I spent a good part of today glued to my computer as I watched the XC phase of Burghley. It’s a tough course — in fact, if you haven’t already watched it, after you’ve seen a few of the rounds make time to watch the course walk with Captain Mark Phillips. You don’t really get a sense for the massive scale of these fences until you see a person standing there in front of them. Or in some cases, in the middle of them. Those fences are wicked scary.
American Sinead Halpin and Manoir De Carneville (now in first place) was one of only four riders were to jump clear rounds within the time. The other riders/horses to complete double clear were Andrew Nicholson on Calico Joe, Mark Todd on Major Milestone and Oliver Townend on Armada. 9 riders were eliminated, 16 retired and a further 9 riders completed with a stop. 47 horses jumped clear but with time faults.
There were a few really scary falls — two in particular at the largest fence on the course, Cottesmore Leap. Samantha Penn and Seven O Seven and Clayton Fredericks on Walterstown Don both misjudged that fence and were both riders and horses were lucky to walk away uninjured. It was very touching that Sam’s first words after she got to her feet were “Where is he?!” as she looked for her horse; Clayton looked like he had the stuffing knocked out of him and was unsteady on his feet.
Will Faudree on Andromaque had a nasty fall at the steps (you really can fathom how big they are until you see Phillips standing at the base of them), but they too were okay.
Jonathan Paget gets the “Best Recovery” award for managing to stay on Clifton Lush after this near fall, finishing with just two time faults. He is now in sixth place.
Sadly, one horse, Heartbreak Hill, suffered a fractured leg while galloping in between fences and was put down.
For an excellent summary of the day along with rider interviews, I suggest visiting Eventing Nation.
Standings going into show jumping are:
1st: Sinead Halpin
on Manoir De Carneville
2nd: Andrew Nicholson on Avebury
3rd: William Fox-Pitt on Parklane Hawk
4th: Oliver Townend on Armada
5th: Sam Griff9ths on Happy Times
6th: Jonathan Paget on Clifton Lush
7th: Alison Sprenger on Arthur
8th: Andrew Nicholson on Calico Joe.
Show jumping is tomorrow!