As famous for its incredible shopping as the supreme challenge of Wolfgang Feld’s cross-country course, Burghley is an annual pilgrimage for eventing (and shopping!) enthusiasts.

This year’s event sees Pippa Funnell trying to claim the $250,000 Rolex Grand Slam following her wins at Badminton and Rolex Kentucky earlier this year.

Eventing’s golden girl was dealt a severe blow last month when her top ride Supreme Rock was sidelined for the rest of the year with an injury. Instead, Pippa’s hopes will be focused on Walk on Star, Cornerman and Primmore’s Pride.

She will have a tough task on her hands with the best riders from around the world entered for this CCI**** challenge, which Pippa is yet to win. Other top British riders include British team members William Fox-Pitt, Jeanette Brakewell and Leslie Law, as well as Mary King and Karen Dixon, whose her veteran partner, 17-year-old Too Smart, was third in 1994 and second in 1999.

The international challenge will also see a 16-strong entry from America, including David and Karen O’Connor, Bruce Davison and John Williams. The Kiwis are fielding the experienced Blyth Tait and Andrew Nicholson, who has three rides, while Australia’s entry includes Matt Ryan, Andrew Hoy and Clayton Fredericks, and Germany’s Bettina Hoy can never be ruled out.

Burghley is also hosting an unofficial “Riders Challenge”, which will pit seven riders from the USA head-to-head against seven British riders.

Among the nine first-timers competing is Zara Phillips, who will make history as the first Burghley competitor whose parents have both previously won Burghley.

In this, the second year of course-builder Wolfgang Feld’s three-year reign, the course has been tweaked following last year’s considerable overhaul. To check out HHO’s virtual course walk and Lucinda Green’s thoughts on the course, click here.

The event will follow a new format on the final day with the show jumping phase of the CCI coming to close by lunchtime on Sunday. Visitors with tickets for the afternoon performance (separate tickets are required) will be treated to a special main ring entertainment including an invitation-only accumulator show jumping class where Britain’s top showjumpers will compete for £20,000. For more information click here

  • For a full guide to the riders’ pre-Burghley form, plus ones to watch, don’t miss this Thursday’s Horse & Hound (4 September).

    Shop ’til you drop

    Visitors can look forward to meeting many of the top riders, who are making appearances at various stands throughout the event as part of their sponsorship and promotional deals.

    The following riders will be coming to The Horse Village to sign autographs or endorse products in the demo area during the event. Visitors should check the boards outside the appropriate tradestands for timings:

    • Matt Ryan (Armadillo Products)
    • Mark Todd (Jumpers Horse Line)
    • Ginny Elliott and Richard Waygood (Jeffries Saddlery)
    • Tim Stockdale (Equine Affairs)
    • Polly Stockton (T&G Clothing)
    • William Funnell (Ryders Equestrian)

    Pippa Funnell will be at the Equestrian Vision stand each day to promote her new video, and Lucy Wiegersma will be on hand at Treehouse Sporting Colours in the Rural Crafts area to talk to visitors and sign autographs.

    The Mark Davies Injured Riders’ Fund has, among others, David and Karen O’Connor appearing at its stand, while visitors can chat with Horse & Hound editor Lucy Higginson on the H&H stand (B25) on Sunday afternoon.

    Visitors to the H&H stand can also enter a free prize draw to win £1,000 of Masta products or a self-propelled Paddock Cleaner, kindly donated by Trafalgar Cleaning Equipment, worth around £2,500.

    Both prizes must be won by someone who has visited the Horse & Hound stand during the event, so if you fancy never having to poo-pick your paddocks again or would like a brand new wardrobe for your horse, don’t forget to drop by.

    And, if you take out a subscription to the magazine at Burghley, you’ll receive a 30% discount and a free bottle of The Balvenie whiskey.

    Getting to Burghley

    Burghley is situated near Stamford, in Lincolnshire, just off the A1, about 90 miles north of London. It will be clearly signposted from every direction.

    Parking costs £6 per day or £20 for four days. Entrance costs £9 per person on Thursday and Friday, £18 on Saturday and £9 on Sunday. Separate tickets are required for entrance into the grandstand on Sunday. Children aged 12 years or under may enter free if accompanied by an adult. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on leads at all times.

  • Click here for the full timetable.

    For more information (tel: 01780 752131) or visit: www.burghley-horse.co.uk