Eventing starshead for Burghley

Burghley in numbers
• 3 mares have won Burghley – Maid Marion with Capt Mark Phillips in 1973; Headley Britannia and Lucinda Fredericks in 2006, and Vanir Kamira with Piggy March in 2022
• 2 17-year-old horses share the record for the oldest to win Burghley – Lenamore (Caroline Powell, 2010) and Vanir Kamira (Piggy March, 2022)
• 8 horses have completed Burghley an incredible six times – Watkins (Tanya Cleverly), Smokey VI (Chris Collins and William Powell-Harris), Significant (Clare Lewis), Fairfax (Rodolphe Scherer and Heidi Antikatzidis), Happy Times (Sam Griffiths), Armada (Oliver Townend and Andrew Nicholson), Lazy Acres Skip On (Sarah Oliver) and Ballincoola (William Fox-Pitt)
• 6 is the age of the youngest horse to win Burghley – the first-ever winner, Merely-A-Monarch, who took the inaugural event in 1961
• 800 officials and volunteers are involved in running cross-country day at Burghley

Featured in:
August 2023

This year’s Defender Burghley Horse Trials (31st August-3rd September) will see leading riders head for Britain’s biggest autumn three-day event, all hoping to win the £110,000 first prize.

Renowed for its challenging, undulating terrain in the beautiful grounds of Burghley House, organisers of this prestigious event say they are expecting a strong entry from the USA, including Boyd Martin, who was part of the US silver medal-winning team at last year’s world championships.

Early entries from a competitive British contingent include Zara Tindall and Class Affair, as well as Britain’s 2021 Tokyo Olympics gold medallists, Tom McEwen with Toledo De Kerser and Oliver Townend with Ballaghmor Class.

Tea and the Trot-up is a new initiative at Defender Burghley this year. There’s always a frisson around the trot-up – the first horse inspection – where equine contenders are presented to the Ground Jury by their stylishly dressed riders.

This year Burghley is offering 100 guests the chance to make even more of Wednesday afternoon (30th August) by combining the trot-up with a champagne cream tea, accompanied by expert insights from Burghley legends.

Away from the eventing action, spectators can also enjoy a series of special masterclasses hosted by well-known professionals from the equine world, including Yogi Breisner (Thursday 31st August at 12.15pm) and Richard Waygood (4.30pm).

On Friday (1st September) at 12.15pm, leading showing rider Katie Jerram-Hunnable hosts ‘Eventers Riding Sideways’, where Katie teaches an event rider how to ride side-saddle, and at 4.30pm Britain’s gold medallist and dressage maestro Carl Hester will make a special appearance with his London 2012 Olympic partner Uthopia.

Don’t miss the ever popular Shetland Pony Grand National at 9.30am in the main arena on Saturday, and again on Sunday morning after the final horse inspection.

Special treats
If spotting future talent is your thing, then the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Final on Friday, judged this year by a panel including former top international event riders Andrew Nicholson and Nicola Wilson, is a must-see.

And there’s an extra treat for spectators with the British Breeding Stallion Parade in the House Arena at 12.45pm between the two BYEH final classes.

If you can’t get to the event in person, Ye-Ha Productions is providing a streaming service of all the Burghley action, led by presenters Nick Luck and Rosie Tapner, with in-depth interviews, features and behind-the-scenes coverage. For just £20 per year you’ll also have access to footage from bygone Burghleys dating back to 1990.

Whether you’re an eventing fan, a shopaholic, or looking to be inspired by leading equine professionals, this year’s Defender Burghley Horse Trials is the ideal family day out.

For more information visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk

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