It was certainly eventful at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials today as riders and horses took to Captain Mark Phillips CCI four-star cross-country course.
As predicted the Australians and New Zealanders dominated the competition, which was evident as the score board changed over the course of the day. By close of day Australian Christopher Burton riding Nobilis 18 took the lead with the second fastest time of the day to finish on a score of 33.4 followed by New Zealand’ s Tim Price with Ringwood Sky Boy on 44.9.
“The course was big and tough, up to height and when the weather turned the course became really difficult,” said Christopher. “I changed my plans on the course during a combination, but I knew I had a good horse.”
In third place following the cross-country phase was New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson aboard 16-year-old Nereo on 47.2, closely followed by fellow New Zealander Jonelle Price with Classic Moet who completed a fast round to lie on a score of 50.1 after the cross-country.
“Although, I do like to beat her (Jonelle), but only in jest, she was faster than me today and I’m sure she'll remind me of that,” said Tim Price. “We totally support each other and want each other to do well, as we work as one team.”
On reviewing the course Captain Mark Phillips felt that the fences were jumped well today, but believed some riders were just unlucky on the course including Pippa Funnell.
Paul Sims riding Glengarnock was one of the first of the British riders to take to the course before the weather changed, he felt that the track was cleverly built and that it rode big and strong.
With six out of the seven top placed riders from Australia and New Zealand, there is a good chance the 2016 Burghley champion could originate from ‘Down Under’.
Results after Cross Country
1 Christopher Burton/Nobilis 18 (AUS) 30.2 + 3.2 = 33.4
2 Tim Price/Ringwood Sky Boy (NZL) 38.9 + 6.0 = 44.9
3 Andrew Nicholson/Nereo (NZL) 35.2 + 12.0 = 47.2
4 Jonelle Price/Classic Moet (NZL) 48.5 + 1.6 = 50.1
5 Bettina Hoy/Designer 10 (GER) 34.5 + 19.2 = 53.7
6 Sir Mark Todd/NZB Campino (NZL) 42.2 + 16.8 = 59.0
7 Caroline Powell/Onwards and Upwards (NZL) 37.8 + 21.6 = 59.4
8 Cedric Lyard/Cadeau du Roi (FRA) 46.0 + 13.6 = 59.6
9 Bill Levett/Improvise (AUS) 42.5 + 20.0 = 62.5
10 Oliver Townend/Samuel Thomas ll (GBR) 53.4 + 9.6 = 63.0