New Zealand’s Tim Price retained the lead he held after cross-country to take the title at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials with Ringwood Sky Boy (pictured). We are showing highlights from this high-profile event on H&C this month.
Eventing’s power couple
Fifth here last year, the pair produced one of just eight clear showjumping rounds to complete on 27.3 penalties, ahead of last year’s winners Great Britain’s Oliver Townend with Ballaghmor Class on 31.9 penalties and New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson (Swallow Springs) on 32.1.
2018 has been a year to remember for Tim and his wife Jonelle as this win means the pair now hold the Burghley, Luhmuhlen and Badminton CCI4* titles between them after Jonelle won the two spring events. Both riders now head off to the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon, North Carolina, as key members of the New Zealand team.
“What a super year,” said a delighted Tim. “Sky Boy deserves a good day — so often we nail two out of the three phases, so to finally pull them all together in a major competition is fantastic. This win means everything and I’m super proud of my horse.”
Tim also finished 10th with the “young pretender” Bango, who also showjumped clear.
Despite being unable to defend his title after lowering a showjump with Ballaghmor Class, Oliver Townend admitted that he was just as proud of the 11-year-old as he has been last year.
“It’s all about consistency,” he said. “He’s still only 11 and I’ve been telling people for years how good he is. He’s proved that again today. For me, he turned into a professional this week and dug deep, whereas last year he won out of naivety.”
Oliver also filled 12th place with Cooley SRS.
Climbing the leaderboard
Andrew Nicholson’s clear round on the 10-year-old Swallow Springs elevated them up the leader board from fifth after cross-country. They were also the only pair in the field to complete on their dressage score — an amazing achievement in what is the horse’s four-star debut.
“I’m very, very pleased with him,” said Andrew. “He got distracted by the crowds in the showjumping at Blenheim last year where he had three down, and felt a bit babyish at Bramham in the summer, but he was pure class here. He had a look at the TV camera as we came down to the treble, but came back to me when I asked him to focus.”
British riders filled the next five places. Sarah Bullimore was fourth with Reve Du Rouet after jumping clear: “I’m over the moon,” she said. “I knew if I kept him focussed, he’d take care of the jumping and he did,” she said.
Of the three entrants from the USA, Bruce Davidson Jr recorded the best result, finishing in 17th place on Park Trader after having two fences down in the showjumping phase. Andrea Baxter finished in 36th place on Indy 500 with 90.6 penalties, while Lillian Heard (LCC Barnaby) climbed from 43rd to 37th with just one showjumping down.
You can watch this iconic equestrian event on H&C as we are showing highlights on Tuesday September 18 at 8pm EST, so make sure you sign up to Horse & Country now!