NEWS > Eventing
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 06/09/2013.

Tapner leads Australian assault at Burghley

Sam Griffiths and Happy Times at the 2012 Burghley CCI4* 
Photograph:Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials/Kit Houghton

Paul Tapner and Kilronan are the best placed Australian combination following the first day of dressage at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. The combination is currently sitting in sixth position after Tapner's mount produced a personal best score of 47.5.

“He really tried and stayed relaxed, all very happy in the Team Tapner camp,” Paul said.

The other Australian combination to draw a start on the first day of dressage, Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh, are sitting just outside the top ten in 11th position after they scored a 49.0. Griffiths is pleased with his young mount’s performance.

“We are thrilled with Brocks scoring a 49 this morning and going within the first few tests, a few minor blips but what a performance for a 10 year old at her 2nd 4*,” Sam said.

Griffiths will pair with his London Olympic mount Happy Times on day two of dressage and Kevin McNab with Clifton Pinot.

Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and FRH Butts Abraxxas currently hold the lead. Read the full FEI report HERE

Results can be viewed HERE


Australian Riders Brace for Burghley

There are four Australian horse and rider combinations among the 67 strong line-up at this year's Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials which begins later today.

Sam Griffiths is doubling his chances with two entries, his London Olympic mount Happy Times and what will be one of only three mares in the field, Paulank Brockagh.

2010 Badminton Champion Paul Tapner is lining up with his elite squad horse Kilronan, while Kevin McNab will pair withClifton Pinot, the horse which he placed 5th with at Luhmuhlen CCI4* earlier this year.

In 2009 Griffiths placed third at Burghley and he's excited to be back at the historic event.

“It’s a thrill to be back at Land Rover Burghley, It’s the event all riders aspire to win.

“The track is a serious 4* and I’m looking forward to seeing what my two make of it.”

World number one Andrew Nicholson (NZL) will be the rider in the spotlight in what will be the last leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013 series.

The runaway leader of the current series followed victory at Burghley 2012 with a remarkable run of three more CCI4* wins (at Pau, Kentucky and Luhmühlen), and few would bet against this superb horseman extending his winning run to include a fourth trophy at the beautiful Lincolnshire venue.

Nicholson, also the leader of the HSBC Rider Rankings, is the only competitor with three rides: he has last year’s winner, the attractive grey Avebury, plus Pau winner Nereo and the racing-bred Irish Thoroughbred Calico Joe, a strong galloping horse with good CCI4* form.

His perennial rival William Fox-Pitt (GBR), second on the HSBC FEI Classics™ leader board and also lying second in the HSBC Rankings, has two chances to extend his remarkable Burghley record to a historic seventh win. Fresh from his individual bronze medal success at the HSBC FEI European Championships in Malmö (SWE), he rides the 2011 winner Parklane Hawk, a quality New Zealand Thoroughbred, and the classy Selle Francais Neuf des Coeurs.

There’s more to this fascinating competition than the old Nicholson/Fox-Pitt rivalry, however. At Badminton in May, both riders were quietly trumped by Jock Paget (NZL), who is breathing down Fox-Pitt’s neck in third place on the HSBC FEI Classics™ leader board. The stylish Kiwi brings his two best horses, Badminton winner Clifton Promise plus the equally talented Clifton Lush, and he could easily join the elite band of riders who have won both of Britain’s CCI4*s in the same 12 months.

Much interest will surround the Burghley début of Ingrid Klimke (GER), the newly crowned European team gold and individual silver medallist. She rides the 16-year-old FRH Butts Abraxxas, her partner in the last six team championships, and if they can show improved form in the final Jumping phase, they could take the top prize.

Burghley’s undulating parkland always offers a true Cross Country challenge, but this year Course Designer Captain Mark Phillips has kept everyone guessing as he has re-routed the track. It starts in the opposite direction to last year, which means the arena fences, including Lord Burghley’s Hurdles, come early; the influential Discovery Valley (fence 5) asks a completely different question, and the famous drop at the Classics Leaf Pit is at fence 7.

Results from the event will be available across the weekend at

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