‘I’m not here to muck about’: historic moment as new Burghley dressage record set

  • World number one Tim Price and uber-athletic Vitali made Burghley Horse Trials dressage history as they scored the event’s first sub-2o test score at the 2023 Defender Burghley Horse Trials.

    The New Zealand team rider and the 13-year-old Vitali, who is co-owned by Joseph Glannamore, achieved an incredible total of 18.7 from the three judges, Nick Burton at E, Christian Steiner at C and Anne-Mette Binder at M.

    This was a personal best international dressage score for Tim, who last won Burghley in 2018 with Ringwood Sky Boy. The duo eclipsed the previous Burghley record of 20.1, which was set by Australian Chris Burton and Nobilis 18 in 2016.

    Tim and Vitali were on the path to glory right out of the gate when they were awarded a 10 for their first halt from Nick Burton, who also scored them full marks for their harmony as a combination throughout the test.

    The gelding continued with an effortless performance, staying relaxed throughout while showcasing plenty of expression in his elastic paces. They totalled 14 nines over the course of the test, including two nines for their final halt, extended walk and trot, and flying changes.

    “I’m so elated as this horse has always shown so much potential in all three phases, but that doesn’t mean you always get it in the ring,” said Tim. “I’m a bit speechless to be honest. He’s a quirky little horse who can throw a curveball. Seven minutes before our test you wouldn’t recognise him; I was on the ground trying to sort something out on his bridle.

    “He’s achieved some good scores previously, but I’ve always believed he had better in him, and he proved that today.”

    Burghley is Vitali’s fourth five-star outing and Tim is confident in their partnership.

    “I’m not here to muck about, and I feel very prepared [for Burghley],” he explained. “This year, we’ve only brought Vitali here — in some years I have ridden three horses over the week. While I always embrace bringing more horses, I’m very happy to be here with just him.”

    Tim Price and Vitali shuffle everyone down the Burghley Horse Trials dressage leaderboard, putting Oliver Townend and Swallow Springs (24.2) into second, and Ros Canter and Pencos Crown Jewel (26.9) into third at this stage.

    You might also be interested in

    Horse & Hound has 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.

    You may like...