Andrew Hoy (AUS)
Mr Practan and Moonfleet
If anyone will be trying their hardest to clinch the Burghley 2006 crown it will be Andrew Hoy — $250,000 depends on it. Having won at Kentucky and Badminton this year, he needs the Burghley prize in order to secure the Rolex Grand Slam. Both Moonfleet and Mr Pracatan are more than capable of the job; Moonfleet won Burghley in 2004 as well as Badminton this year and Mr Pracatan finished 15th at Badminton and sixth at Burghley last year. The Grand Slam has been achieved only once before, also at Burghley, by Britain’s Pippa Funnell in 2003.
Apache Sauce and Cashel Bay
Both of Mary King’s rides have had promising results this season, Apache Sauce finishing 10th in the Barbury CIC three-star in July and Cashel Bay placed third at both Hartbury and Barbury and 18th at Badminton in May. Although Cashel Bay seems to be the most consistent and experienced, he will have to watch his show jumping having knocked poles in his last two events.
Ballincoola and Idalgo
Liver chestnut Ballincoola, 12, was last year’s Burghley winner and a clear cross-country round at Badminton in May proves he is as brave as ever. But having clocked up show jumping penalties at both Badminton and last month’s Gatcombe Open Championships, he will need to pick his feet up at Burghley. Idalgo, 10, has been enjoying impressive results this season, finishing second in Gatcombe advanced and winning Burnham Market CIC three-star. Although Burghley will be his first four-star, he was placed second at Bramham CCI three-star last year.
Harry Meade was the highest placed young rider at last year’s Burghley , finishing 13th aboard Midnight Dazzler. This season the pair has proved the result was not a fluke, excelling at Britain’s two most prestigious events. In May they jumped clear at Badminton to take 21st place and last month they finished 8th in the British Open Championships at Gatcombe Park.
Over the last two years Ruth Edge has blossomed into one of Britain’s most up and coming event riders, and was selected as a reserve for the World Equestrian Games squad. Aboard bay mare Marsh Mayfly she finished 4th at Bramham CCI three-star in May and won Thirlstane CIC three-star last month.
Francis Whittington is waiting in the wings for a big win. His results with 16.3hh 13 year-old Osh Kosh this season have been pretty consistent: 28th at Badminton, 17th at Gatcombe and 11th at Barbury. Last weekend he finished 7th at Blenheim with Sir Percival and told HHO it was a “good set-up” for Burghley.
Over To You
Jeanette Brakewell and 18-year-old Over To You are a polished pair with a strong set of results behind them. In 2005 they took fifth at Badminton and 12th at the Blenheim European Championships. This year they went one step better, finishing fourth at Badminton and ninth in the British Open Championships at Gatcombe. Definitely one to watch out for this weekend.
Known on the eventing circuit for her stylish cross-country riding, Devon-based Wiegersma and 12-year-old Shaabrak look set for a good score at Burghley. The pair finished seventh at Badminton in May and more recently came second in the CIC three-star at Thirlestane. Wiegersma was also crowned British National Champion at Gatcombe, partnering In the Purple.
A member of Britain’s World Equestrian Games squad at Aachen, young talent Oliver Townend has had a meteoric rise to the top of eventing. Aboard Flint Curtis he finished third at Badminton this year and with Topping he finished sixth at the British Open Championships this year and 12th at Badminton last year.
Clayton Fredericks (AUS)
W P In Limbo and Nullabor
Clayton Fredericks triumphed at the British Open Championships this year on Nullabor and with two horses destined for Burghley, is a formidable opposition. As well as winning Gatcombe Nullarbor finished fourth in the CCI at Saumur, France and W P In Limbo took 21st place in the British Open Championships and was 17th at Badminton in May.
Matt Ryan (AUS)
Bonza Katoomba and Bonza Puzzle
Another rider with two chances at this year’s Burghley is Matt Ryan. Bonza Puzzle finished eigth at Hartpury CIC three-star and 14th at Luhmuhlen four-star and Bonza Katoomba finished 30th at Badminton this year.
Andrew Nicholson (NZ)
Last year’s third placed rider Andrew Nicholson (NZL) will also be back to try and take the crown in 2006. This year Nicholson will not be riding Lord Killinghurst but Henry Tankerville who is less experienced but a winner at Bramham and Chatsworth this season.