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Sunday, September 05, 2010  •  16:19 BST

YOUNGEST RIDER COMPLETES FIRST TIME

Swedish Burghley debutant Christoffer Forsberg is the youngest competitor to complete this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. The 19-year-old, just one year older than his 18-year-old horse Grafman finished in 20th place with a clear round cross-country and one down show jumping. It is also the first four-star for the combination that is based in Germany.

The Forsberg family has owned the grey Grafman – a Swedish warmblood by the Oldenberg Goldgraf – since he was two-years-old. Christoffer has ridden him since he was 13 – prior to that he was ridden by Magnus Osterlund and the pair qualified for Sydney but did not compete. This year Christoffer and Grafman won team bronze at the Young Rider Europeans in Pardubice.

“I have had an amazing Burghley,” commented the six foot plus Christoffer who is based near Hamburg, as ‘Germany is a better base than Sweden’, and has some help from British trainer Christopher Bartle. “He told me to keep a positive gallop and then the rest will solve itself – I had a scary moment at The Discovery Valley which was my fault as I probably wasn’t forward enough but after that he was brilliant. Grafman loves it so much he will retire when he wants – but we look after him, this is only his fourth competition this year.”