Mark Todd has withdrawn NZB Gandalf from this week’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

The New Zealander was due to ride at the event for the first time since 2000, but has pulled out following a fall at the World Cup final in Strzegom, Poland, two weeks ago.

“He had that tip up and I felt he wasn’t going well enough at this stage,” said Mark. “Also, Gandalf didn’t actually fall, but he smacked into the fence and had a little injury, so he needed a week off. Burghley isn’t the place to be going when everything isn’t 100%.

“I’ll just see how he goes — he might go to Boekelo [the Dutch CCI***, 8-11 October] or if he’s going well, he might go to Pau [the French CCI****, 21-25 October].”

Sharon Hunt and Tankers Town are another high profile late withdrawal. Sharon wrote on her website: “Sadly I won’t be competing at Burghley this year as Jasper (Tankers Town) had a small setback a couple weeks ago with a boot rub and missed some work so he will not be fit enough.”

Tankers Town is now aimed at Pau.

The first horse inspection at Burghley is at 4pm today.

Keep up with all H&H’s online Burghley coverage at www.horseandhound.co.uk/burghley2009 and don’t forget to buy H&H next week (10 September) for our 10-page Burghley special report.