Back in the saddle

Words by:
Catherine Austen
Featured in:
August 2022

Land Rover Burghley is back! After two “fallow years” because of the pandemic, the world-famous horse trials is once more back in its traditional place in the calendar (1st-4th September) and heralds the end of the British summer season. By Catherine Austen.

While this much-loved event – a colourful riot of top-class equestrian sport, entertainment and fantastic shopping opportunities – retains all its familiar elements, a largely-new organising team is giving it a fresh look.

The centre point of Land Rover Burghley (which is one of only seven eventing competitions classified as CCI5* – the pinnacle of the sport – worldwide) is the enthralling cross-country day on Saturday (3rd September). This year Burghley has a new cross-country course designer, the USA’s Derek di Grazia, who has introduced some exciting changes and new fences for 2022.

Martyn Johnson, who took over as event director in November 2021, says: “We can’t wait to welcome the public back to the glorious park at Burghley in September. All major sport needs atmosphere, and spectators bring with them so much of the thrill and tangible excitement that we all love. It appears that people are really looking forward to being back here – ticket sales have been great and we are experiencing huge demand so far.”

The prestigious Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse final, showcasing the top young equine talent in the UK, is always a highlight of the Friday of the event (2nd September) and has a refreshed and updated format, and much-increased prize money this year.

And the programme of main arena displays is the best ever seen at Burghley: On Thursday 1st September, legendary eventing and racing coach Yogi Breisner is conducting a very special masterclass, ‘Educating the Racehorse’, with Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Laura Collett and champion flat jockey Oisin Murphy as ‘guinea pigs’. Dressage supremo Carl Hester is hosting a masterclass on Friday 2nd September. The incredibly popular Shetland Grand National features in the main arena on Saturday morning to entertain spectators before the cross-country action starts.

While in this Platinum Jubilee year, it is appropriate that there is a parade of The Queen’s favourite native ponies, Fell ponies, on the final day (Sunday 4th September).

Burghley TV is the new way to view all the action from Land Rover Burghley 2022. This year’s broadcast – presented by the brilliant Nick Luck and Rosie Tapner – will include interviews, special features and ‘Today @Burghley’, a round-up programme of the best bits of each day. From the first horse inspection on Wednesday to the final showjumping, you will be able to watch each competitor perform each phase of the competition.

Burghley TV is available by subscription via the website. It includes access to footage from previous Land Rover Burghleys, the exclusive preview of course designer Derek di Grazia’s cross-country track, and other in-depth features. While the usual highlights programme will air on the BBC on Sunday afternoon, Burghley TV is the only way to watch all of the coverage from Land Rover Burghley this year if you’re not able to come to the event itself.

outstanding shopping, and once again there will be hundreds of high-quality, carefully selected tradestands, where visitors can browse and purchase anything from art and sculpture to luxury or outdoor clothing and accessories, garden furniture, home furnishings, jewellery and so much more – not to mention the mouth-watering offerings in the Food Walk. This year an exciting new Friends of Joules pavilion will launch; hosting a range of contemporary, country lifestyle, small entrepreneurial British businesses.

And don’t forget the Land Rover Experience – always a huge hit with those who favour horsepower of a different kind… Based on the south side of the Lake every day throughout the event, the Land Rover experience gives visitors the thrill of testing the latest Land Rover vehicles to the limit, over a dynamic ‘off road’ course.

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