Last year’s winner, William Fox-Pitt will be defending his title at the 2009 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (September 3-6).
The leading British rider, one of 100 international entries for this year’s event, will however have to overcome some serious class opposition from many of the world’s top riders and horses before he can take home the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge trophy and £50,000 first prize for a second year. If successful a consecutive win would put his name in the record books – he would be the first person ever to win six Burghley titles since the inception of the competition in 1961.
Burghley Course Designer Captain Mark Phillips, has unveiled his course of 27 fences for this year’s event, which will maintain Burghley’s reputation of an influential cross country track in the three phase competition of dressage, cross country and show jumping.
“We have a truly top class field of entries this year from around the world promising an exciting four days of sport and competition,” said Burghley Director Elizabeth Inman.
The competition starts with dressage on Thursday, traditionally the day of the popular invitation Pony Club show jumping in Ring 2, which the following day will host the Burghley Dubarry Young Event Horse finals – the culmination of 19 qualifying competitions to spot the top event horses of the future. A parade of sport horse stallions and a dressage display by Ferdi Eilberg are also among the entertainment scheduled during the event.
Away from the competition over 500 trade stands and five pavilions offer an unrivalled shopping opportunity with some of the best food, clothing, bespoke furniture, crafts, jewellery and equestrian products that the country has to offer.
Eight Americans are crossing the pond to compete at Burghley including:
Allison Springer and Arthur
Buck Davidson and Balleynoe Castle RM
Becky Holder and Courageous Comet
Missy Ransenhousen and Critical Decision
Amy Tryon and Leyland
Karen O'Connor and Mandiba
Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe and The Good Witch
Phillip Dutton and Truluck
Also check out the awesome virtual cross-country course walk on the Burghley Horse Trials website.