Countdown to the 2022 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

Words by:
Catherine Austen
Featured in:
September 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.

White marquees pop up like geometric mushrooms; the grandstands are erected; and the cross-country jumps are positioned on the verdant ribbon of the permanently fenced cross-country track that threads its way through Burghley Park and past Burghley House.

“You can’t help but feel excited – it all now feels very ‘real’,” said new event director Martyn Johnson, who took on the role last November. “There’s even more anticipation around this year’s Land Rover Burghley because it hasn’t taken place since 2019 because of the Covid pandemic. It’s a huge challenge to stage something as big and as special as Burghley, but it’s wonderful to see the site develop and grow every day.”

There are many reasons why people come to Land Rover Burghley. At the heart of it all is the main eventing competition, which is at CCI5* level – the highest in the world – and spectators love to watch their sporting heroes and their horses perform in this visually stunning setting. The entries for this are as good as ever, and include the world number one, Oliver Townend, the current world champion, Ros Canter, former world and European champion Zara Tindall, Olympic silver and gold medallist Tom McEwen, and 2019 Burghley winner Pippa Funnell.

There are those who dream that one day they, too, might compete in the CCI5*, and who are at Burghley riding younger horses in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse final, or in the LeMieux Pony Club Team Showjumping challenge, or the Retraining of Racehorses showing classes.

Many come because the shopping opportunities at Burghley are just too good to miss. You’ve got all day (all four days, if you like!) to buy your Christmas presents, treat yourself, stock up on delicious food, add to your winter wardrobe and discover bargains.

Perhaps you’re the unhorsey partner or friend with no interest in shopping. Don’t worry, you’ve got Burghley Park to wander through, the historic house itself to look at – or the Land Rover Experience off-road driving to entertain you. It’s a cliché to say that there’s something for everyone, but it’s hard to imagine anyone who likes being in the countryside not enjoying a day out at Land Rover Burghley.

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