Star-studded field set to do battle at Burghley

Oliver Townend, the 2009 Burghley winner, returns after recently winning a European Championship gold medal.
Oliver Townend, the 2009 Burghley winner, returns after recently winning a European Championship gold medal.
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Three members of Team GB’s triumphant gold medal winning European Championship eventing team will be competing at this year’s Land Rover Burghley.

Hot on the heels of their European success, gold medallists Nicola Wilson, Tina Cook and Oliver Townend will be attending Land Rover Burghley, which runs from today (Thursday) until Sunday.

Wilson also secured an individual bronze medal at thechampionships a fortnight ago in Strzegom, Poland, while Germany’s Michael Jung, who is the current world champion and who picked up European individual and team silver medals, ia also competing at the Stamford event.

More than 80 horses from nations spanning Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Italy, Sweden, USA and the UK will be competing for the substantial £90k first prize.

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Jung, who took home the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge Trophy in 2015, is one of many former winners taking part.

The 2010 champion Caroline Powell is entered with two rides, Onwards and Upwards and Spice Sensation, alongside 2009 winner Townend, who has also entered two horses, Ballaghmor Class and Cooley SRS.

As always there will be a strong Antipodean presence, led by last year’s winner Christopher Burton riding Nobilis 18 and veteran rider Sir Mark Todd on Leonidas II.

Australia’s Andrew Hoy is another former Burghley champion, who this year brings The Blue Frontier, while popular 2017 Badminton winner Andrew Nicholson, another British-based New Zealander, will be striving to secure his place on the podium in his quest to achieve the Rolex Grand Slam.

The event also sees 17 first time combinations. Young British riders include Lissa Green, daughter of two-time Burghley winner Lucinda Green along with Lincolnshire-based Sophie Brown and her home-produce ride Wil.

A number of established international riders will be visiting the Stamford horse trials for the first time including Ireland’s Clare Abbott, France’s Maxime Livio and Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon.

They’ll face strong competition from experienced combinations including the hugely popular Zara Phillips, a former runner-up at Land Rover Burghley who this year will be riding her World Equestrian Games silver medal horse High Kingdom.

Event director Elizabeth Inman said: “The standard of entries is as high as ever this year and we look forward to welcoming the European Eventing Championship medallists to Lincolnshire.

“As always Mark Phillips’ cross-country course will provide riders and horses with a true challenge.”