Defending champion Oliver Townend enters five horses for Burghley

Defending champion Oliver Townend has entered five horses for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (30 Aug-2 September) this year.

Oliver’s entries include last year’s winner Ballaghmor Class and Cooley SRS and Cooley Master Class, all three of whom are also on the British long-list for the World Equestrian Games (WEG). The world number one also has MHS King Joules and Ulises on the roster for Burghley.

It is unlikely that Oliver will actually ride more than three horses in the competition, although Burghley does not put a strict limit on how many horses a rider can start on, saying instead that it is “subject to the organisers’ discretion” and will be confirmed after close of entries (last Friday, 27 July).

Tina Cook also looks to have a strong hand for the autumn four-star, with her WEG long-listed horse Billy The Red entered as well as Calvino II and Star Witness.

Andrew Nicholson, who has won Burghley five times, is entered with a trio of horses in Jet Set IV, Swallow Springs and Teseo.

New Zealand’s Mark Todd is the other rider entered on more than two horses, with Kiltubrid Rhapsody, Leonidas II and NZB Campino currently in the mix, although it is almost certain he will ride one of the horses at WEG instead.

Ninety-nine horses representing nine different nations have been entered for Burghley in total.

Previous Burghley winners in the mix besides Oliver, Mark and Andrew include Australia’s Chris Burton on Cooley Lands — one of the two horses he has on the Australian short-list for WEG — New Zealand’s Caroline Powell, who brings forward Up Up And Away and On The Brash, and Pippa Funnell (Majas Hope).

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The horses who finished second (Vanir Kamira with Piggy French), third (Arctic Soul under Gemma Tattersall) and fourth (Toledo De Kerser ridden by Tom McEwen) at Burghley last year have all been entered again, but all are also on the British long-list for WEG so their participation will depend on whether they get the British squad call-up.

The other British WEG-listed horses also entered for Burghley are Bulana (Nicola Wilson), Away Cruising (Harry Meade), Reve Du Rouet (Sarah Bullimore), Mr Bass (Laura Collett) and Allstar B (Ros Canter).

A number of British first-timers are also entered, including H&H blogger Hazel Towers, who has had to withdraw Simply Smart but still has Simply Clover in the mix. And the crowd will be delighted to see favourites such as Charlton Down Riverdance (Becky Woolven), Ivar Gooden (Imogen Murray) and Euro Prince (Clare Abbott) back at Burghley.

H&H’s bumper Burghley preview, including course-walk with former winner Blyth Tait and full form guide, will be on sale on Thursday, 23 August.