Andrew Nicholson and Avebury aim for Burghley Horse Trials hat-trick

  • One hundred horses from 11 nations have been entered to compete for the £62,000 first prize at this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (4-7 September)

    New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson and Avebury are one of the favorite combinations.They will be aiming for an unprecedented three victories in a row at this year’s event.

    However, despite some top combinations not being available due to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games taking place the week before, Andrew will still face stiff competition.

    Team GB WEG teammates William Fox-Pitt and Oliver Townend both have strong entries. William will ride Kentucky winner Bay My Hero and 2011 Burghley winner Parklane Hawk. Oliver will ride Badminton runner-up Armada.

    Sam Griffiths’ Badminton winner Paulank Brockagh will be at WEG, but he has entered his experienced four-star ride Happy Times to try to claim the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of eventing.

    Burghley will also see the return of Piggy French’s four-star ride Jakata. The gelding was second at Badminton in 2011, but has not competed at a four-star since due to injury problems.

    Event director Elizabeth Inman said: “The standard of entries is as high as ever this year and we look forward to welcoming some, if not all, of the WEG medallists to Lincolnshire this autumn.

    “As always Mark Philips’ cross-country course will provide riders and horses with a true four-star challenge. With Andrew Nicholson and Avebury aiming for an as yet unachieved treble and Sam Griffiths focusing on the elusive Rolex Grand Slam, there is all to play for.”

    Mark Phillips said: “The course follows the same track as last year, but all the combinations have a new look. People asked after Badminton [which had a particularly tough course this year] if I’d be changing Burghley, but the answer was no.

    “As usual though, I think it’ll be a strong track and the time will be difficult to get.”

    Don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine’s exclusive 24-page pull-out guide featuring the form of every horse and rider taking part, on sale 28 August. This issue of the magazine will also include expert insight into the challenges of this year’s cross-country course from former Burghley winner Caroline Powell.

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