What do Zara Tindall, Mark Todd and Harry Meade make of the 2017 Burghley course?

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Ahead of Saturday’s cross-country phase (2 September 2017) at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Land Rover ambassadors Zara Tindall, Mark Todd and Harry Meade head out on the track to take a look at some of the more challenging fences

Fence 4ab: Lion Bridge

What’s in store? A house on top of a slope down into the first water, then a right turn under the bridge and over a boat.

What do the riders make of it?  “I think the water is a bit deeper (than last year),” says five-time Burghley winner Mark Todd.

“At least you have long enough in the water before you turn and jump (the boat), so you can pick your way in,” adds Harry Meade, who is riding Away Cruising at this year’s event.  Zara Tindall says: “You have to make sure you keep the canter going, because if it’s deep it can really slow them down.”

Fences 22, 23abcd: Land Rover Trout Hatchery

What’s in store? A choice of D-shaped brushes at fence 22, followed by various options through the water, including a skinny brush arrowhead.

What do the riders make of it? “We’ve got a fair way round by this stage, you’re either having a nice ride or you’ll be slightly worried coming into this one I think,” says Mark. “This year you have to go through the pond — last year you could go round and the water is deeper (than last year).”

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Fence 31ab: Discovery Valley

What’s in store? A glider trailer and a brush ‘bonnet’ over a ditch.

What do the riders make of it? “This is basically two big fences,” says Harry. “You have the stubble of the Land Rover bonnets up a rising bit of ground, which is actually quite a big fence. They send you down this channel and you could be quite tempted to gallop. I was thinking of coming up to this almost as if it was steps.”

Fences 9, 10, 11ab: Storm Doris

What’s in store? Three enormous trees used as a zigzag.

What do the riders make of it? “If you stand here and see how far the horses have got to jump, it looks massive,” says Mark, standing back and looking at the fence side on. “But looking at it (front on), because it looks so inviting, I think most will jump this really well.”

Don’t miss our exclusive form guide for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in today’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (31 August 2017), and our full report and analysis of the event in next week’s issue (7 September 2017)