Hannah Sue Burnett & Harbour Pilot, in 7th place overnight. Photo courtesy of Serge Ferragut.
The day of cross country was one of mixed results for the small group of mighty Americans here at Burghley, with disappointment, elation, and everything in between. We go into show jumping tomorrow with Hannah in seventh place, Allison in 20th place, and Marilyn in 24th place.
Hannah was the last U.S. rider to run the course today, and she noted that she was more nervous for this course than she has ever been before, and was completely enthralled to have come through the finish line safely.
“It feels amazing, I’ve been so nervous this week. It was good to go through those fears and conquer it, and my horse was just so good”. Hannah spoke to us in a post cross country interview, after she had hugged everyone several times.
“It rode extremely fast, I felt like I didn’t have any time in my mind to in my mind slow down, like I was rushing the whole time. He was jumping fantastically, jumping bigger than I expected. I couldn’t be more happy with him!”
Allison Springer & Arthur through Discovery Valley. Photo by Kate Samuels.
Allison Springer was the only American rider with previous Burghley experience, and although Arthur looked fantastic all the way around, they suffered a small blip at the B element of the Rolex combination, with a run-out to the right of the corner.
“I really went out, this is a big opportunity to do well, and time was very hard to make, so I really set out strong. He felt super through all that first stuff, and we were close to our minutes”.
“Unfortunately though, my line just wasn’t right over the Vicarage Vee and it just felt like two-and-a-half. It’s just very disappointing because he’s jumping so well and galloped great, and I think he finished really well”.
Marilyn Little & RF Demeter over the first hurdle. Photo by Kate Samuels.
Marilyn Little was the third rider to go out for the U.S. riders, and she had a good round with RF Demeter to complete their first Burghley cross country course. Demi was certainly a little spooky out there, but Marilyn rode in a very determined way and got the job done.
“It was really hard! It was a lot of fun, it was really a thrill to be riding around out there. The legends are true, it’s just as hard as they say. It just keeps coming at you, and unlike a lot of courses it just doesn’t feel like there are any let up fences, so it’s big and it’s hard, but things just keep coming.”
“I’m so lucky with Demi, she’s just got an amazing heart, and she fought the whole way home.”
However, Marilyn was assessed 21 penalties for breaking the frangible pin at the Maltings, when Demi just put her hind legs down over the corner. David came over during our interview, and assured us that they would be arguing against the penalties, because he did not believe it was Marilyn’s fault. At the end of the day, unfortunately, the judges ultimately decided that the penalties should stay, and they finish the day in 24th place.
Meghan O’Donoghue & Pirate through the Hurdles. Photo by Kate Samuels.
Unfortunately for Meghan O’Donoghue and her wonderful Thoroughbred Pirate, things went awry at the Maltings as well. It seems that Meghan and Pirate arrived at that massive airy corner on a bit of a half stride and couldn’t quite make it. They had a bit of a scary fall, and Pirate ran off afterwards. However, we’ve received word from their camp that both of them are fine and well, but very disappointed and a little shocked.
The second horse inspection is at 9 a.m. BST tomorrow morning (4 a.m. EST), where we hope that all the horses show up sound and ready to go! Please enjoy the interviews and photo gallery in the meantime.