Burghley is always a tough event and this year the fences were enormous. To finish in the top 10 on a regular basis would be a triumph of skill, luck and the ability to find and develop amazingly talented horses. To win Burghley six times is hard to imagine but that’s exactly what William Fox-Pitt was able to do. He is only the second person to win Burghley six times on six different horses; Lucinda Green was the first.
Fox-Pitt won his sixth Burghley riding Parklane Hawk, an 11-year-old New Zealand TB that he has been riding for only 18 months. His prior Burghley winners are: Chaka (1994), Highland Lad (2002), Ballincoola (2005), Parkmore Ed (2007), and Tamarillo (2008).
Fox-Pitt’s win came on tough conditions: the heavy rains made the footing slick and several horses had rails down — including Andrew Nicholson’s Avebury who came into stadium in second place but dropped three rails.
Nicholson still came in second, but on his other horse Nereo who moved up from fifth place with a clear round.
Mary King took third place on King’s Temptress.
Altogether it was a good year for Burghley’s 50th anniversary. Fifty-four horses finished the competition, 13 with penalty-free jumping rounds and five with time penalties.