News Story

Saturday, September 2, 2017 • 5:15 pm

How the first timers fared on cross country day

Seven of our first timers made it across the finish line today, while for five their dream is over for 2017. Here’s how they all got on:

Clare Abbott (IRL) & Euro Prince

Clare put her experience to good use today, finishing highest placed of this year’s first timers on Euro Prince. A clear round with 15.2 time penalties to add sees her lie in 12th place going in to the final day, on a score of 63.3.

“I was six inches out [of her ideal take off place] several times so Euro Prince had to throw in a big jump. He’s so fast over his fences that I have to react very quickly. Although I felt he was well inside his comfort zone at Badminton, here he was a bit shocked at the size of the fences. You have to ride what you’ve got on the day, and today I got a rocky one.”


Lauren Kieffer (USA) & Veronica

Lauren & Veronica also jumped clear but picked up an expensive 28 time penalties by taking the long route at both the Trout Hatchery and Discovery Valley. The pair dropped from 2nd overnight to 13th, with a score of 65.0

“Burghley definitely favours fast horses and Veronica doesn’t have much thoroughbred, but she was full of running at the end. I was down on my time from the get-go and it kept trickling away from me, but we did the best we could.”


Mackenna Shea (USA) & Landioso

14th after dressage, Mackenna and Landioso dropped down to 25th place following 20 penalties picked up at Discovery Valley (27), along with 22 time penalties. They are now on a score of 88.1

“It’s hard not to beat yourself up over what might have been. But it is a really good feeling to finish and I owe most of it to that horse. As I said to Rodney Powell, ‘one down, a lifetime to go’.

My legs are burning – it was a lot more work than Kentucky. Everything was really fair to the horses and even with a couple of changes of plan, everything rode well. It’s like nothing I’ve jumped before. I was like, ‘Holy crap’ the whole time!”


Sarah Ennis (IRL) & BLM Diamond Delux

Sarah enjoyed a clear round with Diamond Delux, but it was a very steady one. She has dropped from 13th after dressage to 26th on an overnight score of 89.1 after adding 43.2 time penalties.

“I’m delighted I made it round my first Burghley cross country, just more time penalties than I wanted. It didn’t quite go to plan, he went a little bit stuffy with me – particularly at the waters, I had to do a lot of driving and once or twice he didn’t go when I asked and had to stick a leg on top of a fence, but he’s so honest and will jump if you get him there.

“This is as big and bold as it will ever be – he’ll never have a harder test”


Emma Forsyth (GBR) & Soltair Justice

Emma was over the moon with her clear round, happy to ignore the 50.4 time penalties. Despite these, she and Soltair Justice have climbed up from 38th to 33rd.

“I was very nervous and it was hard work out there. I kept ‘missing’ my [take off point] at the start but [Soltair Justice] will jump whatever is put in front of him, though he was a lot stronger than he has ever been before. On my first time I just wanted to jump clear – I’m not naturally brave so really had to psyche myself up for this.”


Savannah Fulton (USA) & Captain Jack

Savannah is another first timer to have a steady clear round on her first Burghley run. Captain Jack was a little faster than Soltair Justice, adding 41.6 time penalties to his score for 36th place overnight – up from 60th after dressage.

“This is what he’s made to do. I ‘buried’ him in some places, saw long strides at others but he helped me out. I’m very lucky to be here.”


Sophie Brown (GBR) & Wil

Sophie was the final first timer to complete. Surviving a sticky moment at Storm Doris, where Andrew Nicholson and Qwanza fell, 20 penalties mid way round the course at the Dairy Farm (17), plus 60.4 time penalties, leave her and Wil on a score of 130.8, in 43rd place.

“That was phenominal. I can’t take anything away from the horse, the atmosphere just took a toll on our steeering. After the Dairy Mound I avoided any curving lines, so took several long routes.”


Olivia Craddock (GBR) & Billy Liffy

Retired on course after two stops at Lion Bridge (4)

Andrea Baxter (USA) & Indy 5000

Eliminated – unseated rider, Storm Doris (11)

Emma Hyslop-Webb (GBR) & Penlands Douglas

Eliminated – unseated rider, Land Rover Trout Hatchery (23)

Libby Seed (GBR) & What A Catch

Eliminated – horse fall, Discovery Valley (26)

Lillian Heard (USA) & LCC Barnaby

Eliminated – horse fall,  Leaf Pit (30)