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Burghley course walk, Blenheim and the rest of the Season

07-September-2016 13:36
in General
by Admin

We have all just watched a fascinating Burghley last weekend which was very exciting.  It was a great win for Chris Burton, although I wonder if he is the first person to have won with four down?!


It was very interesting watching the course being ridden, having walked it a few weeks ago.  I felt it walked as one of the most straight forward Burghley courses I have seen, but it certainly did cause some trouble.  We know that there was a slightly weaker field than normal and that there were more first timers there than ever before. But it was interesting to see so many uncharacteristic mistakes.  Jonelle got the closest even with the long route, which makes you wonder how many were really having a cut at it.  Lots of people unpredictably were forced into going the odd long route, as was Tina Cook slipping at the Trout Hatchery, and they were undoubtedly slowed down by it.


It was also very interesting to see how tight the time was over a course which was basically identical to last year.  The time allowed last year was 4 seconds longer, and there were 5 inside it.  This year there were none and the ground, although it was raining, would not have been any way affected by the wet.


As always Burghley is a tough course with the terrain and Mark Phillips certainly got the level of technicality right.  Trouble was everywhere and there was even the odd example of a rider being simply jumped off.   As I predicted the most influential fences were the Dairy Mound, although I was very surprised at how many made mistakes at the straight forward first corner.  The other fence of influence was the Trout Hatchery, where several people had unlucky falls or a glance off.  I was very sorry for Pippa Funnel here as she had been going brilliantly and she was tipped off just because the horse tripped.  I had wondered if any would jump into the water the slow way and then turn left over the corner, but interestingly none attempted that.  


From there we now go to Blenheim where I am sadly not riding, and excitingly it is the ERM final so the entry quality is fantastic.  This time it is my wife Alice’s turn to work harder as she is helping ERM with commentary.


Sadly Oslo wasn’t at his best so I have decided not to bring him out again.  So that leaves my last main target as Lion d’Angers for the 7YO final with Little Fire which is very exciting.  It will be a great test for him but I am not looking forward to a return visit to Le Lion and dealing with the whole hype of my 2015 fall.





© 2013 William Fox-Pitt. Photos copyright of William Murray in partnership with Fox-Pitt Eventing. With contributions from Kit Houghton, Fiona Scott-Maxwell, Julia Shearwood, Gavin Hudspith, Ian Loveland & Adam Fanthorpe.

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