COURSE designer Mark Phillips has hit on the theme of ‘retro’ style jumps for this, the 50th anniversary of The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, starting tomorrow, Thursday, for four days. Returning to the use of thinner poles to create more space between means riders will have to concentrate on not letting their horses ponder what’s below the fence on the cross-country course.
Another ‘retro’ for this year is the return of the Cottesmore Leap at the top end of the course. Always a big fence on approach (brush with ditch in front) in previous years, Mark claims it is now the biggest ever at 1.45m in height and the ditch in front a huge 3m wide. However, it is straight forward and, ridden at with the right pace and impulsion should not cause trouble.
Local rider Clare Lewis has entered Sidnificant and will be hopeful of making amends when the horse slid out to the side of the narrow brush in the Leaf Pit – provided she stays on the list. Entries are well over subscribed at 150, and with only 84 places available many will be disappointed so let’s hope Clare does not miss the cut.
She describes Sidnificant as a ‘jumping machine’ and has every confidence in his ability round one of the world’s top four-star competitions - he completed with a double clear in 2009 and jumped clear at this year’s Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials despite being held for over half an hour on the course.
For more equestrian news, see Sussex Horse World, West Sussex Gazette, August 31