Cross country day at Burghley never disappoints. So it was on Saturday that our photographer had a field day...
Here are the resulting top eight as they competed on the championship course.
1. Tim Price (NZL) and RINGWOOD SKY BOY
New Zealand’s Tim Price retained the lead he held after cross country to take the title at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials with Ringwood Sky Boy. Fifth here last year, the pair produced one of just eight clear show jumping rounds to complete on 27.3.
“What a super year,” said a delighted Tim. “Sky Boy deserves a good day – so often we nail two out of the three phases, so to finally pull them all together in a major competition is fantastic. This win means everything and I’m super proud of my horse.”
2. Oliver Townend (GBR) and BALLAGHMOR CLASS
Despite being unable to defend his title after lowering a show jump with Ballaghmor Class, Oliver Townend admitted that he was just as proud of the 11-year-old as he had been last year:
“It’s all about consistency,” he said. “He’s still only 11 and I’ve been telling people for years how good he is. He’s proved that again today. For me, he turned into a professional this week and dug deep whereas last year he won out of naivety.”
3. Andrew Nicholson (NZL) and SWALLOW SPRINGS
Andrew Nicholson’s clear round on the 10-year-old Swallow Springs elevated them up the leader board from fifth after cross country. They were also the only pair in the field to complete on their dressage score – an amazing achievement in what is the horse’s 4* debut.
“I’m very, very pleased with him,” said Andrew. “He got distracted by the crowds in the show jumping at Blenheim last year where he had three down, and felt a bit babyish at Bramham in the summer, but he was pure class here. He had a look at the TV camera as we came down to the treble but came back to me when I asked him to focus.”
4. Sarah Bullimore (GBR) and REVE DU ROUET
Sarah Bullimore was fourth with Reve Du Rouet after jumping clear:
“I’m over the moon,” she said. “I knew if I kept him focussed, he’d take care of the jumping and he did.”
5. Piggy French (GBR) and VANIR KAMIRA
Piggy French and Vanir Kamira dropped from third overnight to fifth after the mare lowered the gate:
“To be honest I think we were lucky to just have one down,” admitted Piggy. “I’m a bit disappointed but top five at Burghley is still a great result.”
6. Harry Meade (GBR) and AWAY CRUISING
Harry Meade and Away Cruising also dropped two places from fourth to sixth after they too rolled a pole. Show jumping is the gelding’s weakest phase and one which Harry has had to work hard to manage:
“If you told me at the beginning of the week we’d just have one down I’d have taken that,” he laughed. “He has got much better though which I think is a combination of him growing up and me preparing him in a very specific way.”
7. Richard Jones (GBR) and ALFIES CLOVER
Local rider Richard Jones had a fantastic competition and posted his best result to date with Alfies Clover in seventh. The pair rose from 33rd after dressage courtesy of two superb jumping phases:
“This results means everything but it’s all about progression and hopefully we can come back in the future and win it,” he said.
8. Willa Newton (GBR) and CHANCE REMARK
Another local rider, Melton Mowbray-based Willa Newton also posted a 4* personal best with Chance Remark by finishing eighth:
“I’m still shaking, I can’t believe it,” she confessed. “I’ve never gone so late in the show jumping here and the atmosphere was electric.”