Former Olympic Eventer Ian Stark has been announced as the ride judge for a new feature at the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse (BYEH) final.
The introduction of this new initiative has been described as an “interesting new development” and Stark will ride the top four horses after the suitability and potential section has been marked.
Liz Inman, event director of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, commented: “When we discussed how exactly anyone would go about trying to select a young championship horse of the future, we all agreed you’d want to ride it. So for the first time this year, we’ve introduced a ride judge for this final.”
The BYEH finalists will perform a dressage test, scoring up to 30 marks, and tackle show jumping and cross-country fences, for which 40 marks is on offer. They are then assessed for conformation and quality, for which a total of 20 marks is on offer, and the top 10 horses go through to the suitability and performance section.
The top four horses’ scores will not be revealed before the Ride Judge section after which Stark will award each horse a mark out of eight. These scores will be added to the totals after suitability and performance to give the final top four places. The horses in fifth to 10th place will remain in the placings they held at the end of the suitability and performance judging.
Stark said: “I think some good riders are probably very good at producing horses on the day. I will be looking for the raw talent in a horse that puts a smile on my face.”