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Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials champion Christopher Burton will not be attempting to defend his title after being withdrawn from years event, which takes place between August 31 and September 3.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.
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Another high profile pairing to be withdrawn in the build up to the prestigious event is France’s Maxime Livio and his mount Qalao Des Mers, who would have been a real contender for this year’s title on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.
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possible rides this year include Badminton winner Nereo as well as Teseo and Qwanza, although one horse will likely be withdrawn prior to the event.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who has Samuel Thomas II, Ballaghmor Class and Cooley SRS entered, although it is likely that the latter horse will be withdrawn as he competed at the European Championships in Strzegom last week.