Wednesday, 08 February 2017 11:04

Horse Welfare at Burghley Horse Trials 2017

International horse charity, World Horse Welfare, named first ever Charity of the Year for prestigious three-day event.

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (31 August – 3 September 2017) are delighted to announce that they have chosen leading charity, World Horse Welfare, as their official Charity of the Year in 2017.

In a new move for the CCI four star competition - which is listed as one of the UK’s top ten sporting events  and in 2016 attracted over 155,000 visitors - World Horse Welfare will be the event’s first ever official charity.

2016 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials winner, Chris Burton and Nobilis 18

Event Director of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Elizabeth Inman said:

“We are thrilled to introduce a charity partner to the horse trials and are looking forward to working with World Horse Welfare during the milestone of their 90th year.

 “After a thorough selection process, we are confident that our chosen charity’s work helping horses in the UK and internationally - and their support for the responsible use of horses in sport – will chime well with our audience.”

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, said:

“It is a true honour to have been chosen as Land Rover Burghley’s charity of the year, which gives a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our global work to such extensive and relevant audience of visitors from across the world.

“Land Rover Burghley is a world leading 4* Event, which chimes so well in this special year for World Horse Welfare as we celebrate our 90th anniversary.

“We cannot wait to start working on our partnership with the Event and on behalf of everyone at World Horse Welfare; I would like to express our sincere thanks to Liz Inman and her team for choosing us.”

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Catching our photographer's eye, always looking so smart, bright red and white (grey) - the unmistakable pair of Paul Tapner and his Event Horse, Kilronan.

Very sadly, Tapner Eventing Team announced the news that Kilronan was put to sleep at the end of last week. His health and soundness had rapidly deteriorated over the winter months from a condition affecting his spine and central nervous system.

He was a highly sensitive soul in the stables, however, this sensitive nature completely vanished when he launched out of a XC start box, transforming into an exceptionally talented and brave XC horse, with an ability to make it all seem easy and effortless during his partnership with Paul.

Badminton, 2013


Badminton, 2015


Burghley, 2013


Badminton, 2014


Burghley, 2015

Fondly known as Tom, Kilronan was an extremely successful Event Horse with numerous wins at every single level of British Eventing , alongside numerous wins at FEI 2* and 3* levels. He completed Badminton CCI4* three times, Burghley CCI4* twice and represented Australia at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy 2014. His highest achievement at 4* level of 4th place was at Badminton in 2014. Tom amassed a huge 1160 British Eventing Points during his career. He had been retired from 4* level of competition during 2016 and it had been planned to campaign him at 2* level this year with young rider Ben Edwards .


Published in Trot On Blogs
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:43

The Great Eventer Avebury is put to Sleep

One of eventing's best-known horses, Andrew Nicholson's Avebury, has died just months after being retired.

Avebury had been receiving palliative care for a malignant tumour in his jaw, which was diagnosed only a few weeks ago. He was euthanised on Tuesday.

The 16-year-old, who won the Burghley CCI4* three times from 2012 to 2014, was retired from eventing in April. The tumour developed very rapidly, and as there was no appropriate treatment for this type of tumour and the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep.

Avebury was bred by Nicholson, whose children gave him his stable name, 'Buddy'.

Andrew and his wife, Wiggy said: “We were deeply shocked at the rapid progression of the cancer, as only a few weeks ago he was thoroughly enjoying being ridden by Lily in his retirement.

“Our only relief is that we were able to ensure he did not suffer, and were able to make the right decision in the interests of his welfare – which has always been our absolute priority.

“He has been part of our family for a very long time and has given Andrew some of the greatest days of his career. He will be deeply missed.

Cottesmore Leap Burghley 2011

In 2011 Andrew and Avebury were 10th at Badminton and eighth at Burghley, and in 2012 they scored the first of their multiple victories in the CIC3* at Barbury Castle and at Burghley. Burghley in 2012 and Barbury in 2015.

Burghley Lake, 2014.

In 2015, the pair took their fourth Barbury Castle CIC3* win and were preparing for an attempt at a fourth consecutive Burghley triumph when Andrew suffered a fall at Gatcombe from another horse which broke his neck and finished his season.

Avebury’s only run in 2016 was at Great Witchingham in March, which he won. Since then, he has hacked out at home and in the summer holidays Andrew and Wiggy’s children, Lily and Zach, enjoyed riding him.

Barbury Owl Hole, 2014

He has been buried in the garden at his home at Westwood Stud.

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Published in Trot On Blogs
Tuesday, 06 September 2016 10:59

Burghley Top Ten | Photoblog

Christopher Burton, 34, is the current world number two. He really sprang into the public consciousness with a brilliant trailblazing Cross Country ride at the London Olympic Games in 2012 where he finished 16th on Holstein Park Leilani.

Burton, who is married to fellow rider Rebekah, has been settled in Britain, in Surrey, for five years, notching up several good international placings including third and fourth places at Burghley last year on TS Jamaimo and Haruzac, and second place on Nobilis 18 at Blenheim CCI3*.

This year, he won the CCI3* at Saumur on Santano ll, his ride in the Rio Olympic Games where he led after the Cross Country phase and finished in eventual fifth place with a team bronze medal.

Nobilis 18 is an 11-year-old Hannoverian-bred gelding by Nobre owned by Sue Lawson, Carolyn Townsend and Chris Burton.

1. Christopher Burton/Nobilis 18 (AUS) 30.2 + 3.2 + 16 = 49.4

2. Andrew Nicholson/Nereo (NZL) 35.2 + 12.0 + 6 = 53.2

3. Jonelle Price/Classic Moet (NZL) 48.5 + 1.6 + 4 = 54.1

4. Tim Price/Ringwood Sky Boy (NZL) 38.9 + 6.0 + 12 = 56.9

5. Cedric Lyard/Cadeau du Roi (FRA) 46.0 + 13.6 + 0 = 59.6

6. Bettina Hoy/Designer 10 (GER) 34.5 + 19.2 + 8 = 61.7

7. Oliver Townend/Samuel Thomas ll (GBR) 53.4 + 9.6 + 0 = 63.0

8. Caroline Powell/Onwards and Upwards (NZL) 37.8 + 21.6 + 5 = 64.4

9. Sir Mark Todd/NZB Campino (NZL) 42.2 + 16.8 + 8 = 67.0

10. Kristina Cook/Star Witness (GBR) 52.9 + 12.0 + 4 = 68.9

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Published in Trot On Blogs
Friday, 02 September 2016 09:57

Bettina Hoy has Designs on Burghley | FEI

Bettina Hoy (GER) lit up the arena on day one of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), final leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, with a beautifully executed Dressage test on Designer 10 that was in a class of its own and may prove hard to beat.

The only fault in a show-stopping exhibition of lightness, smoothness and balance seemed to be a bit of tension in a flying change, and, with a score of 34.5, Hoy has a comfortable eight-penalty margin over Bill Levett (AUS) on Improvise after the first day of Dressage.

The experienced German rider’s illustrious career stretches back to the 1984 Olympics and she took the European title at Burghley in 1997 on Watermill Stream. Hoy, 53, is a popular and familiar face on the British circuit, but she has never won a CCI4* here, her best result being fifth at Badminton this year on Designer 10.

“I think Designer must have been having a little chat with [my other horse] Seigneur Medicott, who usually does the better test, as he felt great in there,” said an elated Hoy. “I’ve developed a special programme for him in the warm-up because he can get a bit tense. Every time I feel him tighten, I go into rising trot and that helps.”

Hoy reported that she had been working hard with her trainer, Sebastian Langehanenberg, as her 12-year-old Westphalian gelding by Dali X “is not built for dressage”. He had suggested changing from a snaffle bit to a double bridle because having two bits in his mouth seemed to settle the horse.

Hoy added: “I’m feeling very motivated after Rio [where she was training a Russian rider]. Burghley holds a special place in my heart and, although it won’t be a dressage competition, I know Designer can do it.”

Levett, also 53, has been based on Britain for many years and has been getting closer to CCI4* success all the time. He re-routed Improvise to Luhmühlen, where the horse finished 13th, after an early retirement at Badminton in May.

Paul Sims, 31, a relative newcomer to this level, finds himself the best British rider at this stage, having scored his best CCI4* dressage result on the white-faced Glengarnock to lie third on 46.6. This is their third Burghley, having finished 25th last year. Sims admitted to feeling quite confident: “He’s a reliable cross-country horse, as long as I don’t make any mistakes.”

Burghley first-timer Elisa Wallace’s (USA) campaign got off to a good start when she scored 46.8 on the American Thoroughbred Simply Priceless for fourth place at this stage. “He can be quite tense so it’s been a huge journey to get him to be expressive,” she said. “When I looked up at the scoreboard and saw the score, I couldn’t believe it.”

Hoy’s main challengers tomorrow look to be New Zealanders Sir Mark Todd (NZB Campino) and Andrew Nicholson (Nereo), who have 10 Burghley wins between them, plus the Dressage leader in Rio, Christopher Burton (AUS) on Nobilis 18 and his team mate Sam Griffiths on the veteran Happy Times.


Follow the action on and with live results on

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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.

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 entries, 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 Shane Rose who has entered Shanghai Joe and Virgil.  Britain’s Zara Tindall and High Kingdom are also looking competitive, as are Sarah Bullimore and Rosalind Canter.

The entry list includes many former winners; the prolific Oliver Townend has three horses entered, Dromburrihy Blue, 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.

France looks set to lead the European contingent with five combinations coming forward including Pascal Leroy with Minos De Petra.

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.”


LIVE & CATCH-UP: Watch the action live, and catch-up with previously streamed sessions, all through HERE

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Wow! Heads up to the Land Rover Bughley Horse Trials 2016 (1st- 4th Sept).

This is certainly an alternative way to familiarise yourself with the XC course designed by Captain Mark Phillips! Two fearless free-runners - Parkour pros Shameem Abbas, 22, and Mason Green, 17, flip, jump, race their way around the 3.5 mile course. It features fences up to 2m wide and 1.45m tall, which the competition's riders will be expected to complete it in around 10 minutes.

The Burghley Horse Trials are always a highlight in the International sporting calendar - a premier equestrian and social event. It attracts the best horses and riders in the world, and this year some fresh from returning from the Rio Olympics.

Published in Trot On Blogs
Friday, 15 April 2016 15:18

Great Grey Eventer, Avebury Retires


Isn't it great when we can enjoy tributes to a superstar horse as he retires from competition sound and well.

"... he just doesn't quite feel like he used to and, as he owes us nothing, we thought it better to stop now." said New Zealand eventer, Andrew Nicholson.

Avebury, the sixteen year old grey gelding AKA Buddy, was bred by Andrew and owned by Mark and Rosemary Barlow who say that he will continue to live at Westwood, the Nicholson's stud near Marlborough - a home he knows and loves.

“He has a cheeky side to him, but whenever you walk into the yard, he’s happy to see you,” said Andrew.

“He loves his work and is very bubbly about everything. He’s still naughty to catch in the field — he gallops around squealing, but as soon as it rains, or he thinks something might be happening without him, he runs up and down the fence line yelling to be brought in.”

What a character!

Though the famous owl hole at Barbury

Avebury accumulated a staggering 2,113 British Eventing points in his career. He won 27 times including at his last outing at Great Witchingham early this season. He achieved a hat trick of wins at Burghley in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and made his 'local' event at Barbury Castle his own, winning 4 consecutive CIC3* titles.

Here's wishing Buddy a long and happy retirement.




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Burghley 2015 is under way.

As this year's competitors present their four-legged steeds in front of a panel of vets to show that they are fit and sound to compete, the riders themselves are also mindful of their own style on the Trot Up catwalk.

Georgie Spence, wearing a Teal blue coat from Moloh, was awarded the Best Dressed female award. Andrew Hoy's eye-catching blue suede shoes gave him an edge - he was awarded the Best Dressed male award.

Who caught your eye?


More: Land Rover Burghley off to a first class start.


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