Murphy Himself was just eight years old when he won Burghley in 1986. His victory was one of the most memorable, though possibly not for all the right reasons, admits rider Ginny Elliot.
Ginny recalls: “We finished inside the time, but only because I was totally out of control from about halfway round — Murphy took off and I was just a passenger.
“I did a few more events with him,” she recalls, “but soon decided he needed a man, so I gave him to Ian [Stark].”
Forever teetering on the brink of both genius and insanity, Murphy went on to make up the other half of Ian’s infamous double act of great greys, along with the equally hard-pulling Glenburnie.
Murphy went on to win individual silver at the Stockholm World Equestrian Games in 1990 and finished second at Badminton the following year.
Listen to Ian Stark talking about Murphy Himself
Find out which other horses have made H&H’s list of ‘Burghley greats’ in the Burghley preview issue of H&H (25 August 2011), which also includes Matt Ryan’s course walk and discount shopping vouchers