Tina Cook will be the pathfinder at this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (31 August-3 September) following the release of the draw.

The experienced British rider will start as number one on the thoroughbred Star Witness. He is an excellent cross-country horse and has finished eighth and 10th at Burghley the past two years, so should give the rest of the field confidence.

Joseph Murphy is drawn as number two on Sportsfield Othello, but as this pair are also on the Irish squad for this week’s European Eventing Championships (17-21 August), it is likely they will withdraw from Burghley.

Number three is Oliver Townend with Samuel Thomas II. They finished seventh and best of the Brits at Burghley last year.

H&H blogger Lissa Green, who makes her Burghley debut, has been drawn as number 14 with Malin Head Clover.

Simon Grieve, the other H&H blogger at the event, will wear number five on Drumbilla Metro and number 67 on Douglas.

The favourite, Germany’s Michael Jung on his double Olympic champion La Biosthetique-Sam FBW, has an early draw, having been given number 24.

Numbers for other leading contenders include Gemma Tattersall and British open champion Arctic Soul at 37, Zara Tindall on London 2012 silver medallist High Kingdom at 50 and Andrew Nicholson on Badminton winner Nereo at 68.

Eighty horses currently remain in the draw, but this will produce a maximum starting field of 79 as Andrew Nicholson has “double-entered” his trio of Nereo, Qwanza and Teseo and will only start on two of them.

Tina Cook and Oliver Townend also both have three horses entered. Although they could start on all three, their entrants include their European Championship rides Billy The Red and Cooley SRS, who are likely to be withdrawn. These horses have been given numbers in the middle of the field, so Tina and Oliver should be left with one horse at the start of the draw and one at the end.

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Oliver is scheduled to be the final rider on course as number 80 with Ballaghmor Class, who was also long-listed for the British Europeans squad.

Don’t miss H&H’s Burghley preview issues — course walk with Mary King and interview with event director Liz Inman in next week’s issue (dated 24 August) and 16-page pull-out with form guide for every entry in the following issue (dated 31 August).