Fresh horses at breezy Burghley trot-up, plus top contenders withdrawn shortly before first inspection

Sprits were high at the first horse inspection at the 2019 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

All 67 horses presented before the ground jury of Nick Burton, Christina Klingspor and Xavier Le Sauce, this afternoon (Wednesday, 4 September) sailed through without a hitch.

No combinations were asked to represent nor was anyone sent to the holding box, so the full contingent move forwards to the dressage phase.

First to present was last year’s winner, Tim Price, who is the only rider with three horses at the 2019 Lincolnshire CCI5*-L.

The eye-catching chestnut gelding Bango, owned by the Numero Uno Syndicate, was the first Tim’s rides to go before the ground jury. The New Zealand rider then zipped through with his 2018 title-holder.

There were fresh moments from several of those for whom the atmosphere in Burghley’s main arena proved a little too exciting.

Ginny Howe did well to keep hold of Undalgo De Windsor (pictured, top), as did Nicky Hill, whose ride MGH Bingo Boy looked keen to get going with the competition.

Georgie Spence’s ride WII Limbo was equally on his toes, while US rider Liz Halliday-Sharp asked the crowd to keep quiet while she trotted Deniro Z.

The Hiho Silver prize for the best dressed lady rider went to Caroline Clarke (Touch Too Much) and the best dressed man to France’s Arthur Chabert (Goldsmiths Imber).

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There have been several late withdrawals from potential title contenders this week, ahead of the first horse inspection. Oliver Townend, fresh from helping Britain to team silver at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen, has withdrawn Ulises. He remains on the startlist with his 2017 winner Ballaghmor Class (pictured, below).

Izzy Taylor has withdrawn her 2019 Tattersalls CCI4*-L victor, PSH Gazelle, but is still in the mix with the talented 10-year-old Springpower.

Other withdrawals since H&H’s form guide went to press on Monday (3 September) include Waldo, ridden by Emma Hyslop-Webb, Star Nouveau — the ride of New Zealand’s Ginny Thompson, and Tom Crisp’s mount Cooleys Luxury.

The dressage phase starts tomorrow (Thursday, 5 September), and Ros Canter will perform the guinea pig test aboard her individual and team World gold medal-winning ride, Allstar B.

Tim Price and Bango will be the first competitors into the arena at 9.30am.

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