Retired jockey Sir Tony “AP” McCoy has been revealed as the rider who will partner a 8.3hh palomino rescue pony for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this weekend.
All going well, it will mean that McCoy can add the CCI four star event to his extensive list of achievements, which already include three Guinness World Records and numerous major racing wins including the Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
AP McCoy’s ride, Shetland rescue pony World Horse Welfare Pamela (#BurghleyPony), has taken the equestrian world by storm these last few weeks with exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of her training, having gained tuition from the likes of Carl Hester, Sir Mark Todd, Tim Stockdale and Yogi Breisner. Adding AP as Pamela’s jockey is the final touch in her bid to become the first Shetland pony to ever take on the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
“I’m really looking forward to coming out of retirement and trying my hand at another equestrian sport,” McCoy said.
“I don’t have much experience on the flat so the dressage might be a bit of a problem but I’m very lucky to have a mount like Pamela so the four-star cross-country should be a walk in the park.”
World Horse Welfare Hall Farm Manager, Sue Hodgkins said Pamela was undoubtedly a surprise superstar and staff always knew she had excellent potential, but “I don’t think any of us could have imagined her taking part in such a world-class event as the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
“For any event horse, taking on their first major competition would be a daunting task, but with the backing of a few equestrian celebrity coaches and not to mention a professional rider like AP McCoy to guide her round, I think Pamela is feeling pretty confident.”
The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Event Director Elizabeth Inman said Pamela was certainly a surprise late entry.
“Once we had recovered from the initial shock at the prospect of a Shetland pony ‘competing’ at Burghley, we can now see that Pamela is no ordinary Shetland pony. To have received the backing of so many equestrian stars goes to show just how talented this pony really is and we are delighted that Pamela has chosen Burghley to be her four-star debut.”
Pamela will be attending the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials right through to Sunday, and fans can meet her in the Celebrity Talk Area.