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EQUESTRIAN: Kiwis steal show at Burghley
CAPTAIN Mark Phillips’ four-star Burghley course attracted some of the world’s elite riders to Lincolnshire this weekend – and the Kiwis dominated proceedings from start to finish.
Andrew Nicholson’s protégé Jock Paget took the competition by storm, winning aboard Clifton Promise with whom he also won Badminton in May. Paget held more than a fence in hand over his Marlborough-based mentor going into the showjumping, and each had a single fence down to leave first and second placings unaltered.
Nicholson had a remarkable competition in fact. He managed to finish second, third, and eighth with Avebury, Nereo and Calico Joe. The cross-country course was described as a true four-star and caused lots of problems, but Nicholson masterfully completed on all three rides, with two out of three going inside the time.
Fellow Kiwi Jonelle Richards had two rides, and wasn’t far behind him with The Deputy, who performed brilliantly to earn sixth place at only his second attempt at four-star level, despite having three fences down in the final phase. She also completed in 22nd with Flintstar, her Olympic partner.
Richards said of the cross country: “It walked like a very serious course, but Burghley is Burghley, it’s the toughest four-star in the world. Luckily both my horses are very good cross country, you wouldn’t want to be on anything less jumping round there.
“The showjumping was a real test – there wasn’t a clear round from the top 25, which just showed how tough it was. The Deputy isn’t renowned for his showjumping, it would be his weakest phase, so I was really pleased overall. Both horses will have a bit of a holiday now. They will come out with Badminton as a target in the spring.”
Burghley specialist Sir Mark Todd had two rides, though Ravenstar was withdrawn prior to the jumping phases. His new partnership with Oloa, however, seems to be going from strength to strength – they placed seventh at the horse’s first ever four-star, with just one fence down showjumping, a clear cross-country and a strong dressage. A truly brilliant result for a pair who have only had a few outings together.
Todd’s fellow Badgerstown resident Tom McEwen really can’t get any luck in running at the moment. Despite a valiant effort, he came unstuck on the cross country when Dry Old Party left a leg and unseated him.
Maizey Manor’s Canadian rider Rebecca Howard was lying 28th after the dressage, but some sterling jumping efforts earned her and Riddle Master 12th overall. Paul Tapner had a frustrating time with Kilronan.
They had a very pleasing dressage result which left them 16th and in a good position to make up some ground. Sadly 20 penalties for a run out on an otherwise super classy cross country phase ultimately cost them a place, even though they were one of only seven clear showjumping rounds.
He heads to Blenheim this weekend to contest the eight and nine-year-old classes with Up in the Air and Indian Mill.
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