Find out what some of the world's top event riders, such as Tina Cook, Andrew Nicholson and Harry Meade make of this year's Burghley cross-country course
The cross-country course at this year’s 2017 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials looks set to be as challenging as ever.
The track, designed by Captain Mark Phillips since 2005, is 6400mm in length and has an optimum time of 11min 14sec.
Tina Cook said: “As always, it is a dimensionally big course. I like the fact that there are still a lot of combination fences with alternatives where you can choose depending on how your horse is travelling and how they are coping with the crowd. The ground is perfect and I would hope the horses will travel really well on it.”
Andrew Nicholson was in agreement saying: “It’s typical Burghley — big, difficult but very jumpable. It’s effort after effort all the way round and horses will need to be really fit.”
Willa Newton said: “It’s very well presented and there are difficult combinations — the Dairy Farm and the Trout Hatchery are very tough, and I think the new loop incorporating Storm Doris will make horses very tired going all the way up to the Cottesmore Leap from there.”
Harry Meade said: “The terrain plays a big part at Burghley — the first three minutes are virtually uphill the whole way. There are lots of places that could cause problems and it will require a great deal of concentration.”
Sarah Bullimore said: “Winners’ Avenue was quite a pull last year, so with the extra distance from the bottom of the hill at Storm Doris, it will be tough early on.”
This is the third year that the course has run clockwise. Two riders made the optimum time in 2015, while none made it last year, so this could prove influential.