Coming hot on the heels of the 2017 European Eventing Championships in Strezgom, Poland, this year’s Land Rover Burghley looks set to be an international affair with more than 80 horses from nations spanning Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Italy, Sweden, USA and the UK competing for the substantial £90k first prize.
The entry list includes many former winners; 2010 champion Caroline Powell is entered with two rides Onwards and Upwards and Spice Sensation, alongside 2009 winner and team GB member Oliver Townend, who has also entered two horses: Ballaghmor Class and Cooley SRS. Three-time Olympic gold medallist, Germany’s Michael Jung, who won at Burghley in 2015 and is currently ranked world number one will also be looking to leave with the prestigious Land Rover Perpetual Challenge Trophy.
As always there will be a strong Antipodean presence, led by last year’s winner Christopher Burton riding Nobilis 18 and veteran rider Sir Mark Todd on Leonidas II. Australia’s Andrew Hoy is another former Burghley champion, who this year brings The Blue Frontier. While popular 2017 Badminton winner another British-based New Zealander, Andrew Nicholson will be striving to secure his place on the podium in his quest to achieve the Rolex Grand Slam.
The event also sees 17 first time combinations. Young British riders include Lissa Green, daughter of two-time Burghley winner Lucinda Green along with Lincolnshire-based Sophie Brown and her home-produce ride Wil. A number of established international riders will be visiting the Stamford horse trials for the first time including Ireland’s Clare Abbott, France’s Maxime Livio and Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon.
They’ll face strong competition from experienced combinations including the hugely popular Zara Phillips a former runner up at Land Rover Burghley, who this year will be riding her World Equestrian Games silver medal horse High Kingdom. Nicola Wilson, Kristina Cook and Piggy French all members of Team GB will be travelling to Land Rover Burghley directly from the European Championships.
Another element to look out for is the Peden Bloodstock International Pairs Challenge; after the first Horse Inspection on the Wednesday of the Event, the top 15 highest ranked British riders are paired, in reverse order, with the top 15 Rest of The World riders. Each pair’s scores are added together and a placing calculated as under the FEI Rules for Scoring.
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 European Eventing Championship medallists to Lincolnshire this autumn. As always Mark Phillips’ cross country course will provide riders and horses with a true 4* challenge and we’ll see talented young riders such as Lissa Green, Harry Dzenis and Georgie Spence pitted against established campaigners including Oliver Townend and Michael Jung. With Andrew Nicholson focusing on his quest for the elusive Rolex Grand Slam, there is all to play for.”