Burghley Horse Trials
Burghley Horse Trials is a 4* three day event and is considered one of the greatest horse trials of the calendar year. It is set in the magnificent estate of Burghley House and provides a fantastic setting for the three phases of the competition.
There are three phases to the competition which are Dressage, Cross country and Show Jumping.
- Dressage - Tests are held in a 20 x 60 m arena and involves movements such as counter canter, flying changes, shoulder in and half pass. The horse must be supple, balanced and obedient and show rhythm and self carriage. Each movement is awarded a mark out of 10 with 10 being the highest score so the pressure is on to ride the most perfect of dressage tests which is no easy feat as the horses are incredibly fit, bursting with energy and know that the cross country course is on its way.
- Cross Country - The course is one of the toughest in the world and is made up of around 32 fences over a distance of approximately 4 miles which are both solid and very testing. Competitors will also have to take into account the ground conditions, distance and time allowed which will test the skills of both horse and rider to the limit.
- Show Jumping - A course of around 12 jumps has to be completed with the aim being to perform a clear round which means with no penalties for knocking down a fence or for going over the time limit. The show jumping phase is smaller than that of pure show jumping being around 1m30 in height but is made all the more challenging by being held on the day after the cross country.
Burghley Horse Trials were first held in 1961 and was won by Miss Anneli Drummond-Hay on Merely-a-Monarch. Burghley has been won an amazing 5 times by Mark Todd, William Fox-Pitt and Virginia Elliott ( nee Holgate) who had 4 of her Burghley victories in a row.
Burghley is part of the Grand Slam of eventing which has been one won only once so far by Pippa Funnel in 2003. The grand slam involves three wins in a row from Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials and awards the winner an extra $250,000 on top of their winnings. The only other rider to come close to winning was Andrew Hoy in 2006 who won Badminton and Kentucky but came 2nd at Burghley.
- Dressage - Each separate movement is marked out of 10 with 10 being the highest that can be awarded. Collective marks are given for Paces, Impulsion, Submission and for the riders seat, position and use of the aids.
- Show Jumping - Four penalties are given for knocking down a jump and for a first circle, refusal or run out. Elimination will occur for a second run out, refusal to jump or for circling and will also occur if horse or rider fall or if the wrong course is not rectified.
- Cross Country - 20 penalties are given for a refusal, a run out or for circling. 40 penalties are given for a second refusal or circle at the same fence. Elimination occurs if horse or rider fall, if there is a third refusal, run out or if a circle is added. 0.4 penalties are given for every second that exceeds the the optimum time.
All horses that take part must first pass a veterinary inspection, those who fail are not allowed to take part. There is a second veterinary inspection the day after the cross country which ensures that only those horses who are fit and sound after the cross country are able to continue.
The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials run from the 3rd to the 6th September 2015
- Thursday 3rd September - Dressage
- Friday 4th September - Dressage
- Saturday 5th September - Cross Country
- Sunday 6th September - Show Jumping
There are a wide range of shops available offering many products from furniture to fashion as well as goodies for your equine friend and not to mention there are plenty of food and drink shops.
- Car - Burghley Horse Trials are held at Burghley House which is near to Stamford in Lincolnshire the event is well sign posted with car park entrances off the B1443 and B1081 access to these roads is from the A1 and A43.
- Train - Stamford train station is reasonably close and within walking distance.