This year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (5-8 September) is set for excitement with the two previous winners being drawn in the penultimate and final slots on the start list.
The 2017 winners, Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class, start at number 81, while last year’s winners Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy will wear back number 82. With both pairs likely to produce excellent dressage tests, their late starting positions will guarantee fans’ interest until the end of the two days of dressage and through to the conclusion of cross-country day.
Tim will also start as number one on Bango and as number 42 on Xavier Faer. Tim’s wife Jonelle also has one ride, Faerie Dianimo, who is number 68.
Oliver too has three rides entered, with Ulises drawn number two and Cooley Master Class number 43, but Cooley Master Class is unlikely actually to start at Burghley as he is Oliver’s selected ride for the European Championships the previous week.
Pippa Funnell also has three horses on the list, but they are double entered so she will only actually run two of them — Billy Walk On can run at number six or number 78, with Majas Hope drawn number seven and MGH Grafton Street at number 77.
Pippa’s first horse will be followed by Gemma Tattersall on fan favourite Arctic Soul (number eight), while Gemma also pilots Santiago Bay at the end of the draw (number 79). Badminton winners Piggy French and Vanir Kamira have been given number 63.
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Harry Mutch will be the first British first-timer out of the start box, wearing number 11 on HD Bronze. Among the other British first-timers, H&H blogger Julia Norman is drawn as number 41 with Carryon Bobby Boy. Nicky Hill, who was the best home side debutante at Badminton, will wear number 18 with MGH Bingo Boy.
For the full Burghley preview, including a course-walk with Mark Todd, don’t miss next week’s edition of Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday, 29 August.