At the end of the First Veterinary Inspection 85 riders from 10 nations are on the start list of this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
Eighty seven combinations came in front of the Ground Jury of; President, Susan Stewart (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER) and Jutta Koivula (FIN). Four horses were held for re-inspection; Rumour Has It (#28 Merel Blom - NED) was eliminated, while GV Billy Elliot (#46 Tim Boland - AUS) was withdrawn from the holding box. Paddy’s Gold (#25 Rebecca Crosbie-Starling GBR) and Pricewise (#101 James Adams - GBR) both passed on re-inspection.
British Olympic team silver medallists, Mary King and William Fox-Pitt were the winners of the ‘best turned out’ rider prizes, judged by Mandy Thomas. Both riders are included in the six former winners that are among the starters vying for the Land Rover perpetual challenge trophy and the £55,000 first prize.
William and last year’s winning horse Parklane Hawk, will be one of the favourites for the Burghley title. Another win this year would be an unprecedented seventh victory however as yet no horse has won Burghley in consecutive years and only one horse Priceless - and Ginnie Elliott (nee Holgate) - has ever won twice, in 1983 and ’85.
William is one of eight riders with two horses; others are Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Jeanette Brakewell (GBR) Oliver Townend (GBR) Sarah Bullimore (GBR), Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) Georgie Spence (GBR) and Burghley first-timer Lucy Jackson (NZL).
Mary King rides her homebred mare Kings Temptress who is one of just five mares that are on the start list and only two mares have ever won Burghley (Headley Britannia 2006 and Maid Marion 1973).
Nineteen-year-old Comanche will be the oldest horse this year and making a record tenth consecutive appearance on the start list with Herefordshire based vet and rider James Robinson who has owned Comanche for 14-years.
French rider and former World Champion Jean Teulere (58) will be the oldest rider while first timer Rebecca Crosbie Starling is the youngest 22-year-old although both Peter Hannigan (IRL) and Lincolnshire based Emily Parker (GBR) are also both aged 22.
Another 22-year-old is Young Rider gold medallist Harry Dzenis from Surrey who with Xam will be the Guinea pig dressage test rider this year. The first competitive rider in the dressage arena will be Louise Lyons (IRL) and Watership Down (#1) who will come before the Ground Jury at 09.30.
In this video Lucy Wiegersma delivers the first day of her Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2012 Diary.