In front of a packed crowd of spectators, 67 combinations came before the Ground Jury for the first horse inspection at this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
The Ground Jury of Nick Burton (Great Britain, President), Christina Klinsgpor (Sweden) and Xavier Le Sauce (France) were there to ensure that all the horses were fit and ready to compete, with eight nations represented in this year’s competition. And in a drama free jog, no horses were held with all passed at the first go.
Defending champion Tim Price, who currently heads the FEI Eventing World Athlete Rankings, is the only rider with three horses entered. Bango, Xavier Faer and Ringwood Sky Boy. All three horses were accepted by the Ground Jury.
Three British riders have two horses entered: Michael Owen (Bradley Law and Jims Pal), Pippa Funnell (Billy Walk On & MGH Grafton Street) and Gemma Tattersall (Arctic Soul and Santiago Bay). All looked in good form.
Sweden’s Ludwig Svenerstall, who helped his country to a Bronze medal at the recent European Championships also has two horses entered – Stinger and Balham Mist. Both passed.
There have been two winners from the USA; Bruce Davidson in 1974 with Irish Cap and Stephen Bradley in 1993 with Sassy Reason. This year’s field boasts 11 American riders including Bruce Davidson Jr, Lauren Kieffer, Hannah-Sue Burnett and Elizabeth Halliday-Sharpe. All of the American horses were ready to compete.
As with all horse inspections there were a few high jinx from the horses. Nicky Hill’s MGH Bingo Boy was amongst the fresher horses presented, kicking out as Nicky returned down the trot-up. Georgie Spence’s Wii Limbo also looked extremely fresh cantering away from the Ground Jury after being accepted. Reve Du Rouet, the mount of Sarah Bullimore, also looked excitable refusing to stand prior to trotting up but remained on the runway and was passed fit for competition. Burghley first-timer Ginny Howe struggled with a snorting Undalgo De Windsor, who appeared unsettled by support for the previous combination.
Prior to the first inspection, there were a number of late withdrawals from the competition, namely Tom Crisp and Coolys Luxury, New Zealander Virginia Thompson’s Star Nouveau and Oliver Townend’s Ulises.
Dressage starts at on Thursday with Tim Price and Bango the first into the arena. Price will round out the day’s action with his second ride Xavier Faer.
Images courtesy of Hannah Cole Photography