Wow, Burghley this year was certainly full of surprises! Burghley Horse Trials is such a special event and top riders from around the world compete knowing that this is just one of those magical places where dreams can be made….and broken! With some serious shake ups this year, not to mention falls and eliminations on the cross country course there was everything to play for at this prestigious three day event.
Team Selwood had double cause for excitement as Tim Price was entered with two rides for this year – one of which was our fantastic Ringwood Sky Boy. Jonelle was not quite ready for a 4* after the arrival of little Otis a mere two weeks before the competition. So she was on hand to help Tim where needed. As well as introduce Otis to lorry living and the eventing life! Not to take things easy either, the Prices have welcomed another new arrival. In the form of puppy Scooby – early reports suggest that both puppy and baby are getting along great!
Burghley was a fair trip in the lorry for both Ringwood Sky Boy (Ozzie) and Xavier Faer (Hugo) but both travelled fine. They stepped off the ramp ready and willing.
For Hugo it was Thursday and he performed really well for his first time out at Burghley. A 46 from the judges meant a positive start. Tim was really pleased with his test. Another super test the following day from Ozzie posting a 41.3 meant two great scores for Tim to move forwards on.
Cross country day
The weather could not have been more perfect! Glorious sunshine meant the crowds poured in for a full day of cross country action. Tim’s first ride was Hugo and he was keen out of the start box getting into a good rhythm. The first water came up early on in the course. Tim needed to switch Hugo’s brain on for this but he took it all in his stride.
All was going well until the Leaf Pit where Hugo just lacked a little experience. It was a very tricky combination of lines after a steep descent. This fence proved difficult for many throughout the day and Hugo just missed out the second brush element as he bowled on through the elements. Notwithstanding a 20 penalty add on here, Tim and Hugo carried on with gusto. Tim said he was a little disappointed with the error here when we spoke to him afterwards. Other than that he felt the horse gave him a great run.
Second out was Ozzie – again keen to get started. He produced a pretty much text book round showing why he is one of the top 4* horses on the circuit right now. Tim was delighted with the round. Although saying he felt he would have liked to be a little quicker (5.2 time penalties were added). To be fair only three got inside the time on the day. Therefore Tim did marvelously well with his round. They moved up into fourth place for the show jumping.
We joked with Jonelle about whether she would have gone inside the time! Given her reputation for being one of the fastest riders out there on the cross country course – but graciously she said its not her but the horse! After a full on day, it was good to know both horses and Tim had finished well and come home safe and sound.
Early morning trot up for the ground jury and vets was successful and both horses sailed through.
The afternoon action got underway and Hugo was in first, jumping nicely picking up just four faults and ultimately finishing in 18th place. A top twenty finish at one of the worlds most prestigious 4* events is just fantastic when you consider that a year ago he had not even had a 4* run! Ozzie was next for Tim and produced one of his best rounds to date, just adding four faults for one pole down sadly. This dropped him one place to fifth overall but meaning Tim was the highest place Kiwi. The GBR riders took the 1st to 4th spots ahead of him.
Both horses are now on a well deserved holiday and have finished for the season. Tim has a long list of events to go; including some one days. Jonelle is back in the saddle and hoping to ride competitively before the end of the 2017 season.