The draw order for the 2017 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials has been posted. Great Britain’s Kristina Cook will be first down the centerline with Star Witness. The 12-year-old Irish gelding is contesting his fourth CCI4* and looking to continue his streak of top 10 finishes.
In a field of 80 confirmed entries, we won’t see an American hit the sandbox until more than a third of the way through, but then the way it works out, those of us secretly tuning in to watch Burghley at work will be able to see multiple U.S. pairs in short chunks of time.
Hannah Sue Burnett and Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection drew number 31 and will be the first pair from the USA to go. Hannah Sue and the 13-year-old Holsteiner mare finished fifth at Kentucky this past April.
Andrea Baxter and her 12-year-old Thoroughbred mare Indy 500 are making the long trek from California to contest their second CCI4*. They have drawn number 38. Right after them will be another West Coast Wonder, Mackenna Shea and Landioso with be riding as number 39. Mackenna and her 15-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding have spent the summer training and competing in Great Britain.
In slot 44 is Savannah Fulton and Captain Jack making their overseas debut at the Burghley Horse Trials. Savannah and the Full Moon Farm Syndicate’s 14-year-old Thoroughbred finished 35th at their first four-star at Kentucky in April.
Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie, owned by Pierre Colin, Denise Lahey and George and Gretchen Wintersteen, are the next for the U.S. with number 52. They are followed closely by Lauren Kieffer and Team Rebecca LLC’s very experienced Veronica with number 54.
Lynn Symansky and her long time partner Donner, owned by the Donner Syndicate, drew number 59, and the final pair for the U.S. will be Lillian Heard and her own LCC Barnaby in slot 77.
This year’s Burghley entries represent nine different nations and have a star-studded list of horses and riders including a number of former winners including current world number 1 Michael Jung, Oliver Townend and Andrew Hoy. In addition, there will be 17 Burghley first-timers competing alongside the world’s best riders.
Andrew Nicholson is entered on three horses: Nereo, Qwanza and Teseo. Andrew won Badminton this spring with Nereo and the same pair finished second at Burghley last year. If they can improve on that performance and secure a victory at Burghley they will be 2/3 of the way to winning the coveted Rolex Grand Slam.
Land Rover Burghley Event Director, Elizabeth Inman said: “The standard of entries is as high as ever this year and we look forward to welcoming some if not all of the European Eventing Championship medalists to Lincolnshire this autumn.
“As always Mark Phillips’ cross country course will provide riders and horses with a true four-star challenge and we’ll see talented young riders such as Lissa Green, Harry Dzenis and Georgie Spence pitted against established campaigners including Oliver Townend and Michael Jung. With Andrew Nicholson focusing on his quest for the elusive Rolex Grand Slam, there is all to play for.”