All horses and riders who fell on the cross-country at Burghley (1 September) are understood to be well and have suffered no serious injuries.
Course-designer Mark Phillips and some riders have pointed to the soft ground to explain some of the falls. This year, the Cottesmore Leap (fence 21) – which, despite its yawning ditch, rarely causes problems – was the scene of some heavy falls.
Clayton Fredericks and Walterstown Don fell here when the horse hit the fence hard with his forelegs, firing Clayton over the hedge.
“Despite the severity of the fall, ‘Walter’ has suffered no serious side effects,” said Clayton, who was badly winded.
“He was checked by vets and is now in perfect form,” he wrote on his website.
Sam Penn and Seven O Seven – riding at their first Burghley – fell at the same fence. Again, the horse hit the fence with his forelegs.
“I fully expected to look over the hedge and see him on his back with his legs in the air,” Sam told H&H. “But he’s just got a graze on his bottom.
“We will probably find an open intermediate for him to run in, just as a happy run to finish the season,” she added.
Sidney Dufresne pulled Quincey up after he hit the Cottesmore Leap hard. The horse was hopping lame on his offhind, but staff at Mark Todd’s yard, where the French rider stayed for Burghley and Blenheim, say Quincey is “fine”.
And Will Faudree, whose Andromaque fell at the Land Rover Dairy Farm steps (fence 19), said she trotted up sound and had flown home to the US.
“The ground was deceptive,” Will told H&H. “With hindsight, I may have asked her to go too fast – she got tired.”
At the press conference after cross-country day, Mark Phillips said: “We saw lots more horses getting tired and the time becoming influential.
“More horses fell in the Cottesmore Leap than usual. Riders pressed the button but didn’t get a response.”
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (13 September 2012)