Burghley final top 10 in pictures: Piggy March is victorious on ‘special’ 17-year-old mare

Aimi Clark

Piggy March clinched her first Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials title this afternoon (4 September) aboard 17-year-old Vanir Kamira.

“It all came good. I’m just so relieved. I think she genuinely really deserved today,” said Piggy. “She’s been second here twice and fifth once. She’s a true Burghley horse in my eyes and she deserves to have her name up there on Winners’ Avenue.”

Vanir Kamira is the third mare to win the title in the event’s history, following Maid Marion, ridden by Capt Mark Phillips, in 1973 and Lucinda Fredericks’ Headley Britannia in 2006.

This is the 17-year-old bay mare’s second CCI5* title, having lifted the trophy at Badminton in 2019.

“Badminton and Burghley are the hardest to win and the toughest on horse and rider,” added Piggy. “Badminton is early in the year, a very different track and it comes with a lot of pressure for setting things up for the rest of the year.

“For this course [Burghley] you need a horse with guts and can gallop and run. You can’t win without that, so that makes it all the more special when you have a horse in your lifetime that can win Burghley.”

‘He’s exceeded expectations’

Tom Jackson, 29, pulled off a sensational Burghley debut to pilot Capels Hollow Drift into the runner-up spot, after recording one of only six clear showjumping rounds.

“I came here hoping for a top five finish and so second has exceeded expectations,” said Tom. “We’ve always known he’s capable if it all goes right on the day and luckily it has this week. I’m very proud of the horse. It’s very pleasing to go in there on a Sunday and be able to deliver when the pressure is on.”

The 2018 champion, Tim Price, finished third with Vitali, slipping one place down the leaderboard after rolling three showjumps. His wife, Jonelle, was less than two penalties behind in fourth with the 19-year-old Classic Moet.

Another incredible Burghley debut came from Alice Casburn, whose stylish showjumping clear aboard Topspin elevated them to fifth place, having been in 30th after dressage.

At 20 years old, Alice is the youngest rider in the field and her horse is a homebred. The duo have had a fantastic year after finishing 19th on their Badminton debut and winning individual bronze and team gold at the Young Riders Europeans in July.

Scroll down to see images of the top 10

1 Piggy March and Vanir Kamira

Piggy lifts the trophy. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

As the overnight leaders, Piggy and Vanir Kamira were the last combination to showjump and by the time they entered the main arena they had two fences in hand. They only needed one, securing victory by 5.5 penalties.

“I was trying hard not to pressurise myself because it’s so easily won and lost,” said Piggy. “We hit quite a few [fences] and I thought two had definitely gone coming to the last. She’s a true Burghley horse in my eyes.”

2 Tom Jackson and Capels Hollow Drift

Tom Jackson and Capels Hollow Drift. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

Tom said of his runner-up Capels Hollow Drift: “He was unbelievable today. To go in there and try as hard as he did, he jumped very well but maybe not as well as he can do after yesterday’s efforts, so to dig as deep as he did was brilliant.”

3 Tim Price and Vitali

Tim Price (NZL) and Vitali. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

Tim and Vitali finish best of the international competitors in third.

4 Jonelle Price and Classic Moet

Jonelle Price and Classic Moet. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

The oldest horse in the field impressed with the only cross-country clear inside the time on Saturday, before tapping two showjumps on the final day to finish fourth.

5 Alice Casburn and Topspin

Alice Casburn and Topspin. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

Riding her mother Caroline’s second generation home-bred, Alice pulled off the performance of her life as just 20 years old to pilot Topspin into fifth. You could say that eventing is in Alice’s blood, as Caroline (nee Sizur) also evented at the top level, including competing at the 1994 World Equestrian Games.

6 Kitty King and Vendredi Biats

Kitty King and Vendredi Biats. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

The dressage leaders were hampered by a broken safety (MIM) clip yesterday that incurred 11 faults, and one dislodged showjump on the final day was good enough for sixth. Even without those 11 faults, however, Kitty wouldn’t have bettered Piggy’s final score.

7 Richard Jones and Alfies Clover

Richard Jones and Alfies Clover. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

Richard and Alfies Clover climbed into the top 10 courtesy of a penalty-free final showjumping round.

8 Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On

Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

The defending champion — Pippa won here in 2019 aboard MGH Grafton Street — showjumped clear with Billy Walk On for eighth. Pippa also piloted Majas Hope into 16th, the duo falling out of the top 10 after hitting four showjumps. 

9 Tom Crisp and Liberty And Glory

Tom Crisp and Liberty and Glory. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

A classy showjumping clear from this combination saw them rise six places up the leaderboard to ninth.

10 Cornelia Dorr and Daytona Beach 8

Cornelia Dorr and Daytona Beach 8. Photo credit: Trevor Holt

Rounding off the top 10, this American combination were way down the order in 50th place after dressage, but soared up the placings with a fast cross-country clear for 8.4 time-faults and a foot-perfect showjumping round.

Disappointment for some

While the final showjumping phase triggered some meteoric rises up the leaderboard for several riders, there was disappointment for others as rolled poles proved expensive.

Ros Canter and Pencos Crown Jewel, fifth after cross-country, slipped to eleventh with three fences down, the same number that Oughterard Cooley kicked out to drop Wills Oakden out of the top 10 to 13th.

Four down and 0.4 of a time-fault moved Bubby Upton and Cola III down the order from seventh to 14th.

Final top 10

In the format of: horse name (rider name, nationality) dressage score, cross-country fences, cross-country time, showjumping faults = total final score

1 Vanir Kamira (Piggy March, GBR) 22.6, 0, 0.4, 4 = 27

2 Capels Hollow Drift (Tom Jackson, GBR) 28.9, 0, 3.6, 0 = 32.5

3 Vitali (Tim Price, NZL) 21.3, 0, 5.2, 12 = 38.5

4 Classic Moet (Jonelle Price, NZL) 32.2, 0, 0, 8 = 40.2

5 Topspin (Alice Casburn, GBR) 33.6, 0, 6.8, 0 = 40.4

6 Vendredi Biats (Kitty King, GBR) 21.2, 11, 6, 4 = 42.2

7 Alfies Clover (Richard Jones, GBR) 31.2, 0, 11.2, 0 = 42.4

8 Billy Walk On (Pippa Funnell, GBR) 26.2, 0, 19.6, 0 = 45.8

9 Liberty And Glory (Tom Crisp, GBR) 36, 0, 10.8, 0 = 46.8

10 Daytona Beach 8 (Cornelia Dorr, USA) 39, 0, 8.4, 0 = 47.4

View the final leaderboard in full here

Profile image of Aimi Clark Aimi Clark


As the editor of Your Horse Online, Aimi oversees all our digital content. She has worked in equestrian media for over 15 years and joined Your Horse as editor in 2017. Aimi has owned and ridden horses all her life. She grew up on a farm in Devon and was a Tetcott & South Tetcott Pony Club member, joining with her first pony — a New Forest called Prudence — before moving on to a Danish Warmblood called Marcus and competing in all activities, but particularly enjoying eventing. She has rehomed and retrained more than 10 ex-racehorses and dabbled in point-to-pointing. There have been plenty of bumps, setbacks and heartache along the way, as well as a lot of fun and many successes. Aimi has two young children and she still loves ex-racehorses. You can often find her hacking her Thoroughbred in the Oxfordshire countryside, flying the flag for Your Horse's #Hack1000Miles challenge.

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