Jenni Autry
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Jenni Autry

Achievements

About Jenni Autry

Originally from San Diego, Jenni discovered eventing thanks to the Bedford Hunt Pony Club in Virginia. After working in both newspapers and magazines, she joined the EN team in 2012 and became managing editor in 2014. She travels extensively covering the U.S. Eventing Team and has reported at the Pan American Games, World Equestrian Games and Olympic Games. She lives with her husband and three cats in Pennsylvania.

Latest Articles Written

Boyd Martin Delivers Career Best FEI Dressage Score at Plantation Field

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4. Photo by Amy Dragoo Photography.

Yesterday’s rainy weather at Plantation Field International Horse Trials is a distant memory thanks to picture-perfect, sunny conditions on the first full day of competition in Unionville, Pennsylvania. The CIC2*-A and CIC*-A divisions completed dressage today, as did the first half of the CIC2*-B division.

Boyd Martin is currently dominating both CIC2* divisions. First he scored 36.9 with Blackfoot Mystery, the best FEI score of the horse’s career at any level and the first time he has ever been in the 30s, to lead the A division.

Then Boyd returned to the international ring aboard Shamwari 4 in the B division and scored 33.8. Boyd has contested 333 FEI competitions stretching back to 2002, and 33.8 is the lowest score of his entire international career.

Both Blackfoot Mystery, Boyd’s 2016 Olympic partner, and Shamwari 4, his 2014 WEG partner, have been easing back into competing this summer.

Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery. Photo by Amy Dragoo Photography.

Blackfoot Mystery, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by the Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate, had an easy run around Richland Park in the CIC2* last month to finish 11th, and Boyd said competing him at the two-star level is all part of his plan to gradually bring the horse back after a grueling 2016 season.

“When he got back from the Olympics, I’ve just never seen a horse so tired and wilted. After preparing for Rolex and finishing sixth there, then driving to Miami for training camp, going to Rio for the Olympics and then flying him all the way home, he was just absolutely exhausted. He gave everything he had,” Boyd said.

“So I’ve really been just poking along with him. He had a nice easy run at Richland. The main goal is the WEG next year and what it takes to have him ready for WEG next year. He will go to Fair Hill CCI3* to get qualified and then hopefully we’ve got the same horse back next year and we’ll give it a good crack.”

Shamwari 4, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by the Shamwari 4 Syndicate, also competed at Richland in the CIC2* following a lengthy break due to an injury sustained at Rolex Kentucky CCI4* in 2016.

“He had a good, long, slow recovery. I’m really trying to make sure he’s ready for WEG selection next year. He’s a cross country beast. I’m trying to be a little bit cautious with his legs at this early stage of the run into selection,” Boyd said.

“I thought a nice cruise around the two-star at Plantation would be good for him. I’m pretty confident in his cross country ability to have him right for Fair Hill. It’s a little bit nerve-racking not having a big course in them before Fair Hill, but I know both of these horses pretty good now.”

Looking to the rest of the leaderboard, Alex O’Neal and Sally Crane’s RF Eloquence now sit second beyond Boyd and Blackfoot Mystery in the CIC2*-A division after leading overnight on 38.1. Jenny Caras and her own Fernhill Full Throttle, who also did their test yesterday, now sit third on 39.1.

At the halfway point of the CIC2* B division, Jessica Phoenix and Don Good’s Bentley’s Best, a 10-year-old Trakehner gelding, sit in second place on 40.6 behind Boyd and Shamwari 4. Lisa Marie Fergusson and her own LandLunar, an 8-year-old KPWN gelding, round out the top three on 43.1.

Will Faudree and Quintessential. Photo by Amy Dragoo Photography.

Will Faudree and Sarah Pyne’s Quintessential sit tied for the lead in the CIC*-A division on 39.5 alongside by Clayton Fredericks and his own FE Schoensgreen Hanna, an 8-year-old German Sport Horse mare. Megan Lynn and Elevate Event Team’s The Natural E are third on 41.9.
41.90

Tomorrow is another full day of dressage, with CIC3* dressage starting at 8 a.m. EST. You can watch live and for free on USEF Network at this link. Click here to view the full event schedule. Click here to visit the new Plantation Field International website, which has all the information you need to know. Keep it locked on EN — your Plantation Field headquarters! Go Eventing.

Plantation FieldWebsiteScheduleOrder of GoRide TimesLive ScoresLive StreamEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

8 Facts You Need to Know from Blenheim

Hannah Sue Burnett and RF Demeter at Blenheim today. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

It’s a big weekend at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, which is hosting a CCI3*, CIC3* for 8/9-year-olds and the Event Rider Masters finale this weekend. We have a slew of American and Canadian riders competing in all three divisions, and Tilly Berendt is your reporter on the grounds keeping us up to date on all the action.

The Event Rider Masters CIC3* section will stream live starting tomorrow with dressage at 9:15 am. BST/4:15 a.m. EST at this link. BETV will live stream cross country and show jumping for the CCI3* and CIC3* at this link on Saturday and Sunday.

EquiRatings is providing statistics for Blenheim and crunched the numbers to give us facts and figures to follow throughout the weekend. Keep it locked on EN for everything you need to know from Blenheim. Go Eventing.

10 Blenheim Facts You Need to Know

  1. Fifty total pairs have scored in the 30s in dressage over the past two seasons of Event Rider Masters. This year’s Blenheim field has 20 pairs alone that have scored sub-40 at the three-star level, meaning we are in for a real treat in the first phase.
  2. The record low ERM dressage score is 30.8, scored by Thomas Carlile and Upsilon at Barbury Castle this summer. No pairs in the Blenheim field have a personal best below that score, but six horses in the field have scored sub-35 at the three-star level.
  3. Of all the Blenheim CIC3* winners this decade, Mark Todd and Landvision were the only victors to make the time on cross country. But all the winners this decade jumped clear and inside the time in show jumping.
  4. The 12 ERM winners have represented six different countries: France, Great Britain, China, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia. Riders from Ireland, Canada, the United States, and Belgium will be attempting to break into the winner’s club at Blenheim.
  5. Mr Bass has knocked only two rails in 19 international show jumping rounds with Laura Collett. They have become specialists at finishing on their dressage score and sit ninth on 40.4 after the first phase in the CCI3*.
  6. Deniro Z has won six of his eight international completions with Liz Halliday-Sharp — a 75% win rate. He has won his last five internationals in a row and has started off with a bang in his CCI3* debut, sitting fifth on 44.4.
  7. Chipmunk FRH had scored sub-40 in six of his last 10 international dressage tests with Julia Krajewski, including a 29.2 at Wiesbaden CIC3* last year. They lead the CCI3* on 33.4. This is their third best ever test and their best ever test outside of Germany.
  8. Cooley Rorkes Drift has jumped eight consecutive clear show jumping rounds with Jonty Evans. They sit in eighth place in the CCI3* on a dressage score of 40.0.

Blenheim: WebsiteEntries & ScoringLive StreamERM Live StreamBE TV Live StreamEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

Best Event Ever: Action Underway at Plantation Field International

Alex O’Neal and RF Eloquence. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Best Event Ever didn’t exactly have the best weather ever as the action kicked off today at Plantation Field International Horse Trials in idyllic Unionville, Pennsylvania. The skies absolutely opened up this morning in a torrential downpour, which mercifully slowed to a misty drizzle by the time dressage started this afternoon.

With an eye-popping 110 horses entering the CIC2*, Plantation Field opted to split the class, and the first 20 horses in the A division made their way down centerline this afternoon. Alex O’Neal and Sally  Crane’s RF Eloquence, a 12-year-old Holsteiner by Contender, lead the way in the early going on 38.1.

Alex has the temporary ride on his wife’s CCI4* mount while Ellie MacPhail O’Neal recovers from an especially nasty break to her right collarbone, sustained in a fall at Richland Park Horse Trials last month.

Ellie is recovering well after surgery and displaying the typical stoic attitude of an event rider in the wake of a serious injury. As Alex put it: ” I can honestly say I’m not sure whether I’m even more attracted to her for being this tough through this terrible broken collar bone break or mildly afraid of her!”

Jenny Caras and her own Fernhill Full Throttle, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Cyrano, were the final pair to go today, scoring 39.1 to sit in second place overnight. Bobby Meyerhoff and Diane Kerney’s Rascal Rap, a 9-year-old Oldenburg by Rapture R, sit third on 40.6.

Last year we saw only two pairs score in the 30s in dressage in the entirety of the CIC2* division at Plantation Field. We already have two in the 30s after the first 20 horses, so we are almost certainly in for an exciting show across the next two days of dressage as both CIC2* divisions complete the first phase.

This is just the beginning of what is set to be a very exciting weekend as Plantation Field celebrates the 10th anniversary of the premier fall horse trials. This year’s event benefits the Retired Racehorse Project, and Thoroughbreds are the stars of the show.

Steuart Pittman and the Retired Racehorse Project will host a demo on Saturday, previewing select horses that will be competing at the Thoroughbred Makeover and ultimately available for sale at the Kentucky Horse Park next month.

During the Sunday lunch break, legends of the racing world will ride off-track Thoroughbreds in the Real Rider Cup, a show jumping competition that will see jockeys, trainers, owners and vets face off. Rosie Napravnik, Sean Clancy, Joe Sharp, Sanna Neilson and many more big names will compete.

If you can’t be in Unionville to watch the action live, USEF Network is live streaming the entire three-star competition starting Friday morning. Dom Schramm and I will be commentating and bringing in a slew of surprise guests, so be sure to tune in on USEF Network starting Friday at 8 a.m. EST.

Tomorrow is a full day of dressage in the CIC2* and CIC* divisions. Click here to view the full event schedule. Click here to visit the brand new Plantation Field International website, which has all the information you need to know. Keep it locked on EN — your Plantation Field headquarters! Go Eventing.

Plantation FieldWebsiteScheduleOrder of GoRide TimesLive Scores, Live StreamEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: ‘Where the Hell Is It?’

We’ve all had that moment on cross country: “Where the hell is it?” as your eyes desperately scan the horizon for the next jump on course. Alyssa Kelley kept her cool when she got a bit turned around at the water complex on the Training Rider Championships course at Aspen Farms this past weekend.

She quickly got back on track with her 9-year-old Thoroughbred mare (with a name like She Sizzles I had to watch this helmet cam!) and went on to jump clear with 2.8 time penalties. One rail down in show jumping saw Alyssa and She Sizzles finish ninth in a competitive championship division.

You can go along for the ride by clicking the play button above. Go Eventing.

The feeling you get on an early morning hack

It’s why we do what we do.

It’s why you get up a couple hours before work on a hot summer day to school your horse. It is why you hang out at the barn, waiting for the storm to pass so you don’t miss an opportunity to ride. It’s why you barrow the quietest horse in the barn to take your significant other on a trail ride. It is why you love riding across the field bareback on a cool summer morning. It is why you do everything you can do to keep your horse happy and healthy. Here at Kentucky Performance Products, it is why we spend hours researching the best formulations and ingredients for our supplements so that we can help you address the challenges facing your horse.

Fill the nutritional gaps in your horse’s diet.

Micro-PhaseTM vitamin and mineral supplement is a low-calorie way to provide your horse with the vitamins and minerals that are often found missing in some equine diets. If your horse or pony is on a feeding program similar to one listed below, he or she is at risk for vitamin and trace mineral deficiencies.

  • Easy keepers eating less than recommended amounts of fortified concentrates or those on restricted pasture
  • Horses and ponies in light work consuming all-forage diets
  • Horses and ponies fed unfortified grains, e.g., plain oats
  • Horses and ponies on restricted diets due to obesity or metabolic syndrome
  • Older horses and ponies that are unable to digest and absorb nutrients efficiently

You can trust Micro-Phase to fill the nutritional gaps so your horse receives all the nutrients needed to remain happy and healthy. 

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Bridleless Cross Country + Contest Winner

No bridle? No problem for this French eventer! “After a little warm-up in a sidepull, we went directly to string (around the horse’s neck),” she writes. “En was light, super listening and super motivated … I don’t get tired of reliving these moments through video camera footage. What an extraordinary mare, how lucky, what pure happiness!”

#goals

We are also excited to announce the winner in EN’s Summer Selfie Contest! Congrats to Lindsey Burns, who wins an Equetech Kingsley Gilet courtesy of our fabulous sponsor World Equestrian Brands just in time for fall. Be sure to check out the full line of Equetech apparel available from World Equestrian Brands here.

Fair Hill International Boosts Prize Money to $50,000

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum at Fair Hill. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International Three-Day Event just announced a hefty boost in prize money for the premier fall event in Elkton, Maryland, bumping up from $15,000 to $50,000.

“Our commitment in building this event to be a first-class experience for every competitor, horse and spectator is our top priority,” Carla Geiersbach, Executive Director of Fair Hill International, said. “With the partnership we have with our sponsors and community, we are able to elevate the standard of competition and provide a truly unique and VIP experience for all who attend.”

Fair Hill currently hosts the USEF CCI3* and CCI2* National Championships, as well as the Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, which this year will be held Oct. 11-15. This is the second time in as many months that Fair Hill has made headlines, as the USEF is recommending the venue to host a new CCI4* starting in 2019.

While the venue is slated to undergo a total overhaul to accommodate the new CCI4*, Fair Hill is already making changes for the fall horse trials, expanding the hospitality and shopping options and placing vendors and additional spectator tents in the heart of the competition. The tailgating area has also been expanded to offer even more opportunities to enjoy the thrill of Derek di Grazia’s cross country course.

Fair Hill has also added a 5K this year, sponsored by Gore Running Wear, along with a Craft Beer and Sports Expo on cross country Saturday, Oct. 14. All of the usual demonstrations — ranging from dog agility and pony drill teams to face painting and local food vendors — will all return for this year’s event.

Admission to Fair Hill is free on Thursday, Oct. 12 for the first day of dressage. General admission tickets for the second day of dressage on Friday, Oct. 13 are available at the gate for $10. General admission tickets for cross country on Saturday, Oct. 14 and show jumping on Sunday, Oct. 15 are available at the gate for $15 per person.

Children under 12 are admitted free of charge, as are 4-H and FFA members (with ID), Pony Club members (with pin), and military members and their dependents (with ID). Seniors 65 years and older are admitted at a discount price of $5 per person.

For tickets, including VIP packages, and more information, visit www.fairhillinternational.com.

[The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Increases Prize Money to $50,000]

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: The Feeling You Get On An Early Morning Hack

The feeling you get on an early morning hack …

It’s why you get up early before work on a hot summer day to ride. It’s why you hang out at the barn waiting for a storm to pass so you don’t miss an opportunity to ride. It’s why you love riding across the field bareback on a chilly morning.

This video says it all.

Go Eventing.

The feeling you get on an early morning hack … It is why you do everything you can do to keep your horse happy and healthy. Here at Kentucky Performance Products, it is why we spend hours researching the best formulations and ingredients for our supplements so that we can help you address the challenges facing your horse.

Fill the nutritional gaps in your horse’s diet.

Micro-PhaseTM vitamin and mineral supplement is a low-calorie way to provide your horse with the vitamins and minerals that are often found missing in some equine diets. If your horse or pony is on a feeding program similar to one listed below, he or she is at risk for vitamin and trace mineral deficiencies.

  • Easy keepers eating less than recommended amounts of fortified concentrates or those on restricted pasture
  • Horses and ponies in light work consuming all-forage diets
  • Horses and ponies fed unfortified grains, e.g., plain oats
  • Horses and ponies on restricted diets due to obesity or metabolic syndrome
  • Older horses and ponies that are unable to digest and absorb nutrients efficiently

You can trust Micro-Phase to fill the nutritional gaps so your horse receives all the nutrients needed to remain happy and healthy.

Nicola Wilson Jumps to Career High No. 2 in World Rankings

Nicola Wilson and Bulana. Photo by Jon Stroud/FEI.

The latest FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings have been released, and while Michael Jung remains World No. 1, the leaderboard has seen significant shuffling within the top 25.

Nicola Wilson vaulted to a career high of second in the rankings thanks to winning individual bronze at the Strzegom European Championships. Mary King was the last woman to be ranked World No. 1, and Nicola now sits 91 points behind Michael Jung.

Andrew Nicholson jumped three spots to third to lead the way for New Zealand, which has three riders in the top 10. Tim Price jumped from 15th to seventh and Mark Todd slipped to 10th.

Hannah Sue Burnett and RF Demeter. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

The U.S. has four riders in the top 25, with Phillip Dutton leading the way as World No. 4 and the only U.S. rider in the top 10. Hannah Sue Burnett is 13th, with Boyd Martin in 18th and Marilyn Little in 23rd.

Great Britain has more riders ranked in the top 10 than any other nation. In addition to Nicola in World No. 2 position, the Brits also have Oliver Townend ranked sixth. Tina Cook jumped all the way from 26th to eighth thanks to finishing seventh individually at the Europeans. Gemma Tattersall is ranked ninth.

The U.S. has three other riders ranked in the top 50: Lauren Kieffer (29th), Jennie Brannigan (33rd) and Will Coleman (39th).

Jessica Phoenix is the highest ranked Canadian rider in 117th.

Click here to view the latest FEI World Eventing Athlete rankings.

After 17 Years, Richland Park Horse Trials Will No Longer Run

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights, winners of the 2017 CIC3* at Richland Park in the event’s final year of running. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Bob and Kay Willmarth announced this morning that Michigan’s Richland Park Horse Trials will no longer run after 17 years of faithfully serving Area VIII and beyond.

The Willmarths said that running Richland brought them “the thrill of watching the top riders in the U.S. and Canada ride cross country on our farm … the opportunity to meet, work alongside and become lifelong friends with two of the best cross-country designers in the world, Ian Stark and Mike Etherington-Smith … hearing Richland Park announced at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event as part of a rider’s resume of wins” and many more positives.

But the Willmarths said they also faced “having to deal with organizations that are not organizer-friendly and are far too political. For us Richland Park has been all about the horses and not about the politics of the game. It should not be so difficult for an organizer to add a division, nor should it take years to do so.”

Kay and Bob Willmarth at the 2011 Richland Park Horse Trials. Photo by RedBayStock.com

Richland Park had initially applied to host a CCI3* starting in 2017, but their application ultimately did not pass the United States Eventing Association’s approval process.

“We put a lot of money and time into developing a new track only to be turned down for a CCI3*. This was a huge emotional hit for us.”

It was not the first time the Willmarth’s request to add a level at Richland Park was denied, as they faced the same issue when trying to add an Intermediate division.

“We started running Intermediate in 2003, but had dropped it when we had both a CCI2* and a CIC2*. We had numerous requests to add the Intermediate division back in, and we never thought our request would be denied — not only denied, but told we cannot add Intermediate back into our divisions unless we move our date.”

The famous “Girls in Pearls” volunteer crew at Richland Park. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Over the 17 years of the event, Richland moved their original date from the end of September to the end of August so the USEA could host the American Eventing Championships at the end of September instead. In 2016, the American Eventing Championships were moved to the week following Richland.

“Unfortunately, we were unaware of the date change and took a huge hit on our entries. For us it was never about the money and almost every year we were in the red, and we expected it and were prepared for it. We Just took it in stride, sucked it up and dealt with it.

“A longtime mentor of ours said, ‘When you stop being challenged and stop growing, you are dying.’ We spent the past year thinking about the future of Richland Park, and after careful consideration made the difficult decision. When our builders arrived in August, we told them that 2017 was going to be our final Richland Park, and that we wanted to produce the best show we could, the best show we ever had. From our perspective, the 2017 RPHT was the best.”

There is no way to adequately express our gratitude to Bob and Kay for their tireless dedication to USA eventing over the past 17 years. There are also countless volunteers and officials who have served the event, which has been a favorite summer destination event for countless event riders.

“Saying goodbye to Richland Park is the hardest thing we have ever done, as we both loved doing it and took great pride in what we created. We were honored to open our home and our farm to the eventing community once a year and share with them the magnificence of Richland Park.”

Thank you, Bob and Kay, for all you have done. We will forever treasure our memories of Richland Park.

[Read the full open letter at this link]

Ballaghmor Class Carries Townend to Burghley Win, All Americans Finish Top 25

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Oliver Townend woke up this morning with the knowledge that he had jumped only one clear show jumping round in his last 15 runs at CCI4* level. Or maybe he didn’t realize that, but without a rail in hand aboard overnight leader and four-star first-timer Ballaghmor Class, Oliver knew he had to jump clear to claim his second Burghley title.

Then Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul, who sat in second place after cross country, knocked a pole at the Rolex Grand Slam vertical to give Oliver a rail in hand, and 6.9 penalties of breathing room over Piggy French and Vanir Kamira, who continued rapidly climbing the leaderboard thanks to their clear round inside the time.

The entire crowd gasped when Oliver and Ballaghmor Class took out the top portion of the gate at fence 5. With 10 fences still to jump on Richard Jeffery’s course, they could not afford another rail.

With the pressure on, Oliver kept his cool and Ballaghmor Class jumped his heart out to leave the remaining poles in the cups and win Burghley. The 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Courage X Kilderry Place) owned by Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan, added one rail and 1 show jumping penalty to his dressage score to complete on 45.6.

Your Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2017 winner – Oliver Townend! Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Oliver has now won Burghley twice, with his first victory coming in 2009 aboard Carousel Quest, and he could not hold back the tears as it sunk in that he once again won the biggest four-star in the world on a horse he always believed could do it.

“We’ve had him from the word go, and he’s a top class horse,” Oliver said. “It was up to him to do his job and up to me to do my job, and we both did. I was looking around the collecting ring and I thought, whatever happens, I wouldn’t swap him for any horse in here, and it’s been a long time since I last said that.

Finishing second was definitely an emotional outcome for Piggy French, who considered giving up riding when she had her first child last year. She jumped one of the five clear rounds inside the time with Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Camiro de Haar Z X Fair Caledonian) to complete on 46.9.

“It’s amazing the difference a year makes,” Piggy said with tears in her eyes. “It’s amazing to be here and up the leaderboard. I don’t think it was that pretty but it doesn’t matter, the poles stayed up. These are really brave horses and to get them to respect the poles is a mission in itself.”

Gemma Tattersall battled a terrible chest infection all week, and despite the rail down she still secured the best Burghley result of her career, adding one rail to her dressage score to finish third on 47.0 with Arctic Soul, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Luso X Dream Cocktail) owned by the Soul Syndicate.

Brits swept the top of the leaderboard on home soil, with Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser, a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Diamant de Semilly X Ariane du Prieure I), jumping their 17th clear international show jumping round to finish fourth on their dressage score 49.1. Tina Cook and Star Witness, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Witness Box xx X Drive On Rose), were the only other combination to finish on their dressage score to place seventh on 53.2.

Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Courage II X Sky Lassie) clinched the third top-five Burghley finish of their career, adding one rail and 1 time penalty to finish in fifth place on 51.5.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Lynn Symansky and the Donner Syndicate’s Donner, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Gorky Park X Smart Jane) had one rail down to finish in sixth place on 53.1, finishing as the highest-placed American combination and improving on their Burghley result of 14th from last year.

“You need to ride according to the plan of your own horse and have a cool head about it,” Lynn said. “I’m much more relaxed this year, having done it last year, and I’d love to come back. You have to rely on the partnership. When you can taste it, it’s pretty disappointing, but I can’t be upset — I’m really pleased with him.”

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddiea 14-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding (Jetball X Tudnela) owned by George and Gretchen Wintersteen and Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin, had two rails down to finish 10th on 48.0. Boyd has now finished in the top 10 in both of his appearances at Burghley.

“He had the last fence down, which was a bugger, but to finish in the top 10 is a great achievement and I’m really proud of him,” Boyd said. “He was a bit all over the place in there — yesterday really took it out of him, but it’s a great result. This is by far the biggest, toughest four star in the world — it takes a special type of horse and a brave rider.”

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Lauren Kieffer and Team Rebecca’s Veronica, a15-year-old KWPN mare (Pacific X Kimbel, by Ferro), jumped clear with 1 time penalty — one of the six total clear show jumping rounds — to finish 12th on 66.0 in their Burghley debut and take home a miniature version of the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge Trophy as the best first-timers.

“It was a fair course if you rode well — it caught out little mistakes but there was nothing unfair about it,” Lauren said. “The plan would have been to win, but you know, it’s all gone to plan otherwise. Burghley really tells you about what type of horse you’ve got — you just don’t know until you get here.”

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Mackenna Shea and Landiosoher own 15-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding (Legendaer I X Aspen), were the first in the ring to jump in the top 25. One rail down and 4 time penalties saw them finish 24th on 96.1. All four American combinations that completed Burghley finished in the top 25.

“I’m just so happy I finished – that’s pretty much it!” Mackenna said. “He was so good and so rideable, which I was happy about, because sometimes he can be a bit feisty, but it backed him off a bit. Maybe that’s the trick – Burghley! I don’t know if I’ll ever really believe it happened – it’s all gone so smoothly and he felt so good that I don’t know if it really happened.”

Tilly Berendt once again stationed herself in the mixed zone to bring you quotes from the riders. Click here to read more comments from Team USA, the top finishers and beyond.

That’s a wrap on EN’s coverage of Burghley! If you missed any of our coverage, click here to catch up, and be sure to check Instagram for bonus photos. Many, many thanks go to Nico Morgan for providing beautiful photos. You can view many more images from Burghley in the photo galleries on his website. Go Eventing.

10 Numbers You Need to Know for Burghley’s Show Jumping Finale

Richard Jeffery’s course is ready! Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We are counting down to the top 25 show jumping at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, which will start at 2:30 p.m. BST/9:30 a.m. EST. Scores are tightly bunched at the top of the leaderboard, and none of the pairs in the top 10 have a rail in hand to remain in their current position.

Which riders have the best show jumping record at CCI4* level? Which riders have the worst? Which horses are the most likely to leave all the poles in the cups? EN crunched the numbers on the top 10 to give you what you need to know ahead of the show jumping finale.

You can watch all the action live on The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Official Facebook Page. Click here for the show jumping order.

Burghley: WebsiteScheduleShow Jumping OrderLive ScoresHow to Watch LiveEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

10 NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW

17Tom McEwen (7th) and Toledo de Kerser have had only one rail down in 17 international show jumping rounds.

11Nereo has jumped clear show jumping rounds in six of his last 11 CCI4* completions with Andrew Nicholson (6th). But prior to his win at Badminton this spring, he had not jumped a clear round since Badminton in 2013.

10 – In her 10 career CCI4* completions, Piggy French (5th) has jumped clear show jumping rounds twice. She sits fifth with Vanir Kamira.

7Lynn Symansky (8th) and Donner have jumped clear show jumping rounds in two of their seven CCI4* completions.

6Tim Price (4th) has jumped clear show jumping rounds in six of his last 15 completions at CCI4* level. Ringwood Sky Boy has jumped clear in two of his seven CCI4*.

5Boyd Martin (9th) and Steady Eddie average 5 show jumping penalties in their four completions at CCI3/CCI4* level.

4 Izzy Taylor (3rd) and Trevidden have jumped clear show jumping rounds in four of their seven international runs together.

3Gemma Tattersall (2nd) and Arctic Soul have jumped clear show jumping rounds in three of their four CCI4* completions, including at Burghley in 2014.

2 – In their three CCI4* completions, Tina Cook (10th) and Star Witness have jumped clear in show jumping twice.

1 – In his last 15 show jumping rounds at CCI4* level, overnight leader Oliver Townend has jumped clear only one time and averages more than three rails down. Ballaghmor Class has jumped clear in three of his last four international runs.

40 Horses Move to Burghley Show Jumping, Captain Jack Withdrawn

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class lead after cross country. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Forty horses will move on to the show jumping finale at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials following this morning’s final horse inspection on an overcast day in Stamford, England.

Our American contingent is down to four after Woodge Fulton withdrew Captain Jack before the inspection in order to treat a severe cut on his hind leg.

“Jack is my little legend and to say I’m proud of him is the biggest understatement ever,” Woodge said. “At some point out there he acquired quite the cut on a hind leg, and at the recommendation of the great team of vets here, we are en route to a hospital to get him treated properly. We won’t be completing the event, but he took great care of me out there and now it’s time to take care of him.”

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The remaining four American combinations — Mackenna Shea and Landioso, Lauren Kieffer and Veronica, Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie, and Lynn Symansky and Donner — were all accepted. Veronica was asked to jog twice, and Donner thought about reenacting his antics from the first inspection on Wednesday, but aside from that both were accepted without fanfare.

In addition to Captain Jack, one other horse, Sarah Ennis‘ mount BLM Diamond Delux, was withdrawn prior to the inspection.

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Four horses were sent to the holding box: Caroline Powell‘s mount Onwards and Upwards, Izzy Taylor‘s mount Trevidden, Louisa Milne Holmes‘ mount King Eider, and Dee Hankey‘s mount Chequers Playboy.

Both Onwards and Upwards were withdrawn from the holding box. Chequers Playboy was sadly not accepted upon re-presentation.

Trevidden, sitting in third place overnight after delivering one of three cross country rounds inside the time, was accepted upon re-presentation to much applause from the crowd.

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The grooms awards were given following the inspection, with Amber Skelton, groom to Louise Harwood’s mount Mr Potts, winning Best Cared-For Horse. She won £300 and a bottle of Pol Roger champagne. Andrew Rogers, super groom to Alan Nolan’s mount Bronze Flight, received the runner-up prize of £150.

We have to send a big shout out to the Team USA super grooms for turning the horses out beautifully this morning: Kerryn Edmands (Landioso), Mike Pendleton (Steady Eddie), Kendyl Tracey (Donner) and Shannon Kinsley (Veronica).

And, of course, there are four more grooms still taking meticulous care of the American horses that did not move on in the competition. Thank you Grace Fulton (Captain Jack), Isabel Bosley (LCC Barnaby), Kristen Stammer (Under Suspection) and Lexie Thacker (Indy 500).

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The first group of show jumping starts at 11 a.m. BST/6 a.m. EST, with the top 25 jumping in reverse order at 2:30 p.m. BST/9:30 a.m. EST. Mackenna Shea and Landioso will be the first to jump in the final group. Click here for the show jumping order. You can watch live on The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Official Facebook Page.

If you’re looking to pass the time before show jumping starts, remember you can rewatch cross country on Burghley’s Facebook page, as well as dressage. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of Burghley. Go Eventing.

Burghley: WebsiteSchedule, Show Jumping OrderLive ScoresHow to Watch LiveEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Townend Rides Rookie to Burghley Lead, 3 Americans in Top 15

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

La Biosthetique Sam FBW, arguably the greatest event horse of all time, had never accumulated a cross country jumping penalty in his international career until today at Burghley with World No. 1 Michael Jung.

Two years ago Michael and Sam, the double Olympic gold medalists, bested the Trout Hatchery and beyond to win Burghley. Today they had a glance off at a triple brush to incur 20 penalties. Michael ultimately elected to retire.

“It was a stupid mistake from me and not from the horse,” Michael said in what can only be described as a gracious interview following a gutting moment in his storied career.

Mark Todd, the overnight leader after dressage with Leonidas II, had a sixth Burghley win in his sights — to tie William Fox-Pitt for the most wins in the history of the event — when he fell foul at Discovery Valley with Leonidas II.

He had a very good dressage and it was there for the taking, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be,” Mark said. “You have to pick yourself up, put things behind you, and go on to the next competition.”

That left the door open for Oliver Townend to lead on an unlikely hero, 10-year-old Ballaghmor Class in his four-star debut.

“A few people said I shouldn’t have brought him here, but I thought, why am I listening to them? I know horses.” A clear round and just 1 second over the time has Oliver holding the overnight lead on 40.6.

Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Gemma Tattersall, who has finished fifth previously at Burghley with Arctic Soul, wants more than to settle for her previous best finish at the biggest four-star in the world. Battling through a nasty chest infection that left her gasping for air throughout her round, she delivered one of the three clear rounds inside the time to move to second place on 43.0.

“I didn’t feel strong enough to sit back and make the turn, so I made the decision to go long at the Trout Hatchery,” Gemma said. “It rode massively, even on a big, scopey horse.”

Izzy Taylor, who has taken seven of her 14 international career wins during this season alone, once again proved she is an absolute force to be reckoned with on cross country, jumping clear and inside the time with Trevidden to rocket to third place on 45.6.

“The highlight of my round? Coming through the finish line!” Izzy said. “It was one of those rounds where I was having such a nice time that I had to remind myself not to fall off at a silly fence.”

Perhaps the nicest round of all came from Tina Cook and Star Witness, the very first pair out of the startbox. With pundits widely predicting only three pairs inside the time, Tina absolutely bossed it, coming home four seconds inside and making Capt. Mark Phillips’ course look easy to rocket from 40th up to 10th.

But it certainly wasn’t an easy course. While 45 of 60 starters completed — a 75% completion rate — only 50% of starters jumped clear. Three pairs made the optimum time of 11 minutes, 14 seconds. Fifteen pairs were eliminated or retired on course.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

It was a mixed day for Team USA, and we are extremely proud that five of our eight combinations completed the mammoth track. We have two inside the top 10 after cross country, with Lynn Symansky and the Donner Syndicate’s Donner leading the way with a clear round and 3.6 time penalties to sit eighth on 49.1.

“He comes out and is so reliable and so quick that I could afford to take a few long routes,” Lynn said. “For him, it actually rode a little bit better than I anticipated. He’s struggled with right-handed corners and runouts in the past, but now we can really put that behind us.”

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Boyd Martin, who jumped clear and inside the time at Burghley in 2011 with Neville Bardos, sped around on a different Thoroughbred today. Steady Eddie, owned by George and Gretchen Wintersteen, Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin, rose to the occasion to cross the finish with 2.0 time penalties to sit ninth on 50.0.

There was a long time when Eddie looked like a real lemon and I was trying to get my money back,” Boyd said. “He broke my leg awhile back and I just wanted to get rid of him, but in the last 18 months he’s really come right.”

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Lauren Kieffer and Team Rebecca’s Veronica, who sat second after dressage on a personal best of 37.0, executed her plan to jump clear and accumulated 28.0 time penalties to slip to 13th on 65.0.

Time did just tick away with us, but I’m thrilled with her,” Lauren said. “She’s taken me around Burghley and just kept on jumping great.”

Mackenna Shea rode bold and brave to the fences and absolutely attacked the course with her own Landioso. While they had a glance off at Discovery Valley to complete with 20 jumping  penalties, they still sit inside the top 25 overnight.

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

I could beat myself up about it all but as I said to Rodney (Powell) — one down, a lifetime to go,” she said. “I just have to keep strong for my horse and not let him think he did anything wrong.”

Woodge Fulton, one of the youngest riders in the field, showed wisdom beyond her age aboard her own Caption Jack, honing the instructions of her longtime coach Buck Davidson to produce a clear round in her Burghley debut.

“This is what he’s made to do, and he was still pulling at the end,” Woodge said. “I buried him sometimes and went long sometimes, and he just said, ‘Come on kid, let’s go!’”

Those five are smiling tonight, and we’re sending extra love to our three Americans who did not complete the course.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Hannah Sue Burnett fell from Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection at fence 17, the corner on the direct route at the Dairy Mound. Andrea Baxter parted ways with Indy 500 when the mare left a leg at the skinny log at Storm Doris at 11b, and while Andrea desperately tried to save it, she couldn’t quite hang on.

Lillian Heard and her own LCC Barnaby fell at fence 30, a narrow triple bar in the Leaf Pit, after a cracking round, and the course was held due to Barnaby being cast against the fence. Both Lillian and Barnaby are totally OK after the fall.

“We had a tough fall at the Leaf Pit and he took a little while to get back up because he was cast against the jump,” Lillian said. “He is happy relaxed and eating in his stall — hardly a scrape on him. The disappointment of falling so close to home after a good round is completely diminished by the total relief of having my horse be OK.”

LCC Barnaby snuggling with his super groom Isabelle Bosley, resting comfortably in his stall after cross country. Photo courtesy of Joanie Morris.

Eventing is a sport of high highs and low lows, and the 60 riders who set out on course today experienced a full range of emotions. Tilly Berendt stationed herself in the mixed zone today and spoke to many of the riders. Click here to read more quotes from Team USA, the leaders and beyond.

Click here to view scores after cross country, and click here to relive all the action in EN’s open thread. A million thanks to Nico Morgan for sharing his beautiful photos today. The final horse inspection is at 9 a.m. BST/4 a.m. EST. Go Eventing.

Burghley 2017 Live Cross Country Updates

Discovery Valley. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Good morning from Stamford, England! It’s a beautiful day for cross country at the biggest horse trials in the world. I’ll be running live updates from the media center at the venue, with Tilly Berendt in the mixed zone interviewing the riders. Keep refreshing this page for all the latest cross country news from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

If you missed EN’s fence-by-fence preview of Capt. Mark Phillips’ “dirty great big” cross country course, click here to read Jonty Evans’ exclusive analysis. The optimum time is 11 minutes, 14 seconds.

You can watch cross country live on The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Official Facebook Page starting at 11:30 a.m. BST/6:30 a.m. EST.

UK viewers can also watch live on BBC Red Button and on the BBC website starting at 11:15 a.m. BST, featuring commentary from Clare Balding, Nick Luck, Ian Stark, Jonty Evans and Nicole Brown.

Click here for full details on how to watch Burghley cross country live.

Burghley Links: WebsiteScheduleXC Ride TimesLive ScoresHow to Watch LiveCourse PreviewEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

USA cross country ride times & results:

  • Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection – rider fall at fence 17
  • Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 – rider fall at fence 11b
  • Mackenna Shea and Landioso – 20 jumping, 22 time penalties (88.1)
  • Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack – clear, 41.6 time penalties (110.5)
  • Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie – clear, 2.0 time penalties (50.0)
  • Lauren Kieffer and Veronica – clear, 28.0 time penalties (65.0)
  • Lynn Symansky and Donner – clear, 3.6 time penalties (49.1)
  • Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby – horse fall, both are OK

Live updates:

4:02: Click here to view final results after an influential cross country day at Burghley. Stay tuned for quotes from the riders and the full report.

4:01: Oliver Townend and Ballghmor Class home CLEAR and 1 second over to take the lead!

3:51: Oliver Townend and Ballghmor Class are on course now. The final pair on course and they can take the lead with a fast and clear round!

3:47: Tina Cook and Calvino II immediately had a runout at Discovery Valley. Oliver Townend and Ballghmor Class are now the only pair that can overtake Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul for the lead.

3:46: The hold has been lifted.

3:42: We have confirmation that LCC Barnaby was winded and is now up on his feet. He is being transported off the course in the horse ambulance as a precaution.

3:30: We have a hold on course as the vet team checks over LCC Barnaby.

3:28: Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby have fallen at the Leaf Pit. We have confirmation that she is up and OK.

3:26: Tina Cook and Calvino II are on course now! They can take the lead with a fast and clear round.

3:22: Jamie Atkinson is the latest rider to have a runout at the Leaf Pit. The narrow triple bars have racked up a number of penalties today.

3:21: Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy are home clear and 13 seconds over to go into 3rd place on 46.5. Tina Cook and Oliver Townend are now the only riders who can overtake Gemma Tattersall in the lead.

3:20: Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby are on course now!

3:11: Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy can take the lead with a fast and clear round. They are on course now.

3:07: Huge bummer for first-timer Olivia Craddock. Two stops with Billy Liffy at fence 4a and she retires.

3:06: Now we look to Tim Price, Tina Cook and Oliver Townend, all of whom can overtake Gemma Tattersall’s current leading score. This is nail-biting stuff!

3:05: Matt Heath has fallen from The Lion at Discovery Valley but is OK.

3:03: Overnight leader Mark Todd has fallen from Leonidas II at Discovery Valley!

3: Kirsty Short has retired Cossan Lad at fence 29b at the Leaf Pit.

2:57: Andrew Nicholson and Nereo complete clear and 19 seconds over the time. Definitely understandable he would take it slower after a very hard fall earlier in the day with Qwanza.

2:53: Overnight leaders Mark Todd and Leonidas II are about to start on course.

2:48: Andrew Nicholson and Nereo are on course now, clear through Capability’s Cutting.

2:42: Piggy French and Vanir Kamira home clear with 3.2 time penalties to move into third place!

2:32: Gubby Leach and Xavier have a glance off at fence 30 at the Leaf Pit, the second of the skinny triple bars.

2:30: Clear with 3.6 time penalties for Lynn Symansky and Donner to move into fourth place on 49.1. They will finish the day as the highest placed American combination. “I’m really happy with him. I’ve really come to rely on him. He comes out and is so reliable and so quick that I could afford to take a few long routes.”

2:24: Lynn Symansky and Donner are clear through the Rolex Combination at fence 19 and very close to their minute markers!

2:23: Boyd Martin on his clear round with Steady Eddie: “I should have gone straight at the Leaf Pit and made the time. Even if you ride the fences well, he’s still a bit leery and tends to start out pretty quirky, so I could have made more time at the beginning.”

2:18: Lynn Symansky and Donner are on course now!

2:15: Lauren and Veronica complete clear and 1 minute, 10 seconds over the time to add 28.0 time penalties to their dressage score. “Time did just tick away with us, but I’m thrilled with her. She’s taken me around Burghley and just kept on jumping great.”

2:10: Lauren Kieffer and Veronica are clear through the Trout Hatchery and down on the clock by about 15 seconds.

2:09: Izzy Taylor and Trevidden fly home clear and 9 seconds inside the time to move into second place.

2:06: Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie clear and 5 seconds over! 2 time penalties and into third place on 50.0.

2:02: Lauren Kieffer and Veronica are on course now, sitting in second place after dressage.

1:54: Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie are clear through the Dairy Mound.

1:53: No! Zara Tindall and High Kingdom part ways at the brush at the Trout Hatchery, the same fence that caught out Michael Jung and Sam.

1:49: Paul Sims and Glengarnock have a glance off at fence 30 at the Leaf Pit.

1:45: Woodge Fulton after jumping clear with Captain Jack in her Burghley debut: “I’m over the moon — it hasn’t quite set in yet.”

1:40: Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack complete with 1 minute, 14 seconds over the optimum time.

1:37: Emma Hyslop-Webb desperately tried to hang on at the Trout Hatchery but gets sent out the side door after the jump in with Pennlands Douglas. She is up and OK.

1:34: Mackenna Shea and Landioso complete with 20 jumping penalties and 55 seconds over the time.

1:33: Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack scrap their way through the Trout Hatchery but get it done!

1:32: A runout at Discovery Valley at fence 27 for Mackenna Shea and Landioso. A huge bummer as Kenna is riding brilliantly.

1:27: Two American pairs are on course now. Kenna and Landi clear through the Dairy Mound at 17. Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack clear through fence 7.

1:25: Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul are home clear and 4 seconds inside the time to take the lead!

1:24: Mackenna Shea and Landioso are clear through Storm Doris at fence 11.

1:21: No! Andrea Baxter was tipped out of the saddle when Indy 500 caught a leg at 11b at Storm Doris. She tried desperately to hang on but couldn’t quite save it. She is OK.

1:17: A scary fall for Libby Seed and What A Catch coming back through Discovery Valley at fence 27. They are both up and OK.

1:16: A heavy fall for Hannah Sue Burnett from Under Suspection at the corner at the Dairy Mound. She looks to be OK — just winded.

1:12: Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection pick up a runout at the corner at 5b, the Anniversary Splash.

1:08: Heads up, USA fans! Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection are our first of eight combinations and getting ready to leave the box now.

1:04: Georgie Spence and Wii Limbo pick up a runout at fence 19, the corner at the Rolex Combination, another fence that is claiming a fair share of the problems on course.

1: It appears there have been some issues with start times being changed and riders not being aware of their new times. Ludwig explained after his round: “When I got to the warm-up they changed and delayed my starting time and then when I got here they’d already started the clock, so I had to chase the time constantly.”

12:53: STOP THE PRESSES! Michael and Sam have a runout at the triple brush at the Trout Hatchery! He has retired on course.

12:49: Ludwig Svennerstal and Balham Mist pick up 20 penalties at the first triple brush in the Trout Hatchery.

12:46: Here we go! 2015 Burghley winners Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW are on course, sitting in third place after dressage. They came from seventh after dressage to win in 2015.

12:44: A second runout on course for Andrew Hoy. The Blue Frontier says no at fence 30 at the Leaf Pit. It’s the second of the skinny triple bars at this combination and definitely racking up a fair share of runouts.

12:40: Just 4 seconds over the time for Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser to take the provisional lead, adding only 1.6 time penalties to their dressage score.

12:38: Andrew Hoy and The Blue Frontier pick up a runout at the Rolex Combination at fence 19, the big open corner.

12:35: Tim Price on his round with Xavier Faer: “There’s a sweet spot for take-off that gets smaller as the fences get bigger. You want the horse to feel as though he’s having a good time. The horse is magic, and is suited to this course every day of the week, but I just lost my ribbons a little bit.”

12:34: All sorts of problems for Pascal Leroy and Minos de Petra at the Trout Hatchery. Looks like multiple runouts at the first brush in the water, and they have now been eliminated.

12:32: Harry Meade and Away Cruising completed clear with 17.2 time. “I had to just be mindful that Away Cruising might not get the trip around, but he’s a forward, galloping horse.”

12:30: Caroline Powell and Spice Sensation completed with 20 jumping and 34.4 time. “It rode the same way that it walked, but bigger. The ground is quite holding. I’m really pleased with her — she grew the whole way around.”

12:28: Angus Smales and MJI Mount Echo also have a runout at the skinny triple bar at fence 30.

12:22: A runout at fence 30, the second skinny triple bar, at the Leaf Pit for Tim Price and Xavier Faer. Such a shame as they were having a cracking round.

12:18: A runout at the Trout Hatchery for Caroline Powell and Spice Sensation, the first triple brush at 23c. They had a big leap in over the log and couldn’t quite work it out before the brush.

12:07: Sarah Bullimore and Reve du Rouet have parted ways at fence 3.

12:04: A runout for Willa Newton and Chance Remark at Discovery Valley, and then a second runout at the Leaf Pit. She thought for a moment about retiring but is continuing on.

12:03: Clare Abbott and Euro Prince complete clear and 15.2 time penalties with some hairy moments! “He was throwing huge jumps and really landing running, so I think he’ll do better the next time he does something like this.”

12: Simon Grieve and Drumbilla Metro completed with 51.2 time and 20 jumping penalties. “He’s only 10 and it’s his first time at his level, so he went really green — he came to fence 4 and just went ‘Woah! What’s all this?!'”

11:57: Harry Dzenis and Xam complete with a clear round and 4.8 time. “I feel really chuffed and relieved, but slightly nervous that I’ve got to go do it all again! I’m stoked for later and can’t wait to give it another crack.”

11:55: Oliver Townend: “The time is very achievable on something that’s good. I know Ballaghmor Class is as fit as the first one. It’ll just be about whether he tires himself out with the hills and the crowds.”

11:54: Tina Cook after her trailblazing round inside the time: “There were no surprises at all. You had to work jolly hard and I had the upmost respect for the whole course.”

11:46: Trouble for Oliver Townend and Samuel Thomas at the Leaf Pit as the horse did not want to go down the hill at all. That will be 20 penalties at 29b.

11:42: Incredible ride from Tina Cook! 4 seconds inside the time with Star Witness as the first pair out. That is going to give the riders a ton of confidence.

11:30: And we’re off! Tina Cook and Star Witness are away.

11:23: Roo Fox has withdrawn Fleet Street, which gives us 60 starters on cross country.

11: We are counting down to the start of cross country at 11:30 a.m. BST. Tina Cook and Star Witness will be the first pair to leave the startbox. Click here for the full list of ride times.

Mark Todd Hunting for Sixth Burghley Win, 5 Americans in Top 25 After Dressage

Mark Todd and Leonidas II. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Mark Todd is in the hunt for his sixth Burghley win and first since 1987 thanks to his leading dressage performance with Leonidas II. A score of 36.7 is a personal best at four-star level and the second best career score for Leonidas, a Holsteiner gelding (Landos X Nairobi III, by Parco xx) owned by Pete Cattell and Di Brunsden.

“He’s 13 now and I think he’s finally just starting to grow up,” Mark said. “He’s always shown ability that he could do a really smart test. So far up until now it’s always been spoiled by little mistakes here and there. Today he sort of lit up a little bit, but at no stage did I ever feel that he was going to get away from me. He listened and performed really well. It was pretty mistake-free.”

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica after their leading test. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The USA’s own Lauren Kieffer and Team Rebecca’s Veronica sit just 0.3 penalties behind in second place on a personal best of 37.0. Lauren and “Troll” led at the lunch break (you can read comments from Lauren immediately after her test in EN’s lunch report) and now she is looking ahead to taking on her first Burghley cross country.

“We’ve watched it and studied (the course) for years. Burghley is a class of its own, and we know that. We respect it,” Lauren said. “I’m expecting a different feeling than other three-days, but it’s a good mare and hopefully we’ll have a good day.”

Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Michael Jung, who led after the first day La Biosthetique Sam FBW, now sits in third place on 38.9, one of five scores we ultimately saw in the 30s. The 17-year-old Baden-Württemberger gelding (Stan the Man xx X Halla, by Heraldik xx) won Burghley two years ago with only 0.8 cross country time penalties added to his dressage score.

“I think the course is very clear. It’s nicely built — a big, tough course,” Michael said. “The biggest problem will be the condition of the horse. You need a very strong horse at Burghley. The ground and weather looks very good at the moment. I hope it will be the same tomorrow. At the moment, I’m happy I’m still in third place.”

Last year no one made the time on cross country amidst a torrential downpour, but this year the eventing gods have smiled on Burghley with a promising forecast. With the hope of good ground, we are expecting several riders to catch the time.

“(Time is) always a factor here, but if we don’t get anymore rain the going is perfect,” Mark said. “It won’t slow us down. If anything I think this year (the course is) maybe a little less technical and a little bit more galloping than it was last year. There are 30 odd fences to jump and get in your way out there. I would guess (Michael Jung) will be inside the time and probably a few others. I aim to be as well.”

Looking to the rest of the leaderboard, Andrew Nicholson is another rider aiming for a sixth Burghley win, currently sitting in fourth place on 39.5 aboard this year’s Badminton winner Nereo. Tina Cook and Calvino II scored a personal best of 39.6 in the horse’s four-star debut to round out the top five. Click here for full dressage results.

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby. Photo by Jenni Autry.

One rider happy to be sitting on a good cross country horse is Lillian Heard, our final American pair to go today with her own LCC Barnaby. The 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Guy Cavalier X Lady Tanjour, by Rafael) made it very clear during his test today that he is more than ready to tackle Capt. Mark Phillips’ course tomorrow.

“He gets hot and excited in the dressage. I’ve been working really hard on it. I thought we sort of made some progress, but he did the test he normally does. This isn’t a dressage event, so hopefully he’ll be able to gain some ground back,” Lillian said.

“You didn’t see it today, but he’s actually doing so much better. He’s doing clean changes and can handle the work at home. Normally it’s the dressage that gets to him, but today it was the atmosphere and the crowds.”

A score of 58.0 has Lillian and Barnaby tied for 49th place, and she is looking ahead to tomorrow, where climbing the leaderboard with a clear cross country run would see a longtime dream realized.

“I’d say of all the things I’ve ever wanted to do, Burghley was at the top of the list. That’s why I came here,” Lillian said. “I knew I didn’t have a horse that was going to win Burghley, but who knows if I’ll ever even have another Burghley horse. It’s something hard to come by, so I thought let’s do it.”

We are sending the very best wishes to all eight of our American combinations on the eve of cross country. You can watch cross country live on Burghley’s Facebook page starting at 11:30 a.m. BST/6:30 a.m. EST. Click here for cross country ride times.

USA cross country ride times:

  • Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection (25th on 48.4) – 1:10 p.m. BST/8:10 a.m. EST
  • Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 (47th on 56.9) – 1:18 p.m. BST/8:18 a.m. EST
  • Mackenna Shea and Landioso (14th on 46.1) – 1:22 p.m. BST/8:22 a.m. EST
  • Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack (60th on 68.9) – 1:26 p.m. BST/8:26 a.m. EST
  • Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie (21st on 48.0) – 1:54 p.m. BST/8:54 a.m. EST
  • Lauren Kieffer and Veronica (2nd on 37.0) – 2:02 p.m. BST/9:02 a.m. EST
  • Lynn Symansky and Donner (11th on 45.5) – 2:18 p.m. BST/9:18 a.m. EST
  • Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby (49th on 58.0) – 3:18 p.m. BST/10:18 a.m. EST

We will be running live updates on EN, so keep it locked here for your Team USA headquarters at Burghley. Stay tuned for Tilly Berendt’s massive course preview with exclusive commentary from Jonty Evans. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s Burghley coverage, including quotes and coverage on all eight of our American combinations. Go Eventing.

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Lauren Kieffer and Veronica Dance to Burghley Lead on Personal Best

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica after their leading test. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We saw Lauren Kieffer and Veronica score in the 30s for the first time at Badminton this spring, and they bested that mark today to secure a new personal best of 37.0 and take the Burghley lead with just one group left to go on the second day of dressage.

“Her canter work was quite good, and her walk. We have struggled with those in the past,” Lauren said after her test. “She’s such a going mare that it’s hard to keep it fluid. This test really suits her with the lengthenings and the stretch circle. It actually helps her along.”

Veronica is certainly a seasoned campaigner now, marking her 10th overseas start here at Burghley, and absolutely a consummate professional when it comes to her job. The 15-year-old mare (Pacific X Kimbel, by Ferro) owned by Team Rebecca is “definitely a workhorse,” Lauren said. “She definitely knows what a competition is. She loves it. It’s probably where she’s the happiest.”

The same could be said of Lauren, who has attended Burghley before but makes her debut as a competitor this year. While she has tackled some of the biggest cross country courses in the world, Capt. Mark Phillips’ track is an entirely different animal.

“It’s big and bad and what you expect,” Lauren said. “Mark plays on the rider’s ability to act on instinct. You can’t go out with a dead-set plan and stick to it. You have to be able to react in the middle of combinations and situations. Strangely enough it walks uphill the whole way. A fit horse is a necessity.”

Lauren’s plan tomorrow will be to take all of the direct routes, which will be essential if she wants to challenge the optimum time. Interestingly, during Lauren’s summer based in England she has spent time jumping with Jonelle Price, who has made the time at Burghley before and is well known for her speedy cross country riding.

“Jonelle is obviously a very fast rider,” Lauren said. “We’ll have a good plan out there on how to be efficient without taking too much gas out of her and also getting over the jumps the first time.”

Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW, who led overnight after the first day of dressage, now sit in second on 38.9, with Andrew Nicholson and Nereo in third on 39.5 as the final pair to go before the lunch break today.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking to our other two American combinations that went this morning, Lynn Symansky and Donner scored a personal best of 45.5 to sit in sixth place. While they picked up an error early in the test when Lynn went into extended trot instead of shoulder-in, it was easily the best test The Flying Deer has ever done.

“I was so proud of him,” Lynn said after the test. “I was the one who made a bit of a mistake. I was actually out there enjoying the ride, which I don’t always do in the dressage ring, and spaced for a second.”

Donner, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Gorky Park X Smart Jane, by Smarten) owned by the Donner Syndicate, is a spooky horse and can struggle with tension in the first phase, but he has steadily improved.

“The horse has been improving every single four-star he’s gone to. Badminton was his new best four-star score and this improved on that. He’s been really reliable over the past two years. I was hoping to be in the mid-40s mark. I could have improved that a bit, but I have no complaints going into tomorrow.”

Lynn and Donner jumped clear around Burghley in 2015, the first year the course ran in the new direction, so they have that as an advantage when they leave the startbox tomorrow. While a galloping track suits the former racehorse, the right-handed corners on the direct routes do not, and Lynn has adjusted her plan accordingly.

“I know my horse so well. This is our 8th four-star together. He can be a little spooky and he needs a second to settle into a course like this. I’ll likely go long at the second water to the left-handed corner, which I think is easier for the horses to read. I’ll maybe take one other alternate route to not risk the right-handed runout.”

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie, a 16-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding (Jetball X Tudnela) owned by George and Gretchen Wintersteen and Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin, scored 48.0 to slot into sixth place.

“The biggest thing is keeping him relaxed,” Boyd said after his test. “William Fox-Pitt rode him a bit earlier this year and did everything the opposite of what I would usually do. He really made some improvements with the horse, just in his warm-up and his general work. I learned a lot from him, and it really paid off.”

William rode Steady Eddie at the $100,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase in Florida in January, and he was ringside today to congratulate Boyd after his test, which just missed matching their best four-star score of 46.3 from Kentucky the spring.

Boyd is no stranger to Burghley, having finished seventh in 2011 when he made the optimum time aboard Neville Bardos, but this is his first time back competing at the event since then. “Fences 1 and 2 look alright, and after that I’m nervous as hell,” Boyd said. “It’s relentless.”

Luckily for Team USA, we have our A-team here at Burghley. “I reckon there will be three Yanks finishing in the top 15,” Boyd said. “It sounds ambitious, but we have some of our best riders and best horses here. I think it’s important that the Americans keep fronting up to the biggest and toughest competitions.”

One factor playing to America’s advantage has to be the addition of Ian Stark as a cross country advisor for the team. Joanie Morris, USEF Managing Director of Eventing, confirmed to EN that Ian’s role is temporary through the fall season and separate from the search for a new U.S. Eventing Team Performance Director.

The USA now has three riders in the top 10 and five in the top 20, and Boyd Martin is predicting that three American riders will finish in the top 15. Mackenna Shea and Landioso, who sat in third overnight, are now ninth on 46.1, with Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection in 19th on 48.8. Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 are 39th on 56.9, with Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack in 50th on 68.9.

The last American to win Burghley was Stephen Bradley aboard Sassy Reason in 1993, a feat commemorated by a silver plaque on Winner’s Avenue. Bruce Davidson is the only other American to win at this venue, taking individual gold when Burghley hosted the 1974 World Championships.

Are we poised to see an American win Burghley for the third time in history and first time in more than two decades? We have a long way to go still, but the chinchillas are certainly smiling after a thrilling morning of dressage.

And there is still much more to come here at Burghley. Mark Todd and Leonidas II will kick off the final session of the day at 2:30 p.m. BST/9:30 a.m. EST. Caroline Powell and Onwards and Upwards and Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy are both combinations to watch, as they scored in the 30s last year at Burghley.

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby are our final American pair to go at 3:18 p.m. BST/10:18 a.m. EST. You can watch live on Burghley’s Facebook page, and you can also re-watch today’s action on the Facebook page. Click here for a full list of dressage ride times. Go Eventing.

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Mackenna Shea Leads the Way for Team USA at Burghley

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

With four Americans making up the final six combinations to go on the first day of dressage at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Team USA had an action-packed afternoon here in Stamford, England. The blistering pace certainly paid off, with Mackenna Shea and her own Landioso scoring 46.1 for third place at the halfway point of the first phase.

As expected, Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW held onto their lead from the lunch break to sit in first place overnight on 38.9, the only score in the 30s thus far. Sam, who won the event in 2015, has been noticeably nonplussed at Burghley all week, very quiet at yesterday’s trot up and not at all concerned when Chinch hopped on him for a ride after his leading test.

What is the secret to keeping Sam so relaxed? “It’s very important that he travels in a very big box, for example, so that the traveling is much more relaxed for him and he comes to the competition more relaxed. That’s the first important thing,” Michael said.

“It’s important that you look to your horse. It’s not just the big things that are important; it’s important to do the little things where you can make his life more easy at the competition. It’s important that they feel very happy in the stable and in their work and in the warm-up, and also in the vet check. It’s a very good thing that we have the vet check in the dressage stadium, so they feel the arena a little bit with the pressure from the spectators.”

What it feels like to score a personal best at Burghley! #lrbht

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You would have thought Gemma Tattersall scored in the 30s with the way the delighted crowd cheered their own on home soil after her test with Arctic Soul. Their score of 43.0 is a new personal best for the pair at CCI4* level, bettering their score of 44.6 from Badminton in 2016 and positioning them in second place overnight.

“Spike,” a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Luso X Dream Cocktail, by Roi Danzig) owned by the Soul Syndicate, is not a huge fan of large crowds, but he kept his head beautifully today, leaving Gemma “chuffed to bits” after their test.

“He’s a very, very nervous horse in the atmosphere, and he’s been very relaxed since he got here. We did the arena walk last night, and I spent ages walking him in and out and patting him and trying to get him as confident as possible,” Gemma said.

“Today he’s been out all day just walking around — a little bit of work, walking, a little bit of work, walking — and he went in the arena and instead of being backwards in the way I rode him, I tried to be really positive and actually kick him forward. It worked, and he took a big breathe and relaxed, and he managed to do the work that we know he’s actually capable of.”

Gemma and Spike already have one top-five finish at Burghley on their record from 2014, when they accumulated 11.2 time penalties on cross country. They caught the optimum time in their last two CCI4* starts, both at Badminton, and Burghley is definitely the type of course where you want to be sitting on an off-track Thoroughbred like Spike.

Mackenna Shea in the press conference with Michael Jung and Gemma Tattersall. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Mackenna Shea is one of America’s five Burghley debutantes, which makes her score of 46.1 with Landioso all the more impressive. “I was really happy with most of my trot work, and the canter work was pretty good. He was lot more consistent in the lateral work. I missed a flying change, but those are alwaysa hang up for me!”

It’s been a long road to Burghley for Mackenna and Landioso, her own 15-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding (Legendaer I X Aspen, by Pilotek), who contracted shipping fever in the spring after flying to England to contest the Bramham CCI3* Under 25.

While shipping fever but a kibosh on the Bramham plan, Mackenna thinks it ultimately turned out to be a bless in disguise to stay through the summer based with Rodney Powell and Alex Franklin, who she said has helped her tremendously on the flat.

Mackenna and “Landi” completed Kentucky last year, and now they look ahead to their biggest test yet on Saturday. “I want to go for it. My plan is to have a watch and keep up on my minutes and look after him the best I can at the same time,” she said.

“I don’t think I would be doing this if it weren’t for him. He’s super laid-back, but when I get on to ride him he’s super intense. He takes his work very seriously — all business.”

Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking to our other American pairs, Hannah Sue Burnett and Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection sit just outside the top 10 in 11th on 48.8, a bit off the pace from the mare’s four-star debut at Kentucky this spring, where she scored 45.2 and ultimately finished fifth as the USEF CCI4* National Reserve Champion.

“I feel like we could have shown off the trot a lot more,” Hannah said. “She was really quiet in this warm American weather. She always does her best, and I could have ridden better.”

Now it’s on to the fun stuff for Hannah and “Pippy,” a 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender X Naomagic I, by Exorbitant xx). Hannah last competed at Burghley in 2014 aboard Harbour Pilot, who stormed around clear on cross country before being withdrawn due to an injury.

“I feel so much more experienced since then,” Hannah said. “Walking the course this year I was wondering if I would feel the same way I did when I walked it three years ago. It’s nice to not feel that way now. I feel like I can actually do this. I don’t think it’s easy, but that first time you walk Burghley is just insane, so I’m glad to not feel that many nerves.”

Andrea Baxter and Indy 500. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Andrea Baxter and her own Indy 500 bettered their score from Kentucky by more then 3 marks to sit in 24th place on 56.9. “My Rolex test was probably cleaner, but this had more life to it and more energy and suppleness,” she said. “I think overall her quality of work was probably better here.”

It’s a dream for Andrea to be at Burghley with “Indy,” a 12-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Cromwell X Tens of Thousands, by Spend A Buck) she produced from a 4-year-old. “I always knew she could do it, but we’ve had a few hurdles along the way. Here we are! I feel kind of starstruck. I keep looking around and staring. It’s awe-inspiring.”

Indy is not the biggest fan of right-pointed corners, which feature prominently on the straight routes on Capt. Mark Phillips’ cross country course, so Andrea said her plan for Saturday includes taking many of the lounger routes. Andrea summarized the feelings of all the Burghley newbies: “It’s definitely bigger and longer than I could imagine!”

Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Woodge Fulton and the Full Moon Farm Syndicate’s Captain Jack were the penultimate pair to perform today in front of the ground jury of Harry Payne, Martin Plewa and Katarzyna Konarska, scoring 68.9 for 31st place.

“He’s definitely not a dressage horse, which I know and I love him anyway,” Woodge said. “I have him more for Saturday than I do for today, but he held it together and that’s the best we can do. A lot of the time it starts to unravel and we get high 70s and low 80s, so I was really proud of him today.”

Woodge and Captain Jack, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Numerous X Lady Malone), didn’t cross an ocean to do dressage. After checking a big bucket list item when she completed her first four-star at Kentucky in the spring, now 22-year-old Woodge is ready to take on her biggest challenge yet.

“It’s a lot bigger than Kentucky, but I’m hopeful because he loves to gallop,” she said. “I know he’ll get tired, but he has a heart of gold, so if I don’t let him down, he won’t let me down.

We have four more American combinations still to come tomorrow. You can watch live on Burghley’s Facebook page, and you can also re-watch today’s action on the Facebook page. Click here for a full list of dressage ride times.

USA Friday dressage times:

  • Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie: 10:40 a.m. BST/5:40 a.m. EST
  • Lauren Kieffer and Veronica: 10:56 a.m. BST/5:56 a.m. EST
  • Lynn Symansky and Donner: 11:48 a.m. BST/6:48 a.m. EST
  • Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby: 3:18 p.m. BST/10:18 a.m. EST

Stay tuned for much more from Burghley, including EN’s official course preview starring Jonty Evans. Many thanks to intrepid EN reporter Tilly Berendt for taking us behind the scenes in the Burghley warm-up today, and to Nico Morgan for providing beautiful photos. Go Eventing.

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Michael Jung and Sam Take Their Rightful Place in Burghley Lead

Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW scored 38.9 as the final pair to go before the lunch break to hold the current lead in the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials on the first day of dressage.

First place is familiar territory for this pair here at Burghley. Michael and Sam have competed at the fabled four-star just one other time during their storied partnership together, adding just 0.8 cross country time penalties to their dressage score to win in 2015 on 40.0.

Michael admitted after their test today that it was not a mistake-free performance. “In the canter for the flying change, for example, I did not get him enough in front of my leg. It was the problem for the changes. He was nice to ride. I’m happy to be here again with him.”

The score of 38.9 today improved on their 2015 score of 39.2, and while it’s off the pace from their four-star personal best of 33.0, it should still position Michael and Sam within striking distance as we look ahead to cross country.

“He’s a very good horse in all three disciplines. He’s strong enough,” Michael said. “I think you need very good management to prepare him for every discipline. The dressage was not really, really perfect, but I hope that I can manage the other two disciplines much better.”

Last year we saw eight tests in the 30s at Burghley, including Chris Burton and Nobilis 18’s record score of 30.2. Andrew Nicholson and Nereo, Caroline Powell and Onwards and Upwards, and Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy all scored in the 30s last year and are also competing in this year’s event, so we have their tests to look forward to across the remaining two days of dressage.

We also have our eight Americans still to come, with Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection leading off for Team USA at 3:10 p.m. BST/10:10 a.m. EST. You can watch live on Burghley’s Facebook page. Click here for a full list of dressage ride times.

USA Thursday dressage times:

  • Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection: 3:10 p.m. BST/10:10 a.m. EST
  • Andrea Baxter and Indy 500: 3:26 p.m. BST/10:26 a.m. EST
  • Mackenna Shea and Landioso: 3:34 p.m. BST/10:34 a.m.  EST
  • Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack: 3:42 p.m. BST/10:42 p.m. EST

USA Friday dressage times:

  • Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie: 10:40 a.m. BST/5:40 a.m. EST
  • Lauren Kieffer and Veronica: 10:56 a.m. BST/5:56 a.m. EST
  • Lynn Symansky and Donner: 11:48 a.m. BST/6:48 a.m. EST
  • Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby: 3:18 p.m. BST/10:18 a.m. EST

Looking to the rest of the lunchtime leaderboard, Paul Tapner and Bonza King of Rouges sit in second place on 46.2, with Tim Price and Xavier Faer in third on 46.5. Willa Newton and Chance Remark are the best placed British combination in fourth on 46.5.

Michael Jung has walked Capt. Mark Phillips’ cross country course once so far, saying he thought “the beginning looks a bit more soft maybe, but there are very big jumps. You have to be very concentrated and fast enough from the beginning for the time.”

Stay tuned for EN’s full course preview featuring commentary and analysis from Jonty Evans, who will be commentating during the BBC ‘s cross country coverage on Saturday. I’m delighted to have EN’s 2017 Blogger Contest winner Tilly Berendt working alongside me here at Burghley to bring you top notch coverage. Be sure to follow her adventures with Chinch on EN’s Instagram.

Burghley Links: WebsiteScheduleDressage Ride TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Fresh Horses Abound & All Accepted at Burghley First Inspection

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Jenni Autry.

A brisk, overcast afternoon set the stage for the first horse inspection at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, with 61 combinations coming forward to present to the ground jury of Harry Payne, Martin Plewa and Katarzyna Konarska.

The chilly temperatures in Stamford and buzzing crowd in the main arena collided to create an excitable atmosphere for the horses, many of whom crow-hopped, bucked and reared their way down the jog strip in dramatic fashion.

All eight American horses were accepted and look in fantastic form — massive shout out to the super grooms for turning them out to perfection. The Donner Syndicate’s Donner seemed determined to steal the spotlight, and the ground jury asked Lynn Symansky to jog him twice. He was then accepted to much applause from the crowd. Nothing runs like a deer!

Donner says, “I MUST DANCE!” Photo by Jenni Autry.

We saw the riders wearing plenty of traditional tweed, hats adorned with feathers, boots sporting tassels and capes draped in fur, and our Americans definitely embraced the occasion and dressed the part.

Hiho Silver sponsored the Best Dressed competition for the first horse inspection, awarding a prize to the best dressed male and female riders. Nicole Brown of Event Rider Masters and Eventing Podcast fame, international dressage judge Jillian Kyle and Hiho Silver managing director Andrew Ransford served as fashion judges.

Mark Todd took honors as the best dressed male rider, while Clare Abbott won for the ladies. Nicole told EN the judges “were impressed with a number of the outfits, but the level of detail shown by our winners is what set them apart.”

Clare’s attire was “stylish, practical and classy,” Nicole Brown said. That’s how you win best dressed at a trot up! Photo by Jenni Autry.

Just one horse, Roo Fox’s mount Fleet Street, was sent to the holding box and passed upon re-inspection. High-profile withdrawals that occurred prior to the start of the event include Qalao des Mers, NZB Campino, Borough Pennyz and Malin Head Clover, who Lissa Green sadly withdrew just prior to the horse inspection when the horse knocked himself.

It will be a quiet start to dressage tomorrow for Team USA, as all four of our combinations are going nearly one right after the other in the last group for Thursday. On Friday the remaining four American pairs are spread across all three sections. Click here for a full list of dressage ride times.

Thursday dressage times:

  • Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection: 3:10 p.m. BST/10:10 a.m. EST
  • Andrea Baxter and Indy 500: 3:26 p.m. BST/10:26 a.m. EST
  • Mackenna Shea and Landioso: 3:34 p.m. BST/10:34 a.m.  EST
  • Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack: 3:42 p.m. BST/10:42 p.m. EST

Friday dressage times:

  • Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie: 10:40 a.m. BST/5:40 a.m. EST
  • Lauren Kieffer and Veronica: 10:56 a.m. BST/5:56 a.m. EST
  • Lynn Symansky and Donner: 11:48 a.m. BST/6:48 a.m. EST
  • Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby: 3:18 p.m. BST/10:18 a.m. EST

We are delighted to have Nico Morgan shooting beautiful photos of our American combinations at Burghley. Please visit his website at https://www.nicomorgan.co.uk to view his full photo galleries from the event.

You can watch dressage live and for free on Burghley’s Facebook page. All the details on how to watch live are here. Stay tuned for much more from Burghley! Go Eventing.

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How to Watch Burghley 2017 Live Online + On Demand

Hello from a rainy but beautiful Burghley! The grounds are buzzing here in Stamford, England, with the first horse inspection scheduled to start at 4 p.m. EST/11 a.m. EST. It’s an incredibly exciting week for USA eventing, as we have eight American combinations competing at this year’s event.

EN confirmed with the Burghley press office today that every phase of the event, including both horse inspections, will stream live on The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Official Facebook Page — free and with no geo-restrictions worldwide.

The broadcast schedule is as follows:

Wednesday: First horse inspection 4-5 p.m. BST/11 a.m.-noon EST

Thursday: Dressage 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. BST/4:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. EST

Friday: Dressage 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. BST/4:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. EST

Saturday: Cross country 11 a.m.-4 p.m. BST/6 a.m.-11 a.m. EST

Sunday: Final horse inspection 9-10 a.m. BST/4-5 a.m. EST

First section of show jumping 10:30 a.m.-noon BST/5:30 a.m.-7 a.m. EST

Final show jumping and prize giving 3-5 p.m. BST/10 a.m.-noon EST

For viewers in the UK, cross country will also air live on BBC Red Button 11 a.m.-4 p.m. BST/6 a.m.-11 a.m. EST. Clare Balding, Ian Stark, Jonty Evans, Nick Luck and good friend of EN Nicole Brown will provide the commentary.

If you aren’t able to watch the action live, each ride from each phase will be available to view on demand at www.burghley.tv.

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Colleen Rutledge & Covert Rights Set New Record at Richland CIC3*

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Colleen Rutledge secured the best score of her FEI career today aboard her homebred Covert Rights to lead the Richland Park CIC3* on 33.3 at the conclusion of dressage at the popular summer destination horse trials in Michigan.

EN combined forces with EquiRatings to dig into the stats for Richland, which first started hosting a CIC3* and CIC2* in 2007. We are excited to confirm that Colleen and Covert Rights’ score of 33.3 sets a new record in the CIC3* at Richland, besting Becky Holder and Courageous Comet’s score of 35.9 from 2007.

“The funniest part is I watched the video of the test and thought, ‘Look at all these points I left! I was so pleased with him. He was really rideable and such a good boy. I didn’t ask for 100% of anything since it’s only his second show back, so I was playing with it,” Colleen said.

“He was really good about being with me and not losing his focus, so I was thrilled about that. Today he was quite quiet and really rideable, and it made me job easy. The exciting thing is there is more there and the chance of being in the 20s. He’s an engaged mover and so elastic. If I screw it up, it’s not his fault, it’s mine.”

“CR,” an 11-year-old Thoroughbred/Clydesdale gelding (BFF Incognito X Let’s Get It Right, by Covert Operation) has been on the comeback trail since injuries sidelined him during parts of the past two seasons following his stellar four-star debut in 2015, during which he secured top-25 finishes at Kentucky and Burghley.

“When you have a horse that gets a little bit hurt, it makes you so happy just to be sitting on them again. You enjoy every moment of every step that they take,” Colleen said. “I am so pleased to have him back with me. He’s a pleasure to ride every day, even when he’s trying to buck me off!”

As to whether Colleen will look to improve on CR’s previous best Richland CIC3* placing of fourth from 2013, she said the primary goal is to “jump all the things,” on both Ian Stark’s cross country course and Marc Donovan’s show jumping course.

“We already know he’s a fast horse. I’m not going to go out and chase the time. I’m going to go out and establish the rhythm,” Colleen said. “The goal is to then have a clear show jumping round on Sunday. He’s showing me that the work we did this past year is working, and now I just need to go out and ride him like I know I can.”

Colleen’s season-end goal with CR is the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3*, which they completed in 2014, with a longterm goal of crossing the pond to contest the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials next spring.

“There’s no point in putting him on a plane to take him anywhere right now, so we’ll stay home and run Fair Hill, which is more than adequate for him. We know the terrain will show us any holes in his training, and we will use what we learn to prep for the spring,” Colleen said.

“I want to go to Badminton in the spring because I think that is going to be a course that suits him. I love Rolex and I’m going to go back to Rolex, but I’ve got a horse right now that I think would suit Badminton across the board in all three phases. I want to go put him on that stage.”

Colleen and Covert Rights’ score of 33.3 is also the second best score across all FEI divisions in the history of Richland, topped only by Clayton Fredericks and FE Bowman, who still hold the record dressage score of 30.5, which they set in the CCI2* in 2015.

Only 11 combinations in Richland history have scored in the 30s in the FEI divisions, with five total in the CIC3*, and Katie Ruppel and Houdini had the honor of taking one of those spots today, scoring 39.4 to sit in second place.

“He was pretty wild this week,” Katie said after their test. “It’s his first show back from Kentucky, and it’s all brand new again, but he’s just the best boy and tries his guts out. He was able to channel all that energy into the right direction — half-passes and flying-changes.”

Michigan native Katie and Houdini, her own 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Hot Rock X Nancy’s Star, by Big Sal), won the inaugural Philippa Humphreys Advanced division last year, and Richland is an event near and dear to her heart.

It’s with that Area 8 love in mind that Katie and her parents, Chris and Patty, are sponsoring the new Richland Leg Up Award, which will be given to the lowest scoring Area 8 Young Rider in any Preliminary division at the event. The winner will receive $1,000 and one free week of training and accommodation with Katie at her base in Anthony, Florida.

“I was extremely fortunate to have a family and an eventing community in the midwest that supported me through my goal of Young Riders and far beyond,” Katie said. “Now it’s time to support the next generation of Area 8 Young Riders.”

Will Coleman and Tight Lines. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Looking to third place on the CIC3* leaderboard, new father Will Coleman piloted Tight Lines to a career best FEI score for the horse, slotting into third place on 40.2. Will and his wife, Katie, welcomed their first child, Charlotte, last week.

Tight Lines, a 10-year-old French Thoroughbred gelding owned by the Conair Syndicate and better known as “Phish” (Pur Sang X Turgeon, by Merindole), took the CIC3* win at Richland last year and made his four-star debut at Kentucky this spring.

“A big goal of mine and Katie’s is to make Phish’s dressage more consistent this year. We have been working extremely hard on his flatwork with my trainer Ali Brock, and I think we’ve now established a training regimen that will continue to improve our performance,” Will said. “I was happy to see that come to fruition today. Now we just have to keep at it, but it’s a step in the right direction for sure.”

Buck Davidson and Copper Beach. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Looking to the other Richland divisions, Buck Davidson and Carl Segal and Sherrie Martin’s Copper Beach lead the Advanced on 28.2. Megan Lynn and the Elevate Event Team’s The Natural E lead the CIC2* at the halfway point in the division on 41.6 in their two-star debut. Elisa Wallace and Steve and Vicki Sukup’s Riot Gear lead the CIC* in the horse’s first FEI competition on 40.1.

We are truly redefining the meaning of insanity in the middle at EN this week as our team works incredibly hard to bring you coverage from Richland, Millstreet and Blair Castle while we also gear up for Burghley and the American Eventing Championships next week.

Please bear with us as the chinchillas are working overtime! Stay tuned for much more from Richland, and many thanks to Shannon Brinkman Photography for supplying us with beautiful photos from the event. Go Eventing.

Richland Park: WebsiteScheduleRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s Coverage

Millstreet Day 1: Severson & Burnett in CIC3* Top 5, All Clear in CCI3* Inspection

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysiuex with Team Unicorn after passing the CCI3* first horse inspection at Millstreet today.

It’s been a busy day at Millstreet International Horse Trials in Ireland for our six strong North American contingent, with the CIC3* and CIC2* divisions starting dressage and the CCI first horse inspection taking place this afternoon.

First order of business: Sara Kozumplik Murphy and the Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate’s Rubens D’Ysieux and Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois, owned by Beth Lendrum, Cory Walkey and Elsbeth Battel, sailed through the trot up for the CCI3*.

Jennie and Stella Artois head down centerline for their dressage test at 1:42 p.m. IST/8:42 a.m. EST tomorrow, with Sara and Rubens D’Ysieux following at 2:32 p.m. EST/9:32 a.m. EST. There is no live stream, but the good news is there will be a live radio stream for cross country at this link. CCI3* live scoring is here and we will also tweet updates @eventingnation.com.

Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois at the first horse inspection.

Cooley Cross Border stayed in Ireland after Tattersalls in May to continue competing in his native country, while Kim Severson has been going back and forth to the U.S. to keep her other horses going stateside. She was back in the States this past weekend competing at Waredaca H.T. in Maryland, then got on a plane to fly right to back Ireland to compete “Cross” in the CIC3* at Millstreet.

Since Tattersalls, Kim and Cross, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Cross Syndicate (Diamond Roller X Who’s Diaz, by Osilvis), have been racking up top results in Ireland, winning the Advanced at Ballindenisk last month on 29.7, and placing fifth in the Camphire CIC3* at the end of July in their final prep run for Millstreet.

Kim and Cross scored 45.2 today to sit in third place in the CIC3* at the halfway point of dressage in the 53-horse division. “The trot work was very good,” Kim told EN. “He broke in the walk and was unsettled to the canter after the turn on the haunches, but I am still very happy with him.”

Hannah Sue Burnett has also spent an extended time overseas this summer, based at Maizey Manor in Wiltshire and competing all across Europe with her string of horses. This weekend she has four competing at Millstreet, with Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising X Shannon), sitting fourth in the CIC3* on 45.5.

“Harbour Pilot was great today. He hasn’t been out since Luhmühlen, so he was pretty happy to be at a party, but he kept it together like the seasoned pro that he is,” Hannah said. “I’m so excited to be at Millstreet for the first time! It’s a beautiful venue and everyone has been accommodating and very nice.”

Hannah is also sitting in the top five in the CIC2*, with Cooley Dream LLC’s Cooley Dream, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising X The Dreamseeker, by Ramiro B), scoring 45.5 to sit in fourth place after the first day of dressage. Cougar Bay, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Jacqueline Mars and Christa Schmidt, is 23rd in the CIC3* on 55.6.

“I have to give a huge thanks to my team, owners and sponsors — here and at home — for making my job so easy and enjoyable,” Hannah said. “This weekend my plan is to have a good preparation for Blenheim and upcoming CCIs on all my horses.”

Harbour Pilot is aiming for the Event Rider Masters finale at Blenheim, and Hannah is also one of the eight Americans who will be competing at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials next week, riding Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection.

Hannah has a second ride in this division in Jacqueline Mars’ RF Demeter, who will do her test at 10:39 a.m. IST/6:39 a.m. EST tomorrow. Busy lady!

Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee, her own 16-year-old Westphalian gelding, are the the sole combination at Millstreet representing Canada and scored 46.4 for seventh place in the CIC3*.

Our British-based American Katherine Coleman is still to come in the CIC3* with Back to Business II, and she is sitting in ninth in the CIC2* on 45.8 with Monte Classico, her own 8-year-old German gelding (Monte Bellini X W-Sally, by Saami xx).

EN does not have a reporter on the grounds at Millstreet this week, but our goal is to catch up with as many members of our North American contingent as we possibly can. (Please bear with us as we battle time zones and spotty cell reception. If you don’t see a quote from your favorite rider, please know the chinchillas are doing their very best to get in touch!)

For all of the Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift fans out there, you’ll be thrilled to know that “Art” is leading the CIC3* on 40.7 despite errors — just knocking the rust off before what is sure to be a thrilling performance at the Blenheim Palace CCI3* next month.

Be sure to follow Millstreet’s Facebook page for photos, and stay tuned for previews of Mike Etherington-Smith’s cross country courses. Ride times and live scoring for all divisions are at this link. Go Eventing.

Millstreet: WebsiteEntriesScheduleRide Times & Live ScoringXC Saturday RadioEN’s Coverage

Education by Osmosis: Time Abroad Pays Off for Andrew McConnon

Andrew McConnon competing at Wilton with Daddy’s Quest, an 8-year-old mare owned by Gillian Makey-Harfield. Photo by JP Event Photography Ltd.

Andrew McConnon has spent the past 18 months in England, leaving behind his business in Southern Pines, North Carolina to study under some of the best riders in the world. Basing with William Fox-Pitt in Dorset, Andrew has taken full advantage of the opportunity to absorb every ounce of knowledge he possibly can before he returns to the U.S. later this year.

“There has been no shortage of unique and exciting opportunities,” Andrew said of his time with Fox-Pitt Eventing. “The biggest one would be to watch and help William with Chilli Morning’s prep for the Rio Olympic Games last summer. Everything from daily handling and riding him while William was away at competitions, to helping Jackie Potts groom for him at events has been an experience in itself.”

Andrew has also worked with Tomatillo, a clone of William’s iconic partner Tamarillo. “From teaching him how to be handled through to backing him for the first time and on to confidently schooling, jumping and progressing this year has been exceptional,” Andrew said. “To be given the responsibility and trust of such an exciting and famous colt has been remarkable.”

Competing William’s horses has also been a key part of Andrew’s job. “Between the last two seasons, I’ve had the opportunity to compete six horses,” he said. “They’ve ranged from BE100 level to Intermediate level, including one aiming for an autumn CCI2*, and I am extremely grateful to both William and his owners for allowing me to ride and compete. They’ve been very generous.”

Over the winter, Andrew took the opportunity to work for William and Pippa Funnell while the Fox-Pitt horses enjoyed their winter holidays. William Funnell and Donal Barnwell’s joint venture, The Billy Stud, is dedicated to producing future generations of quality sport horses, and Andrew was able to work with the young horses from day one of their training.

“I have had the chance to see how more of the breeding and producing side of the industry works. I saw what it took to make a quality sport horse as well as what is required of them at each age. Working mainly with 4- and 5-year-olds during my time there was great because you could really see where they should be at those ages to succeed,” Andrew said.

“The U.S. is getting more involved with age classes, but there is a very strong emphasis on the age classes in Europe. It helps to make the pipeline very clear and to see how they stand up to others their age.”

Andrew McConnon competing at Wilton with Daddy’s Quest, an 8-year-old mare owned by Gillian Makey-Harfield. Photo by JP Event Photography Ltd.

Beyond age classes, Andrew observed several key differences between eventing in the U.S. versus the UK. The primary difference is the readily available amount of one-day recognized events that add a new level of convenience and exposure for both horse and rider, he said.

“I like this system for many different reasons. From a practical business standpoint, you don’t have to be away from home for two or three days, meaning less expenses on hotels, food and staff/farm care at home while away,” Andrewa said.

“I also believe it’s better for owners to be able to spectate. They dedicate one day to be able to see their horse compete start to finish, whereas a weekend is more difficult to take off. And I feel it’s easier on the horse to compete and be back at home as opposed to staying away for a day or two — they like their own beds as much as we do.”

His hard work in England has not gone unnoticed, and William said Andrew has been an asset to the Fox-Pitt Eventing team.

“Andrew has a wonderful way with young horses but has also been very effective at home schooling my top horses, such as Chilli Morning. He has grabbed and made the most of every opportunity available when competing. He has a great competition brain and in my opinion all the attributes to make a top international event rider and to fulfill his ambition of representing his country,” William said.

“He is a fantastic team player and a great guy to have around. I really hope he gets the support he deserves when he moves back home and builds a strong team of horses and owners. I wish him every success in the future and will always be available to support him in any way I can.”

As much as Andrew has enjoyed his time working with William and the Funnells, he plans to return to the U.S. at the end of this season to start up his business again.

“My immediate goal is to purchase and find members to syndicate an experienced event horse. I have the opportunity to have a horse with me for the remainder of the year here at William’s, and I want to take full advantage of that. I’ve made some great contacts and wish to invite owners to get behind both myself as well as some great horses with a goal of representing the USA in future international competitions,” Andrew said.

“It has been an invaluable experience to spend this time in the UK and especially to be based at William Fox-Pitt’s yard. I highly suggest that anyone who has the opportunity to work or ride in Europe to take it. It might seem challenging to leave what you know behind, but I promise it’s been absolutely worth it.”

Andrew is currently looking for a location to base his business when he returns in November. You can follow along with Andrew on the McConnon Eventing Facebook page as he wraps up his trip and returns home, at which time he will be accepting new clients.