Coming hot on the heels of the 2016 Rio Olympics, this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials looks set to be an international affair, with some of the World’s leading riders descending on the Lincolnshire town of Stamford for what is considered by many to be Eventing’s greatest challenge.
99 horses from countries including Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, USA and the UK will be competing for the substantial £63k first prize.
A win for New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson would make for a fairy tale result. Not only is he the only rider ever to have won the event three times ‘in a row’ but in 2015 he suffered a fall resulting in a serious neck injury which causes paralysis in 98% of cases. Following a remarkable recovery and now back to full fitness Andrew, who plans to ride two of his three entries (Jet Set IV, Qwanza and Nereo), will be competing in his first 4* event since the accident.
With neither last year’s winner Michael Jung nor the hugely popular William Fox-Pitt entered, due to their Rio commitments, we could be seeing a totally new face heading the podium this year. Strong challenges are likely from antipodean riders such as Christopher Burton who brings Nobilis 18 and TS Jamaimo and Shane Rose who has entered Shanghai Joe, CP Qualified and Virgil. Britain’s Zara Tindall and High Kingdom are also looking competitive, as are Sarah Bullimore, Izzy Taylor and Rosalind Canter.
The entry list includes many former winners; the prolific Oliver Townend has four horses entered, Dromburrihy Blue, Fenyas Elegance, MHS King Joules and Samuel Thomas II, while local rider Andrew Hoy brings Rutherglen and The Blue Frontier. Pippa Funnell will be back from the 2016 Games riding Second Supreme, while Caroline Powell is entered on Flying Finish and Onwards & Upwards.
The event also sees 24 first time combinations. Young British riders include Lissa Green, whose mother Lucinda Green won the event in 1977 and Oxfordshire-based Imogen Gloag who at 21 years is the youngest rider entered. At the other end of the spectrum experienced Italian Olympian Giovanni Ugolotti will visit Burghley for the first time with Oplitas.
France looks set to lead the European contingent with eight combinations coming forward including; Pascal Leroy with Minos De Petra, Maxime Livio with Qalao Des Mers and Astier Nicolas with Quickly Du Buguet.
Land Rover Burghley Event Director, Elizabeth Inman said: “The standard of entries is as high as ever this year and we look forward to welcoming some if not all of the Olympic three-day eventing medallists to Lincolnshire this autumn. As always Mark Philips’ cross country course will provide riders and horses with a true 4* challenge. With a strong international field, a number of exciting first time visitors to Burghley and a smattering of former winners, the field really is wide open and there is everything to play for.”
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Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
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About Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
Established in 1961 and held in Burghley Park with the magnificent Burghley House as a backdrop, Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is one of three events in the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing and one of six events in the FEI Classics™ which unites the only six existing CCI 4*events in the world. The event takes place on 1st – 4th September 2016 and showcases the best in the world in the equestrian disciplines of Eventing. The event is also famous for its extensive shopping avenues, pavilions and food walk and is established as a major international equestrian and social event in the Autumn Sporting Calendar.