Local rider sets her sights on a top 10 finish at Burghley

Sarah Cohen in action at Burghley on Treason.
Sarah Cohen in action at Burghley on Treason.
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Peterborough eventer Sarah Cohen is planning on savouring every second of this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials as she attempts to achieve her best finish to date.

Since making her debut at Burghley in 2002, Cohen has never achieved a top 10 finish, but this year the 44-year-old is planning on making her mark at the Grand Slam event.

Oliver Townend celebrates winning last year on Ballaghmor Class.

Oliver Townend celebrates winning last year on Ballaghmor Class.

Her ride Treason will be among 100 horses taking to the international four-star event in Burghley Park, Stamford from today (August 30) until Sunday (September 2).

This will be the eighth time Cohen has featured in the three-day event, with her competitive edge at the same high level as it was the first time she competed.

“I can’t wait. We know it is big, but we are going there to be competitive,” she said.

“I have got an excellent horse who has been around there twice already, and he has been doing some really good dressage this season.

“I am aiming for a top 10 finish. We are not going to make up the numbers, we are going to be competitive and get a top ten finish.”

Treason, a 16-year-old gelding, may be entering the peak of his event riding career, but with a 12th and 19th position placing at Burghley in 2016 and 2013 respectively, Peterborough-born Cohen is hoping he can continue to perform to the peak of his powers.

Burghley is one of just six four-star events on the calendar, attracting more than 160,000 visitors each year and holding a special place in Cohen’s heart.

She said: “I grew up going to Burghley. All our friends and family go and it’s the end of the season, so everyone is quite relaxed.

“ It’s a lovely team that runs Burghley, they are very helpful and friendly.

“Treason is a Burghley horse. He can jump round the track. He is nearly a full thoroughbred, he has got the breed and he has got the jumps.

“It’s always good to know that he has been round Burghley and he can cope with it. He made it feel very doable last time because he is a big, strong, good jumping horse.”

n Sarah Cohen (nee Cutteridge) attended Westwood House School (now Peterborough School).

n She was selected for the 2004 Olympics in Athens but had to withdraw when her horse got injured.

n She learned how to ride at her family home at Plum Tree Farm at North Bank, Thorney, as a little girl.

n She joined Fitzwilliam Pony Club and Peterborough Riding Club, taking part in show jumping competitions around the country, including the annual event at Ferry Meadows.

n Sarah spent five years playing rugby for Peterborough ladies in her 20s.

n The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials has been established as a major international equestrian and social event on the Autumn sporting calendar for over 50 years. For more information visit burghley-horse.co.uk