sevruga, took second spot. This big gelding came over in February unbroken, but qualified twice. Antonia Brown, who had two horses in each class, posted her best result with the four-year-old The Jaybird, who was fourth.

Steve Hadley said: “The standard was exceptional. The winner was outstanding – a real workman who will go on and do something.”