The two days of dressage are over at Burghley and largely thanks to the new scoring system, the leaderboard is really close! There were so many lovely tests with very few tantrums or major spooks. So let’s quickly run through the leaders and where my favourites are currently sitting after day two of Burghley dressage.
The Top 10
- Mark Todd & Kiltubrid Rhapsody = 26.4
- Tim Price & Ringwood Sky Boy = 27.0
- Oliver Townend & MHS King Joules = 27.2
- Sarah Bullimore & Reve Du Rouet = 27.3
- Oliver Townend & Ballaghmour Class = 27.8
- Andreas Dibowski & FRH Butts Avedon = 28.5
- Oliver Townend & Cooley SRS = 29.4
- Harry Meade & Away Cruising = 29.5
- Piggy French & Vanir Kamira = 29.9
- Georgie Spence & Wii Limbo* / Bill Levett & Improvise = 30.4
*denotes error on the course.
Ben Way & Galley Light
Galley Light did a really gorgeous dressage test. He isn’t the flashiest mover, but everything he did was very correct and he came across as really relaxed throughout the test. They scored a very respectable 35.4 leaving them 42nd place going into the cross country, where hopefully they will creep up the places.
Listening to the Badminton radio, the commentators were very complimentary about how correct the test was. One of the commentators even said that he was disappointed in the mark they received for their test. It was lovely to hear them discuss how you can’t beat a good thoroughbred walk because of how well they swing through their back.
I took this as a perfect opportunity to ask them a question about ex racehorses in pure dressage and if you could see more of them competing at higher levels. Their answer was along the lines of it is less about what the horse has done in the past and more about the horse’s natural athletic ability. Some racehorses will be naturally well put together for dressage and others will not. (They answered it towards the end of Dressage Section 3 on Friday on the live stream if you want to hear the entire answer!)
@BHTrialsRadio Galley Light is an ex racehorse and you see a lot of ex racehorses eventing at this level. They are becoming more popular throughout the industry now too. Could you see ex racehorses becoming more popular at higher levels of pure dressage?
— EquiPepper (@TheRubyPepper) August 31, 2018
Team New Zealand
I have always been a huge Team NZ fan. This is possibly because my dad is from New Zealand and I like to support them. However, there are also so many truly legendary riders in the New Zealand team that I feel like you can’t help but love them!
Firstly let’s talk about Sir Mark Todd. His first ride was the second into the arena yesterday, NZB Campino. This little horse did a gorgeous test, possibly the best I have ever seen him do. However, Toddy made 2 errors during the test! He missed out a canter circle and then halted at the end in slightly the wrong place! Despite this, they finished with the very respectable score of 30.8 leaving them in 12th place.
Toddy’s second ride of the competition, Kiltubrid Rhapsody, the beautiful grey who came 6th at Badminton this year rode his test this afternoon. Their test was absolutely stunning and it was a true reflection of what an amazing horseman Todd is. I do feel that the judges were maybe a tad stingy with the marks today compared to yesterday but this didn’t stop them scoring a fantastic 26.4! This leaves them in 1st place heading into the cross country.
Tim Price, another of my top favourites, also had success on his two rides. Bango was the first of his rides, doing a nice test Thursday morning leaving them with a score of 32.1 in joint 16th place. His second ride, and one of my favourite horses, Ringwood Sky Boy finished his test this afternoon. As usual, his test wasn’t flashy but extremely consistent! They scored a fantastic 27.0 and currently sit in 2nd place.
Another Kiwi legend, Andrew Nicholson also had 2 rides over the two days. I’ve not seen either of these two horses before, but Jet Set IV kicked it off for him on Thursday morning, doing a nice little test and scoring 33.8, putting them into 29th place before the cross country. His second horse, Swallow Springs was one of the last to go today. There were a few tiny mistakes but overall it was a nice test and they finished on 32.1 in joint 16th place.
The final Kiwi rider I am following at Burghley this year is Ginny Thompson. She is a fairly new rider to the scene and she has now started training with Blyth Tait, so is certainly worth keeping an eye on her. This was her first ever Burghley and she did a really nice test with Star Nouveau scoring 36.5.
The other combinations I am following all happen to be British! (Possibly because some of my favourite horses from other nations were withdrawn.) But let’s start with a childhood favourite, Pippa Funnell!
I grew up playing the Pippa Funnell games and since then I have always had a bit of a soft spot for her. Today she was riding Majas Hope and despite his obvious tension, his test was really nice to watch. They scored 35.2 leaving them in joint 40th place going into the cross country.
The second rider I want to talk about is Alex Bragg. Now I first discovered Alex when I was working for a farrier retailer and have always followed him since. I love how he is a qualified farrier and only took up eventing when his wife was pregnant with their children. I also really love his horse Zagreb. He can do a really fantastic dressage test and he didn’t disappoint today scoring a fantastic 31.0. I’m yet to see this combination complete a 4* when I have been there watching. So fingers crossed they manage it this week!
Finally we have Mr Potts! This gorgeous horse just looks so full of character. But a nice character. I have a real soft spot for him and love seeing him do well. Ridden by Louise Harwood, they rode a correct test yesterday to score 38.9, putting them in 61st place.
I can’t wait for the cross country to start tomorrow and I really pleased to be attending as press! Keep your eyes peeled on our social media as I will be trying to update you throughout the day.