TWO Wiltshire-based overseas riders are looking to take their local event by storm at the Barbury Horse Trials next week.

American Hannah Sue Burnett will make her Barbury debut at this year’s competition, which runs from July 6-9, and has high hopes of a strong showing.

The 30-year-old has previously only competed sporadically in the UK but after contesting Badminton back in May, she decided to extend her stay at her Maizey Manor Farm base in Ogbourne St Andrew, just outside Marlborough.

Burnett has three entries at Barbury, headlined by RF Demeter in the Event Rider Masters class, and she sees no reason why she cannot excel at the first attempt.

“I am really excited about going to Barbury for the first time. It’s definitely a destination event as we hear so many good things about it,” said Burnett, who will also ride Cooley Dream II in the CIC*** category and Cougar Bay in the Novice G class.

“I just haven’t been over here during this time before. Normally I have flown over for one event and then flown back.

“It’s a big event right in your backyard, which is kind of cool. I have heard the courses are beautifully designed and they do such a good job with the presentation of everything and it just gives a big event feeling.

“I really think RF Demeter is going to have a good showing. She is a new horse for me, I just got her this spring. She is a bit older, she is 15, but she has done four-stars all over the world.

“I got her in February so we have had this getting-to-know-you period but I feel like we are to the point where I can push for more and have a really top placing at Barbury.”

Fellow Maizey Manor-based rider Catherine Burrell has vastly more Barbury experience to call on, having first competed back in 2006, but that is by no means a guarantee for success.

Australian Burrell’s five entries are led by Duke in the ERM, her first horse in a CIC*** category at Barbury for six years.

Burrell, who has been centred at Maizey Manor for 17 years, said: “It’s always daunting going into a three-star class but when you’re in my shoes of not having done it very much, it’s lovely that it’s local and you don’t have to drive three days to get there.

“Duke is still pretty green. He has only done one three-star competition and that was in Portugal in the spring. We are not really experienced at all so it will be a big ask for both of us. I am not in the league of the big boys but hopefully a good horse can help me out.

“He is still only nine so he is young and hopefully he will improve a lot. We have not done our best work by far at a show so we live in hope.”