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Eventing legend Mark Todd has been helping out one very special “competitor” in the run-up to the 2017 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (31 August – 3 September).

With five wins at the Lincolnshire event on his CV, Mark was the natural choice of cross-country trainer for this star contender.

With just three weeks to go until the first horse canters down the centre line, World Horse Welfare Pamela has been turning to the top for her last minute preparation.

She has already had help on the flat from none other than the great Carl Hester and now the charity’s patron Mark has been putting her through her paces in preparation for one of the world’s toughest cross-country tracks.

“To be honest I was quite surprised when I first saw her — she’s not what you would first expect in an event horse,” quipped Mark, adding she “has a very good jump”.

“You don’t see many palomino eventers and I certainly don’t remember seeing any go round Burghley recently.”

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In the run-up to the event, the charity has created a series of tongue-in-cheek training videos of Pamela, whose celebrity rider will be revealed just before the event.

“Pamela was certainly a surprise late entry and once we had recovered from the initial shock at the prospect of a Shetland pony ‘competing’ at Burghley, we can now see that Pamela is no ordinary Shetland pony,” said horse trials director Elizabeth Inman .

“To have received the backing of so many equestrian stars goes to show just how talented this pony really is and we are delighted that Pamela has chosen Burghley to be her four-star debut.”

Of course Pamela is not really about to take on the Cottesmore Leap — the diminutive Shetland stands at just 8.3hh — but she will be attending the CCI4* to raise awareness of the work World Horse Welfare does.

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