Burghley Horse Trials 2018: what happens when

  • The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2018 dates are 30 August to 2 September. The competition take place at Burghley House in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Our helpful guide explains what happens on each day so you can plan your visit with confidence.

    Burghley Horse Trials 2018 dates: what happens when

    Wednesday 29 August

    Although the competition doesn’t officially begin until Thursday, the first horse inspection (also known as ‘the trot-up’ by Brits or ‘the jog’ by Americans) takes place in the main arena on Wednesday afternoon. This is to ensure that all the horses are fit and well to undertake the rigours of all three phases of the competition.

    Thursday 30 August

    The competition gets underway on Thursday with the first of two days of dressage. Typically riders with two horses will get the competition underway, followed by the first of the one-horse competitors. The atmosphere is generally considered to be easier on the first day, although some riders would also argue it’s more difficult to earn the highest marks from the judges on the first day too.

    Friday 31 August

    The second day of competition sees more dressage on the Friday. By the end of the day you’ll have a true idea of who’s in contention, with some of the top combinations typically coming in the final session on Friday afternoon. However Burghley is never a dressage competition so you can expect the leaderboard to undergo massive change before the winner is crowned.

    Saturday 1 September

    For most riders and spectators alike, Saturday is what it’s all about. Look forward to seeing horse and rider braving the challenging Burghley terrain as they gallop across country. Whether they are looking for a top 10 finish or simply a completion, they should feel rightly proud of any clear jumping rounds.

    Sunday 2 September

    Before the final showjumping phase gets underway on the last day, all horses have to once again come in front of the ground jury to be pronounced fit to proceed. It’s quite normal to lose one or two horses at this stage of the competition as the rigours of the previous day take their toll. Once passed fit to continue, the lower placed combinations showjump in the morning, while the top 20/25 compete in front of packed grandstands in the afternoon before the Land Rover Burghley champion is crowned.

    Enjoy Horse & Hound’s full report from Burghley, on sale Thursday 7 September

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