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Watch as tough Gurkha soldiers tackle Burghley cross-country

A group of Gurkhas has taken on one of the ultimate tests of horse and rider – by tackling the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials cross-country course on foot.

Four of the Nepalese soldiers, who are famed for their toughness in battle as part of the British Army, took on the 31-obstacle course to mark the fact the Gurkha Welfare Trust is the official charity of this year’s event.

The soldiers can be seen clearing – or in some cases crawling beneath – the fences in the Mark Phillips-designed course, which is ready and waiting for the competitors in the CCI4* this Saturday (1 September).

The course, the central section of which was described as “four-and-a-half star” by Olympic and two-time Burghley champion Blyth Tait in H&H’s Burghley preview (23 August), proved no obstacle for the Gurkhas, whose motto is “better to die than be a coward”.

They can be seen pausing for some nonchalant press-ups in the middle of the famous Cottesmore Leap – and then celebrating with champagne at the finish.

Sam Cherrington, Gurkha Welfare Trust head of fundraising, said: “We are so delighted to be partnering with Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in 2018.

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“For over 200 years the Gurkhas have served in the British Army and we work to ensure that their veterans, their widows and their wider communities are able to live their lives with dignity when they return to their home country of Nepal.

“By partnering with Land Rover Burghley we hope to reach others who can help us in our mission to repay our country’s debt of honour to these brave men.”

As well as the full Burghley preview in the current issue of H&H, don’t miss next week’s edition (6 September) for all the results and analysis, plus keep up to date with the event as it happens at H&H’s Burghley web page.