World’s best eventers turn attention to Burghley

  • Just days after the drama of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy (27-31 August), the world’s best eventers have now turned their attention to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this weekend (4-8 September).

    WEG bronze medallist William Fox-Pitt and last year’s Burghley winner Andrew Nicholson once again head up the entry list and are favourites to take the £62,000 first prize.

    New Zealand will be hoping to turn around their poor performance at WEG — which saw them miss out on 2016 Olympic qualification — as Andrew and Avebury attempt to secure a Burghley hat-trick.

    Meanwhile William will ride Kentucky victor Bay My Hero and his 2011 Burghley winner Parklane Hawk to try and claim his seventh title.

    2013 Badminton winner Jock Paget has now re-routed to Burghley having pulled up Clifton Promise after an early run out in Normandy. Jock and Australian Kevin McNab were both cleared of any wrongdoing by the FEI last month after both their horses tested positive for banned substance reserpine at last year’s event.

    The Kiwi contingent will be without Sir Mark Todd as he has withdrawn his only ride Oloa. Mark is having a bad week having fallen off the step coming out of the last water at WEG.

    Oliver Townend will ride Badminton runner-up and Andrew’s former ride Armada. The pair finished fourth at Burghley in 2012.

    Sam Griffiths’ Badminton-winning mare Paulank Brockagh will not be at Burghley — having just helped Australia finish in fifth at WEG— but he has his experienced four-star ride Happy Times to try to claim the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of eventing.

    British rider Matthew Wright has also picked up a last minute catch ride on Cossan Lad.

    Matthew has ridden the gelding — that has previously been ridden at three-star level by his owner Kirsty Shaw — twice in the last couple of days.

    “He is grey, 16.3hh and quite strong,” he said. “I’m sure it will be grand.”

    Keep up to date with all the latest news and videos from Burghley at horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss next week’s magazine for a full report (11 Setember).

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