Former winners, Zara Tindall and hotshot first-timers among Burghley Horse Trials entries

  • Former winners and championship horses lead this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials entries (1-4 September).

    Oliver Townend is entered on Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan’s Ballaghmor Class, who won here on his five-star debut in 2017. However, whether he actually starts at Burghley will depend on whether he is selected for the British squad at the eventing World Championships two weeks later, as horses would not be expected to run across country at both competitions.

    The same will apply to other British long-listed competitions among the Burghley Horse Trials entries, including Piggy March and Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira, Yasmin Ingham riding Sue Davies and Janette Chinn’s Banzai Du Loir, Kitty King with Vendredi Biats (owned by Samantha Wilson, Diana Bown, Sally Eyre and Sally Lloyd Baker), Tom McEwen on Toledo De Kerser (owned by Tom’s mother Ali, the Barkers and Jane Inns) and Ros Canter with Michele Saul’s Lordships Graffalo.

    Any of the British long-listed combinations would be good bets for a strong Burghley result if they do run there. Piggy and “Tilly” would certainly start among the favourites, after two runner-up spots and a fifth at the event, while Yasmin’s debut would be bound to attract attention after her second place at the Kentucky Three-Day Event this spring. Ros and Lordships Graffalo would also be hot for a great result after the young horse’s runner-up finish at Badminton Horse Trials.

    Oliver also has John Peace and Victoria Wright’s Lukas, the Ridgeons’ Swallow Springs (another on the British long-list), John Peace’s As Is and the Hazeldines and Mitchell Fox Group’s Tregilder entered for Burghley. And Tom McEwen is slated to start on last year’s Pau runner-up CHF Cooliser, owned by Vicky Bates and David Myers, and Ros on Pencos Crown Jewel, owned by Annie Makin and Kate James.

    Defending Burghley champion Pippa Funnell has two horses in the line-up – her own and Marek Sebestak’s Majas Hope and the Walkinshaws’ Billy Walk On, who was second at the one-off five-star at Bicton Horse Trials last year.

    Six-time Burghley winner William Fox-Pitt is entered on the syndicate-owned Oratorio II, while another former winner, New Zealand’s Tim Price, has the Numero Uno Syndicate’s Bango, the Giannamores’ Vitali and Trisha Rickards’ Polystar I – a relatively new ride to him who was formerly piloted by another Burghley winner, Chris Burton – on the entries list. Tim’s wife Jonelle Price is also aiming for Burghley with the five-star veteran star Classic Moet.

    Zara Tindall will try to go one better than the runner-up spot she secured on her 2003 Burghley debut when she comes forward with the Gleadhill House Stud’s Class Affair.

    Among the British first-timers entered, Alice Casburn (on her mother Caroline’s Topspin) and Felicity Collins on RSH Contend Or (owned by her mother Vicky and Avrina Milton) will both be ones to watch after strong performances on their Badminton debuts.

    A large US contingent includes Ariel Grald (Annie Eldridge’s Leamore Master Plan) and Boyd Martin (the Turners’ Tsetserleg TSF), but both pairs have now been named to the US squad for the World Championships, so that is likely to be their preferred route.

    With around 70 horses entered for Burghley, the event will not need to ballot as Badminton does, and all entries are expected to be accepted. There will be significant attrition on the entry numbers as teams are confirmed for the World Championships, as well as the normal drop-outs through injury or loss of form, so the final start list will probably be 50 to 55 horses. Oliver Townend will have to whittle his five entries down before the event, as each rider can only start on a maximum of three horses.

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