Thursday, September 01, 2011 17:45 BST
KILPATRICK RIVER POWERS INTO TOP THREE
Elizabeth Power and Kilpatrick River performed the best test of the afternoon to take third place at the end of the first day of dressage at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
British rider William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk are still in first place and New Zealander Andrew Nicholson and Avebury retain second.
Having already won here on five previous occasions, as has Mark Todd and Ginny Elliott, another win for William would ensure a record sixth victory. And as well as Parklane Hawk to help him he also has the French-bred Neuf Des Coeurs entered. While Neuf Des Coeurs has completed and been placed at four-star – he was fourth at Lexington in May – it will be the first four-star event for Parklane Hawk. A New Zealand-bred Thoroughbred Parkland Hawk only came out of training five years ago and was then produced for eventing by New Zealander Matthew Grayling. He has been with William just 18 months and he ended his first season in England winning the Blenheim CCI***. “There is no doubt that this will be a big four-star test for him but he’s ready for it,” said William.
Andrew Nicholson has also won here on two previous occasions – 1995 (Buckley Province) & 2000 (Mr Smiffy) – and this year also has two opportunities to gain his third win getting off to a good start with the grey Jumbo gelding Avebury. “Avebury is capable of going round here and hopefully I’ll give him a good ride and he’ll do his job,” said Andrew who rides the Spanish-bred Nereo Later tomorrow.
Despite having done the dressage at Burghley last year it will be the first full blown Burghley for Irish rider Elizabeth Power and Kilpatrick River. Last year the pair got called up for the Irish team for the World Equestrian Games and therefore had to withdraw.
Kilpatrick River, like Parklane Hawk, is Thoroughbred and raced 22 times before coming out of training and being produced for eventing. The combination was 11th on their Badminton debut in 2009 but this year fell halfway round the course. “I am delighted with the build up to Burghley – it’s the best preparation for an event we’ve had,” said Elizabeth who was warmed up for her dressage test by Ferdi Eilberg who trains the Irish Squad. “I was delighted with his test – he’s well capable and put it all together and it was me and him together today. The changes were the best four we’ve done all week.” Elizabeth will now concentrate on walking the cross-country course. “It’s a big bold course but he’s got plenty of scope and with that many jumping efforts ahead of us its good to know that he’s not short of scope.”
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