Six Kiwis for this week's Burghley Horse Trials

September 2, 2009

Dan Jocelyn and Special Attorney are among the Kiwi contingent at Burghley this week. © Al Crook

Six Kiwi riders will take their place among the 82 starters in the top class at this week's Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

Olympians Joe Meyer and Mark Todd have withdrawn Ariki and Gandalf, but New Zealand is still well represented in the field, which includes last year's winner William Fox-Pitt.

The competition starts tomorrow and Kiwi riders Caroline Powell (Lenamore), Andrew Nicholson (Armada, Nereo), Annabel Wigley (Black Drum), Neil Spratt (Hugo's There III), Dan Jocelyn (Special Attorney), and Tim Price (Vortex), are starters.

Burghley Course Designer Captain Mark Phillips has unveiled his course of 27 fences for this year's event, which will maintain Burghley's reputation of an influential cross country track in the three phase competition of dressage, cross country and show jumping.

"We have a truly top class field of entries this year from around the world promising an exciting four days of sport and competition," said Burghley Director Elizabeth Inman.

William Fox-Pitt will have to overcome some serious opposition from many of the world's top riders and horses before he can take home the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge trophy and £50,000 first prize for a second year. If successful a consecutive win would put his name in the record books - he would be the first person ever to win six Burghley titles since the inception of the competition in 1961.

The competition starts with dressage on Thursday, traditionally the day of the popular invitation Pony Club show jumping in Ring 2, which the following day will host the Burghley Dubarry Young Event Horse finals - the culmination of 19 qualifying competitions to spot the top event horses of the future. A parade of sport horse stallions and a dressage display by Ferdi Eilberg are also among the entertainment scheduled during the event.