Christopher Burton (AUS) has become the first Australian rider in 10 years to win the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials riding 11-year-old Nobilis 18, despite clocking up 16 faults during his showjumping round.
Burton went straight into pole position on Friday after his dressage test with a score of 30.2 and maintained his lead on the Hanovarian gelding throughout the competition. The combination had the second fastest cross-country clear of the day on Saturday, with just 3.2 time penalties. Speaking about waiting to go into the arena for the final phase whilst sitting in first place, Chris said “I’ve learnt to enjoy these moments despite the pressure. I wanted to keep it interesting by getting as close to the wire as I could!” He and Nobilis 18 knocked down four poles for 16 faults, but their final combined score of 49.4 was still enough for him to win his first British 4* title.
Of the win, Chris modestly said “Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would see my name on a Burghley winner’s plaque one day.”
There were only five clear rounds throughout todays showjumping phase of the three day event, proving just how influential course designer Richard Jeffery’s course was. He defended his design, saying “cross-country at 4* level is getting more technical, dressage scores at this level are getting tougher, and showjumping has to keep up with that.”
Andrew Nicholson (NZL) had one fence down and two time penalties in the showjumping to end the competition in second place on Deborah Sellar’s 16-year-old Nereo. To date, this combination have come second at Burghley three times, and Andrew admitted Nereo “doesn’t enjoy the terrain here at Burghley and struggles with the undulating ground.”
Third place went to Jonelle Price (NZL) who was one rider who didn’t have a problem with the undulating ground this weekend. Jonelle sat in 22nd after the dressage and climbed to fourth by having the fastest clear cross-country round on striking black thoroughbred Classic Moet. By having just four faults in today’s showjumping phase, she secured third place, saying of the mare “she makes my job look easy. She gave me a super ride this weekend.”
Oliver Townend (GBR) was the best placed of the Brits with his second ride of the day, Samuel Thomas II. Townend also came 23rd with Dromgurrihy Blue but failed to complete on MHS King Joules.
Kristina Cook (GBR) finished in tenth place to become the second highest placed British rider at Burghley. She steered 11-year-old Star Witness clear around the cross-country course yesterday, despite losing a shoe at the Trout Hatchery.
Becky Woolven (GBR), 27, from Tetbury was the highest placed newcomer of the competition, finishing the day in 17th place.
Final Results Burghley Horse Trials 2016
1 Christopher Burton/Nobilis 18 (AUS)
2 Andrew Nicholson/Nereo (NZL)
3 Jonelle Price/Classic Moet (NZL)
4 Tim Price/Ringwood Sky Boy (NZL)
5 Cedric Lyard/Cadeau Du Roi (FRA)
6 Bettina Hoy/Designer 10 (GER)
7 Oliver Townend/Samuel Thomas II (GBR)
8 Caroline Powell/Onwards and Upwards (NZL)
9 Sir Mark Todd/NZB Campino (NZL)
10 Kristina Cook/Star Witness (GBR)