This morning’s final horse inspection at the Burnham Market International CCI4*-L, which serves as a replacement for Blenheim’s cancelled autumn fixture, dawned bright, crisp, and wholly uneventful as 62 horses were presented to the assembled ground jury of Judy Hancock, Christina Klingspoer, and Tracey Trotter.
We wrote in depth about the changing opinion of the cross-country course here yesterday: though the ground had walked as being almost unforgivingly firm on Friday, considerable efforts made by Alec Lochore and his team yielded a much more welcoming result for the weekend’s competition. The final reckoning always comes on Sunday morning, when the withdrawal list can be scanned for overnight scratches and the condition of the remaining horses can be closely scrutinised at the second horse inspection. This morning proved that the credit given to the team here yesterday was well-founded, when just two horses didn’t present: Jessica Watts‘s Sportsfield Adventure and Lucinda Atkinson‘s Spring Revolution.
Those who did present demonstrated a unified front of sound, fresh-looking horses, showing none of the hallmarks of having struggled with the ground the day prior. Just one horse was held — Louise Harwood‘s Balladeer Miller Man, who was passed upon reinspection — and the 62-strong field will now look ahead to this afternoon’s showjumping phase, which will see them face a big, square Sue Peasley track in the main arena. Showjumping will begin at 1.30 p.m. local time (8.30 a.m. Eastern) and can be followed on Horse&CountryTV’s live-streaming service. In the meantime, the CCI4*-S class will head into cross-country from 10.00 a.m. local/5.00 a.m. Eastern, with this phase also broadcast by H&C.
Here’s a refresher of the top ten in each class:
CCI4*-L top ten:
CCI4*-S top ten, to be split into an open section and an eight- and nine-year-old section: