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Wednesday, September 01, 2010  •  18:47 BST


The 2010 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials are now underway. After the first horse inspection 77 combinations are now in contention for the Land Rover perpetual challenge trophy and the £50,000 first prize.
The Ground jury of: Martin Plewa (GER), Marilyn Payne (USA) and Les Smith (GBR) assessed the horses this evening. Both Guna Be Good (no. 28) the ride of Ben Hobday (GBR) and Bow House Mandalin (no. 43) the ride of Rachel Gough (GBR) were withdrawn from the holding box.

Burghley ‘first timer’ Laura Collett, who is riding Ginger May Killinghurst (no.10) was judged the ‘best turned out’ female rider at the horse inspection by Caroline Bingham the Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Life. French rider Eddy Sans (Mayland de Brunel – no.70) was judged the ‘best turned out’ male. Laura was wearing a pale green and blue tweed suit. “:Laura’s outfit was really well co-ordinated down to the matching pale blue socks and Eddy was wearing a proper double breasted blazer and proper shoes,” said Caroline. They both were presented with Waterford crystal bowls by ‘turn out’ sponsor Goresbridge Horse Sales.
Last year’s winners Oliver Townend (GBR) and Carousel Quest (no. 93) return to defend the title. If successful they will be the first combination to win in successive years. As yet just one combination has ever won here twice – Priceless and Ginnie Elliott (nee Holgate) in 1983 and ’85 – since the inception of the event in 1961.
Nine riders have two horses entered including this year’s British team members William Fox-Pitt and Mary King. William will be vying for his sixth Burghley victory – a record number of wins by one rider, if he succeeds. As last year he rides Macchiato (no.24) the 2008 winner of Luhmuhlen and the German-bred Seacookie (no.110) with who he was seventh last year. It is fourteen years since Mary won Burghley and this year she has a strong hand in the experienced Apache Sauce – 12th last year and her homebred mare Kings Temptress who also has the benefit of competing here last year to finish in 18th. New Zealander Andrew Nicholson, another former winner on two occasions, has the Spanish-bred Armada and the British-bred grey Avebury.
Both Dan Jocelyn (NZL) – Special Advocate and Special Attorney; and Louise Skelton (GBR) – A Bit of a Barney and Partly Pickled, are competing full brothers. While they both have tried before as yet they and no other rider has managed to achieve the feat of completing on full-brothers in the same year.
British team members Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz will be the ‘guinea pigs’ for the dressage test allowing the ground jury to get their eye in before the first competitive combination; Angus Smales (GBR) and Cornsay Grouse (no.2) at 09.30. Angus from nearby Rutland is also one of the most local riders.