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Wednesday, September 03, 2008  •  18:36 GMT


After the first horse inspection held this afternoon at 16.00hrs seventy one horses now go forward to contest this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
Just one horse – no. 41 Brandenburgs Joshua ridden by former winner, American rider Stephen Bradley – did not pass the inspection and was withdrawn from the competition.

British Olympic team bronze medallist William Fox-Pitt brings forward his 2005 winner Ballincoola (no. 23) who will be one of the favourites to take home the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge trophy. The experienced 16-year-old will be contesting his sixth Burghley. On the other hand William’s second ride, 2004 Badminton winner Tamarillo (no. 86) comes to Burghley for the first time. William will also be looking to do well here in order to maintain his lead in the HSBC FEI Classics – a series consisting of the world’s five four-star events with a bonus of prize money to the leader at the end of the series after Les Etoiles de Pau in October.

William’s Olympic team mate Mary King also has two rides through – Apache Sauce (no. 27) and Imperial Cavalier (no. 90) and Daisy Dick, also a member of the British bronze medal team in Hong Kong will ride the grey Hope Street (no.45).

New Zealand veteran and former Burghley winner Andrew Nicholson brings Muschamp Impala (no. 9) a former ride of Ruth Edge. The new combination will be contesting their first four-star event together. Andrew also rides Armada (no. 74) one of three nine-year-olds in the field. The other two are L’Aristo Du Lado (no. 33) and Ashdale Cruise Master (no. 79) the ride of first timer Emily Gilruth. At the other end of the age scale both Silence (no 81) the ride of New Zealander Dan Jocelyn and Fairfax (no. 29) the ride of Frenchman Rodolphe Scherer share the honour of being the eldest at 18-years-old.

Fourteen ‘first timers’ come under starter’s orders, including one of the most experienced Burghley first timers ever. Australian Stuart Tinney, an Olympic gold medallist in Sydney makes his first appearance at the age of 47 with the 12-year-old grey Vettori.

Olympic individual bronze medal winner Kristina Cook starts the first day of dressage at 09.10hrs tomorrow. Kristina and her Olympic partner Miner’s Frolic, a former winner of the Burghley Young Event Horse in 2003, will ride the ‘guinea pig’ dressage test in front of the ground jury. Louise Skelton (GBR) will be the first competitor into the arena with the first of her two rides the homebred A Bit of a Barney. Louise also rides his full brother, Partly Pickled on Friday. A completion for Louise on both of her rides would see her make the record books as the first person to complete on full brothers in the same year.