Eventing: New Zealand’s Tim Price victorious at 2018 Burghley Horse Trials…

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New Zealand’s Tim Price has claimed his first four-star eventing title on British soil after winning the prestigious Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

Price had a fence in hand over nearest rival, and defending Burghley champion, Oliver Townend and jumped clear on his horse, Ringwood Sky Boy, to confirm his overnight lead from the cross-country phase and therefore win the title.

Speaking to Horse & Hound, a delighted Price admitted he took inspiration from watching he fellow countrymen Andrew Nicholson, Mark Todd and Blyth Tait on television as a child.

‘I took inspiration from that, but being here and in this position is not something I’d have predicted. I thought I was just good at breaking in horses and sitting on tricky ones. To be here and win is beyond my wildest dreams,’ said Price.

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Tim Price jumps clear on Ringwood Sky Boy to win Burghley 2018. Photo: Peter Nixon

He also made reference to the showjumping course, saying he learnt from from riding the tricky six-stride distance through fences seven and eight, having jumped clear on his first horse, Bango.

He said: It was riding quite short this morning, which people weren’t reading, so I jumped in and made a proper connection for a few strides, then found myself off fence eight although Bango is a big-striding horse. So that reminded me if I made a nice six strides it should be ok.”

Townend best of the Brits, Nicholson in top three, Price with two horses in top 10…

Outgoing champions Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class held onto their overnight second place and finished as the best of the Brits, even though the pair rattled the first part of the double at fence five.

“I couldn’t be happier with his performance – he felt completely with me in all three phases, ” he said.

Price’s fellow countryman Andrew Nicholson produced a clear round on his mount, Swallow Springs to move him up from fifth to third. Sarah Bullimore was another one to move up two places with a clear on her horse Reve De Rouet.

Piggy French finished in fifth after her horse Vanir Kamira hit the gate at fence four, while four faults for Harry Meade at the infuential UK Sport oxer at fence eight, meaning the pair could only manage sixth.

Richard jones and Alfies Clover placed seventh, with Willa Newton eighth on Chance Remark. Both riders jumped clear.

Elizabeth Power incurred four faults on her mount, Soladoun, for Ireland, dropping her from seventh to ninth. Eventual champion Price rounded off the top 10 with a clear round on his second horse, Bango.

Next years event runs from 5th-8th September 2019.

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Burghley 2017: Reigning champion Christopher Burton will not defend title…

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Reigning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials champion Christopher Burton will not be attempting to defend his title after being withdrawn from years event, which takes place between August 31 and September 3.

Nobilis 18, who was ridden to victory by the Australian last year, has only been seen in competition twice after winning the famous four-star event last autumn. The first event was at Farley Hall Horse Trials in Berkshire in June, where the pair jumped a slow double clear in the open intermediate class. The second was the CICO3* at Aachen, where the pair jumped a speedy double clear for an eventual sixth placed finish.

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 03 09 2016

No Burghley title defence for Christopher Burton and Nobilis 18

Burton, who competed as part of the bronze medal-winning Australian team at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and finished in fifth place individually, led last year’s competition throughout but cut it fine, needing all four of his fences in hand in the showjumping phase to finish on 49.4 penalties, ahead of New Zealand’s pairing of Andrew Nicholson and Nereo (53.20).

Burton was unavailable for comment on the horse’s withdrawal.

Another high profile pairing to be withdrawn in the build up to the prestigious event is France’s Maxime Livio and his mount Qalao Des Mers, who would have been a real contender for this year’s title on the back of his recent form at four-star level.

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Pau winners Maxime Livio and Qalao Des Mers will not contest Burghley this year

Notable results for the 13-year-old Selle Francais include a second place at Rolex Kentucky this spring, a win in the four-star event at Pau last October and another second place – this time in the four-star event at Luhmulen in June 2016.

Other notable entries this year…
The withdrawls of Burton and Livio now mean that there are 73 remaining combinations entered for this year’s Burghley, including 2015 winner Michael Jung and his horse La Biosthetique-Sam FBW.

New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson will again take to the Burghley track. His possible rides this year include Badminton winner Nereo as well as Teseo and Qwanza, although one horse will likely be withdrawn prior to the event.

Notable British entries for the 2017 event include European team gold medalist Tina Cook with Star Witness and Calvino, and her team-mate Oliver Townend who has Samuel Thomas II, Ballaghmor Class and Cooley SRS entered, although it is likely that the latter horse will be withdrawn as he competed at the European Championships in Strzegom last week.