Best of British; it’s great to be at Burghley

The Burghley Lifestyle Pavilion.
The Burghley Lifestyle Pavilion.

Arriving at Burghley reinforced just how bad it was at WEG. The people couldn’t be more charming and helpful in the media centre, the centre itself looks like a haven complete with tableclothes, fabulous flower arrangements, refreshments of all sorts, and a general air of organised calm and efficiency. 

Seeing dogs of all shapes and sizes is a feature of Burghley.
Seeing dogs of all shapes and sizes is a feature of Burghley.

The TV’s all worked, the live scoring was fine, the wifi was strong and there were no issues getting connected. It was also good to see some of my colleagues who had “survived WEG” and some that had not attended, and appeared fairly glad they hadn’t.

Burghley itself looks spectacular. This is my favourite 4* event – although I haven’t attended all of them, so perhaps I should say it is my favourite English 4*. Burghley House continues to look amazing, we got a good view as we drove past in a well organised way as part of the significant traffic management that goes on to get everyone to where they should be. Our press/ members car park was well signposted and the officials waved us through to the right place. It is SO refreshing to be here.

Then we get onto the catering in the media centre. Water, tea and coffee and biscuits all on offer. Lunch vouchers were issued and a good working lunch available at any time. After the press conference, a nice glass of cool white wine was distributed to everyone who wanted.

Now the shopping. Well, I managed to spend about an hour racing around looking, taking photos and thinking about what I needed to get everyone for Christmas. I purchased a few presents for the family, and a new collar for one of the dogs. There are still so many shops to see, not sure when I am going to get time, but I will find some somewhere! Even the other half parted with some money at a shop – practically unheard of!

A nice glass of Pimms at the end of the day was compulsory, although I don’t think I will spend the five quid on another – it was nice though!  Really feel like I am in England now.

I have walked some of the course, and hope to get the rest in on Friday, although with five Kiwi riders doing their tests, that could be an issue. Those that walked it said it was big and it was technical. No room for error. Beautiful ground and beautifully presented.

The other thing I really love about Burghley is the dogs. I think I have taken more photos of dogs than I have taken of horses today, but there were so many different types, I just had to snap away. I think the most popular was the little wirey terriers, although the labrador is still very popular. Not as many lurchers as I have seen before but maybe they are saving themselves for cross-country day.

Looking forward to tomorrow, but in the meantime, I’ve got a roast beef dinner waiting for me!  Complete with yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce.


Jane Thompson

Jane has always had a keen interest in horses, and was an active competitor in equestrian events from her early days until the late 1980s. » Read Jane's profile

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