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This year 4 of the 61 horses competing at the prestigious 4* event the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials were ex racehorses (who I introduced to you in a previous post) and there were at least another 2-3 purebred thoroughbreds, with Indy 500 being bred for racing, but never made it to the track. So it is fantastic to see ‘real’ thoroughbred blood being represented at Burghley this year.
Not only did 4 ex racehorses manage to reach Burghley this year, they all performed incredibly well. And I am really pleased to tell you just how well they did throughout the 3 (4) days.
Arctic Soul finished best out of the ex racehorses after the dressage phase. He performed a lovely test for Gemma Tattersall to give them a score of 43 and leaving them in 8th place after the dressage.
The next best horse was Donner, I loved his test with Lynn Symansky and they should be very pleased with their score of 45.5 to leave them sitting just outside the top 10 after the dressage in 11th place.
Steady Eddie and Boyd Martin were the first ex racehorse combination in the arena on the Friday. They scored a very respectable 48 to sit in joint 21st place heading into the cross country phase.
Finally we have Captain Jack and Savannah Fulton who rode a nice but low scoring test for their first Burghley, leaving them in 60th place with a big score of 68.9.
Things just got better during the cross country for the ex racehorse combinations. All 4 ex racehorses got around the tricky course with no jumping penalties to be included in the group of 30 clears. Throughout the course 15 combinations received jumping penalties, 11 were eliminated and 4 retired, including the great Michael Jung!
Captain Jack managed to move up 24 places to finish yesterday in 36th place after completing the course with 41.6 time penalties. Unfortunately, they withdrew before the final horse inspection this morning.
Steady Eddie finished just outside the time, receiving just 2 time penalties to sit in 9th place heading into the show jumping. Donner also managed to make the top 10 after the cross country, picking up 3.6 time penalties to finish just ahead of Steady Eddie in 8th.
As I mentioned in the last post, I love watching Arctic Soul across the country and he did not disappoint. Not only did he jump clear, but he also achieved just one of the three rounds within the optimum time, leaving him in 2nd place going into the show jumping!
The show jumping was incredibly influential in the final placings with just 5 horses jumping clear and with 19 horses receiving 8 or more jumping faults. Needless to say, the ex racehorses did not disappoint!
Steady Eddie had 2 poles down but finished within the time, leaving him with a finishing score of 58 and only dropping him down the one place to just stay in the top 10 in 10th place!
Donner had the one pole down and finished within the time to finish with a final score of 53.1. Despite having the pole down, she managed to sneak up the leader board to finish in an amazing 6th place!
Finally we come to Arctic Soul. Gemma Tattersall has been having a fantastic year with all her horses, winning the Event Masters and many thought that this would be her year to win Burghley 2017 and Arctic Soul gave her a fantastic chance for this. Unfortunately, this year was not their year. An unlucky pole down in the show jumping knocked them down one spot to finish with 47 penalties in 3rd place.
I think it is fantastic that 3 of the 4 ex racehorses not only managed to complete this top level event, but they also managed to place inside the top 10! They have all done extremely well and have truly shown how adaptable and successful ex racehorses can be.