Cross Country

2018 Fence List

2018 Course Notes

By Capt Mark Phillips CVO
Burghley Cross Country Course Designer 2005–2018

The introduction of the flyover at Capability’s Cutting has enabled us to give the course a totally different feel this year and position us well to implement future changes year on year.

The Olympic Horse Shoe (1) as riders leave the Start Box in Ring 2 is unchanged but there is then quite a long run to the Flower Bed (2) in front of the house. The Picnic Table (3) is when the fences start to get bigger and marks the end of the warm up.
The Main Arena brings us to the Land Rover 70th Anniversary (4) and the start of the real competition. So early on, horses can easily be distracted as they come into the Arena, so maybe this is not as easy as it looks.

Discovery Valley (5) is a wonderful site and this year the Storm Doris logs, incorporated for the first time in 2017, make it even more daunting. Riders have the choice of two angled logs across the ditch or a more classical ‘coffin combination’. We’ll see riders choose the best option for their horse here.

The Rolex Grand Slam Rails (6) is unchanged before the climb up to the Leaf Pit (7,8). The Triple Bar’s here were the most influential fences in the ninth minute last year. This year in the third minute they have to be jumped after the heart stopping drop. We’ll see riders do all sorts.

Back to Discovery Valley (9) the first log is innocuous enough but the turn through the valley to the maximum oxer on the causeway is another matter. Some will want to cross the ditch to the easier option.

All will enjoy the Gurkha Kukri (10) before tackling the Land Rover Trout Hatchery (11,12) the most difficult combination on the course.

The Cabin above the bottom Hatchery is simple enough but riders then have to decide on whether to jump the Triple Brush in the water or the one on dry land. They can then switch to the faster big Log into the top Hatchery or take time to the baby one, both off a downslope. It’s then decision time again as to where they jump out of the Hatchery to a choice of Triple Brushes into the top Pond. This is definitely one to watch!

All will enjoy the Captain’s Log (13) before arriving at Joules at the Maltings (14). The first Oxer is brand new and massive with the bending lines to the corners, very much a four star question. There is of course a time consuming scenic route.

It is the same detail at the Rolex Combination (15) where the direct route of oxer, angled rail over ditch to a second oxer, is again serious, so some will look to the time consuming option. The Pardubice (16) after Capability’s Cutting is massive but something of a let up before going over the new Flyover and down to Land Rover at The Lake (17). The two Gates in an extension of the formal garden need respect but are not too difficult.

Horses then start the long climb up Winners’ Avenue (18) over the log pile and on to Cottesmore Leap (19). This iconic Burghley fence has been re-brushed but looks no smaller. Similarly the Keepers Brushes (20) has a familiar look. Hopefully more riders this time will give their horses the more forgiving ride over the Triple Brushes.

Clarence Court (21, 22) in the vicinity of the Dairy Farm is completely new. There are two distinctly different routes, neither of which are easy but at 8 minutes it is the last serious question on the course. Horses then go under the Flyover to Capability’s Cutting (23) before coming downhill to the terrifying Collyweston Slate Mine (24). It is a massive question in this direction.

The Anniversary Splash (25, 26) at 10 minutes is more friendly than it has sometimes been and the boat at the Lion Bridge (27) is simple enough. Back in front of the House it is the run home over the Parasols (28) and Lambert’s Sofa (29) before the Land Rover Finale (30) and the welcome site of home.

Once again this is a real championship course, a real Burghley. Riders will need to take care of their horses and ride by the seat of their pants as there is so much new this time. The winner will be a Burghley champion in the truest sense.