Tim Price took his first four-star title on British soil this afternoon (Sunday, 2 September) when he won the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
“To win here has always been a dream since I was watching Andrew Nicholson, Mark Todd and Blyth Tait on television when we were kids,” he said.
“I took inspiration from that, but being here and in this position is not something I’d have predicted. I thought I was just good at breaking in horses and sitting on tricky ones. To be here and win is beyond my wildest dreams.”
The New Zealand rider won with a fence in hand to confirm his overnight lead, showjumping clear on Varenna Allen’s Ringwood Sky Boy. Historically the horse has not been the easiest showjumper and Tim said he benefited from the fact that course-designer Richard Jeffery had deliberately made the time allowed quite lenient.
“That allowed me to ride my horse’s balance before the clock,” said Tim.
The rider showjumped clear on his first horse, Bango, who finished 10th and said he learnt from riding the difficult six-stride distance through the line from the upright at fence seven to the UK Sport oxer at eight.
“It was riding quite short this morning, which people weren’t reading, so I jumped in and made a proper connection for a few strides, then found myself off fence eight although Bango is a big-striding horse,” he said. “So that reminded me if I made a nice six strides it should be ok.”
Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class, the defending champions, held onto second place and were best of the Brits despite hitting the first part of the double at fence five.
“Ballaghmor Class is as special a horse as I’ve ever ridden and for me this week he turned into a professional,” said Oliver. “I couldn’t be happier with his performance — he felt completely with me in all three phases.”
Andrew Nicholson’s clear on Swallow Springs moved him up from fifth to third. Sarah Bullimore also rose two places to finish fourth with a clear on Reve Du Rouet.
Vanir Kamira hit the gate at fence four so dropped from third to fifth with Piggy French, while four faults for Harry Meade and Away Crusing at the troublesome UK Sport oxer at fence eight sent them from fourth to sixth.
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Richard Jones (Alfies Clover) landed seventh with a clear and Willa Newton was similarly fault-free to take eighth on Chance Remark.
Ireland’s Elizabeth Power incurred four faults at the second part of the treble at fence 11 on Soladoun, dropping two places to ninth, while Tim Price’s second horse Bango, who also went clear, rounded out the top 10.
Irish rider Ciaran Glynn was the best Burghley first-timer, finishing 14th on November Night with four showjumping faults.
Six pairs had fence eight down this afternoon. The one-stride distance from fence 11a to 11b was also tight and this led to the oxer at fence 11b also falling six times in the afternoon session.
Full report from Burghley, including exclusive expert comment and full analysis of every phase, in this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out Thursday, 6 September.