A super mare, the best first-timer and a British-bred star: who won the special prizes at Burghley?

  • The Defender Burghley Horse Trials special prizes list makes fun reading – from cakes to a trophy named in honour of a three-time winner of the event.

    Let’s check out who took the prizes this year…

    The Defender Perpetual Challenge Trophy goes to the owners of the winning horse, so was awarded to Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan following Ballaghmor Class’s victory. A miniature replica is also given to the rider of the winning horse, Oliver Townend.

    Oliver also collected the Burghley Challenge Cup, as winning rider.

    Burghley Horse Trials special prizes: Ballaghmor Class and his connections take a number of prizes home

    Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class win Burghley 2023.

    Oliver and Ballaghmor Class – known as Thomas – also won the Burghley Cakes, awarded by Jeremy Topham-Smith from The George Hotel, Stamford, to the winning rider and horse.

    Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class jump the Parasol Table en route to victory at Burghley 2023.

    “I’m so proud of Thomas and of the team behind him,” said Oliver after his win. “The main gang have all been with me between seven and 14 years. Horses don’t lie and if you’re doing something wrong from a management point of view, they don’t turn up at five-star after five-star, with smiles on their faces, sound, fit and producing the results they have over the past 10 years.”

    Gillian Jonas won the Henry Tate Challenge Cup, as owner of the runner-up, Galileo Nieuwmoed.

    Burghley Horse Trials special prizes: David Doel and Galileo Nieuwmoed

    David Doel and Galileo Nieuwmoed jump the corner at Defender Valley at Burghley 2023.

    Galileo Nieuwmoed’s rider, David Doel, picked up the Sugden Challenge Trophy.

    “We came for a top-10 placing – I knew I had a class horse under me,” said David. “We were a bit disappointed with the dressage, but I had a lot of belief in his jumping and I’d rather finish stronger.”

    David also won the Avebury Trophy, presented by Mark and Rosemary Barlow in memory of their three-times Burghley winner, to the rider of the best cross-country round as judged by Mandy Stibbe and Nicola Wilson.

    David Doel and Galileo Nieuwmoed jump through the Holland Cooper Leaf Pit on the way to second at Burghley 2023.

    Gillian and David also took home a crystal champagne cooler, as owner and rider of the second-placed horse.

    There was a raft of Burghley Horse Trials special prizes for the owner and rider of the third-placed horse, Cavalier Crystal.

    Harry Meade and Cavalier Crystal leap the Boodles Raindance fence as they head towards the end of the Burghley 2023 cross-country course.

    Owner Charlotte Opperman won the Stamford Challenge Cup, while rider Harry Meade collected a silver photo frame, awarded by Dawson of Stamford Ltd.

    Harry and Charlotte also won a crystal tulip bowl.

    Harry Meade and Cavalier Crystal, the top mare at Burghley 2023.

    Charlotte Opperman, as the owner of the highest-placed British domiciled mare in the top 20, Cavalier Crystal, also won the Twemlows Burghley Scholarship for two embryo transfers, awarded by Twemlows Stud farm.

    Harry revealed they had previously tried unsuccessfully to breed from Cavalier Crystal using semen from Tenareze, who was cut when he was already well into his eventing career and who Harry also rode at Burghley, but sadly finished the cross-country lame, though he was reported “happy, settled and comfortable” that evening.

    “Cavalier Crystal is so good, it would be wonderful to have that legacy for her to continue beyond the confines of her own career,” said Harry.

    As a further bonus for the top three, Pol Roger Champagne presented a jeroboam of Pol Roger champagne to the winning rider, Oliver, and a magnum to the riders placed second and third, David and Harry.

    US rider Jennie Saville was the recipient of a miniature of the Defender Perpetual Challenge Trophy, awarded to the highest placed first-timer. She finished 12th on Nina and Tim Gardner’s FE Lifestyle.

    Burghley Horse Trials special prizes: best first-timers Jennie Saville and FE Lifestyle

    Jennie Saville steers FE Lifestyle through Defender at the Dairy Mound at Burghley 2023.

    “It’s his fifth five-star and it’s definitely the toughest five-star in the world, I’ve never felt him tire like that. He’s a gem and I’m lucky to ride him,” said Jennie.

    FE Lifestyle was also judged by Steve Britten to be the winner of the Worshipful Company of Farriers best shod horse award, with the prize going to Jennie’s farrier Russell Deering.

    As the owner of the highest placed British-bred horse – Topspin, who finished seventh – Caroline Casburn won a couple of prizes. Topspin was ridden by Caroline’s daughter Alice and also bred by the family.

    The British Horse Foundation presented Caroline with the Richard Matson Memorial Trophy and a £1,000 prize, plus British Breeding also gave Caroline a prize.

    Alice Casburn and Topspin clear the last to complete the final day at Burghley 2023 without adding anything to their overnight score.

    “I don’t think I’ll ever have another horse who makes five-star feel that easy,” said 21-year-old Alice after her cross-country round.

    The Peden Bloodstock horse care prizes go to the grooms of the best-cared-for horses, in recognition of their hard work and dedication. The winner this year was Amy Akehurst for her care of Tom Crisp’s Liberty And Glory, who finished 14th.

    Amy Akehurst’s charge Liberty And Glory jumps the last at Burghley 2023, ridden by Tom Crisp.

    Kerryn Edmands took the runner-up prize for her care of Tim Price’s Vitali, who collected fourth place after leading following dressage and cross-country.

    Burghley Horse Trials special prizes: Tim Price and Vitali, whose groom Kerryn Edmands won the runner-up horse care prize

    Kerryn Edmands’ charge Vitali completes the cross-country at Burghley 2023, ridden by Tim Price.

    Mint Julep Cups are awarded to all owners whose horses complete the competition, and to any athlete completing who is not the owner of the horse.

    In addition, two Burghley Horse Trials special prizes were given to people who work behind the scenes at Burghley.

    The Lady Victoria award went to Philip Herbert, clerk of the course for over 40 years

    The unsung hero award, in memory of Justin Llewelyn, was won by William Hurrell, event controller for more than 20 years.

    Pictures of the Burghley Horse Trials special prizes winners by Peter Nixon and Nico Morgan Media.

    Horse & Hound had a team of reporters covering all the Burghley action. To keep reading on our website after five articles, readers will need to buy a subscription. Visit horseandhound.co.uk/join to buy a Horse & Hound website unlimited subscription or, for great value, visit magazinesdirect.com for a combined magazine and website subscription. If you are already a magazine subscriber, the cost to upgrade your subscription to include full website access is minimal – call 0330 333 1113 to find out more.

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