Top-10 contenders among latest Burghley withdrawals as final line-up takes shape

  • A number of horses who could have finished in the prize money are among the latest withdrawals from this week’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (30 August-2 September).

    Britain’s Sarah Cohen has withdrawn Treason, who finished 12th at Burghley in 2016.

    Euro Prince, the ride of Ireland’s Clare Abbott has also been pulled out of the event. He finished 13th at the event last year.

    Tom McEwen has withdrawn both his rides, unsurprisingly — Strike Smartly started at Blair CCI3* last week instead, finishing second, and Toledo De Kerser has been selected for the British squad for the World Equestrian Games (WEG) two weeks after Burghley.

    Chris Burton has also now withdrawn Cooley Lands, who he will ride on the Australian squad at WEG.

    Another Cooley horse, Cooley Earl, has also come out of the draw as Georgie Strang has taken her ride out of contention.

    Charlotte Bacon will have to wait for another year to make her Burghley debut after withdrawing Last Touch, while US competitor Boyd Martin will not bring forward Steady Eddie.

    Fans will be sad not to see Becky Woolven’s characterful Charlton Down Riverdance, who was 17th here on their shared debut in 2016.

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    Mark Todd has now withdrawn Leonidas II, so he will compete on Kiltubrid Rhapsody and NZB Campino.

    His fellow New Zealander, Andrew Nicholson, still has three horses in the draw — Teseo, Swallow Springs and Jet Set IV — but he will only start on two of them.

    Last year’s winner, Oliver Townend, still has five horses in the mix, but will only start on three, so he has to choose which ones out of Ballaghmor Class, Cooley SRS, Cooley Master Class, MHS King Joules and Ulises. He said last week that the horses would have a gallop on Monday (yesterday) and a jump today before he made his decision.

    Full Burghley preview, including course walk with Blyth Tait and complete form guide, in the issue of H&H now on sale (dated 23 August).

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