Harry Meade celebrates best Burghley placing yet with five-star first-timer

  • A mare making her five-star debut put in an impeccable jumping performance to finish third overall for Harry Meade after a nail-biting 2023 Defender Burghley Horse Trials showjumping finale.

    The horse in question was Charlotte Opperman’s scopey Cavalier Crystal, who produced one of few clear rounds to provide Harry with his first podium finish at the autumn five-star.

    Despite her lack of mileage at this level, the Jack Of Diamonds 13-year-old, who was the highest placed mare in the competition, was flawless to finish her Burghley debut on 37.4 penalties. The only pairs to beat her were second placed Galileo Nieuwmoed and David Doel on 33.7, and eventual winners Ballaghmor Class and Oliver Townend on 33.

    Heading into the Burghley Horse Trials showjumping phase, Harry and Cavalier Crystal were in sixth overall after a strong cross-country performance and a dressage score of 32.2. But a textbook showjumping clear round from the pair, and costly poles from fellow competitors, accelerated them up the leaderboard.

    “She was so cool in there,” reflected Harry, who was also clear with a single time fault on his seasoned contender Away Cruising. “She’s such a fun jumper and she lets me go in there and enjoy it. She’s very different to Away Cruising, but for both to jump clear is a great end to a great Burghley.”

    Cavalier Crystal won on Burghley soil in the young event horse class as a five-year-old back in 2015 under Tiana Coudray. Earlier this year, she finished fifth at Bramham.

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