The 2021 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials was due to be held on Thursday 2 September to Sunday 5 September 2021, but it has been cancelled due to the challenges associated with running major events during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The riders would have tackled a new cross-country challenge as Captain Mark Phillips hands over to Tokyo Olympic course-designer Derek di Grazia.
The 2020 horse trials was another top-level competition that fell victim to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Sadly neither riders nor spectators were able to flock to the grounds of Burghley House at Stamford in Lincolnshire to enjoy five-star eventing at its best, but fans were treated to a virtual bonanza online instead.
The first Burghley event was held in 1961 and the horse trials had never been cancelled or abandoned until Covid-19 took out the 2020 renewal.
Anneli Drummond-Hay was the event’s first winner, riding Merely-A-Monarch, who also became the first horse to win both Badminton Horse Trials and Burghley when he took the Gloucestershire event the following spring.
Andrew Nicholson’s ride Avebury, who won the event in 2012, 2013 and 2014, is the only horse who has won Burghley three times. The only other horse to triumph at the event more than once is Ginny Elliot’s ride Priceless, who won in 1983 and 1985, when he was also crowned European champion.
Burghley has also hosted the European Championships on five other occasions, the most famous of these being in 1971 when Princess Anne took the title on Doublet.