‘Wonderful memories’: Burghley event director stands down after 16 years

  • Burghley Horse Trials event director Elizabeth Inman is standing down after 16 “amazing” years at the helm of the CCI5*.

    Having been involved with the horse trials for more than 40 years, Elizabeth took on the role of event director in 2005. Her tenure is coming to an end after two years of Covid-related cancellations.

    In a statement last week organisers said following this year’s cancellation, and the subsequent decision by the charitable parent of the event, Burghley House Preservation Trust Ltd, to bring the management of the horse trials “more into line” with all their other events and activities, Elizabeth was standing down.

    “I’ve been overwhelmed by the telephone calls and messages of support I’ve had not only from home but all over the world [following the statement] – even Tokyo, from riders, owners, sponsors,” Elizabeth told H&H. “I suppose it’s been quite a high-profile job but when you’re in it you don’t necessarily pick up on that.”

    She described her time at Burghley as a “wonderful and fulfilling career” during which she had been privileged to work as a member of “such a fantastic team” in idyllic surroundings.

    “I can remember the old days of the very first director James Grove. I used to ride his wife’s show ponies and that’s really how my interest in the event first started. I’ve known every event director that’s been and then I took over the reins in 2005. It’s been the most amazing time,” she told H&H.

    Elizabeth added that there are very few jobs that provide “that sense of camaraderie”.

    “I’ve had the best team in the world administratively, a fantastically supportive organising committee, the FEI officials, stewards, our course-building team, all the contractors on site and trade exhibitors who bring it together. It’s just incredible and I’ve got some wonderful memories,” she said.

    “My reward has been the opportunity to play a role in the development of this great competition and the life-long friendships that I have forged amongst all who have helped contribute to its success and who, I know, will continue to do so.”

    Burghley chairman Edward Clive said “in many respects Elizabeth is Burghley Horse Trials”, having been involved for so long, and the announcement is a “milestone event”.

    “On behalf of everyone at Burghley, I would like to thank her for a lifetime’s dedication to this event which has grown beyond recognition since 1961 when we started with just 19 competitors and 12,000 visitors,” he said.

    “Plans are already under way for delivering a spectacular anniversary event in 2022.”

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