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 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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