An A-Z of The Burghley Horse Trials…
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials represents the most important event in Stamford’s calender, and a clarion call for anyone who loves the athleticism and challenges of world-class eventing. Here, we’re providing an A-Z of the event for both the seasoned visitor and the uninitiated alike…
A is for Area: The Burghley Estate spans 13,000 acres, 2,000 of which are in the estate itself, with the rest comprising tenanted farm estates. The Horse Trials itself takes up 530 acres, 20 acres of which is the central ‘village’ itself.
B is for Boodles:The luxury jewellery company is hosting Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials’s Business Brunch on Friday 6th September. See over the page for more details.
C is for Champagne:4,857 glasses of champers will be consumed during the event, with champagne house Pol Roger one of the event’s key sponsors.
D is for Dogs:Back for the second year running is the first Burghley dog agility course. It returns alongside a gundog display and parade of hounds in the main ring on Sunday.
E is for Equines:Over 340 horses compete in the event, all inspected by independent vets to confirm their fitness prior to the event.
F is for Five Star:Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is now classified by the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) as a five star event. It was awarded the status in January 2019 and is one of only six such fixtures in the world.
G is for Grand Slam:Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Rolex Kentucky and Badminton Horse Trials together make up the Rolex Grand Slam of eventing. Winning all three successively means a prize of £280,000 in addition to the individual fixtures’ prizes – £95,000 for Burghley; £100,000 for Badminton and £88,000 for Kentucky. A potential total prize of £563,000!
H is for History:The event came to Burghley in 1961 when its previous fixture, Harewood, was cancelled due to a suspected foot and mouth outbreak. The Marquess of Exeter invited the British Horse Society to use Burghley’s parkland instead.
I is for Ice Creams:Over 20,000 ice creams will be consumed during the event. We’ll have a Flake with ours, thanks!
J is for Jon Egging:Each year the Horse Trials nominates a charity. This year, it’s the Jon Egging Trust, founded in memory of Red Arrows pilot, Flt Lt Jon Egging, and helps young people overcome adversity through accredited learning programmes and access to inspirational role models and life-changing opportunities.
K is for Knowhow:If you’re a competitor, seeking some tips, we’d suggest a word with William Fox-Pitt, the Brit who remains Burghley’s most successful competitor. He’s won the title six times (1994, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011), so he should be best placed to offer some Burghley knowhow.
L is for Liz Inman:Liz Inman has, since 2005, served as Director of Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Each year she and the team of eight people move their entire operation from the office on the Burghley Estate into the Horse Trials ‘village’ itself – computers, desks, staff and all move to a temporary office in the thick of the action!
M is for Model:Representatives from Stamford Pride & Rutland Pride will take their place on the judging panel of The Face of Burghley. Our news section will explain what the judges are looking for!
N is for Numbers:The total prize fund for Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is £312,000. The event relies on 1,100 volunteers, 26 gallons of Pimm’s are consumed and TV crews rig up 25,000m of cabling to broadcast the event.
O is for Obstacles:There are a total of 30 obstacles on the cross country course which is, itself, around 6,500m long, snaking through the Burghley estate’s parkland.
P is for Pony:New to the event this year is the Shetland Pony Grand National in the main arena, the finals of which are held on Saturday just before the Cross Country element begins.
Q is for Queues:With over 167,500 attending last year, we strongly advise beating the queues and booking tickets online in advance. Four day admission is £64/person.
R is for Range Rover:The title sponsor of the event is Land Rover. Their current model lineup includes the stylish Range Rover Evoque, Velar, Sport and Vogue. Land Rover will also be displaying its Discovery Sport and Discovery models. The firm supplies 50 vehicles both for use as courtesy vehicles and to be placed around the cross country course.
S is for Stamford:The town of Stamford benefits from the Horse Trials to the tune of £20m a year, with restaurants, hotels and shops in the town enjoying a surge in business during the event.
T is for Three Disciplines:The Dressage phase of the Three Day Event tests the basic training of the horse, which helps the horse to develop an improved posture for carrying a rider and increases his obedience and calmness. The most popular and the most demanding of the three disciplines is the four miles of Cross Country course and more than 30 fences, visitors can get close to the action on the Saturday. And finally, held on the Sunday of the Event, Burghley’s showjumping course is designed by Richard Jeffery.
U is for Umbrellas:Naturally we’re all hoping for good weather during the event, if nothing else for the safety of the horses on wet ground. However, nature doesn’t always play ball so break out your most seasoned boots from Dubarry, pack an umbrella and dress for the weather we’ll get… not the weather we want!
V is for Visitors:Being both a world class sporting fixture and a fixture for those who love horses as well as an ersatz county show for locals, it’s little surprise that Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials attracted no fewer than 167,500 people last year. Last year’s event review revealed that 75% of attendees are female; 25% are male. A quarter of visitors are between 45 and 54, and almost half of attendees earn more than £60,000. Nearly 40% travel for more than two hours to attend the event.
W is for Website:2019 saw the launch of a brand new website for the event. As part of its on-site infrastructure, the team has to ensure a superfast internet connection, especially for the media, who broadcast live from the event. The competition’s new website ensures speedy access to competition results and placings, and hosts the event’s own radio station.
X is for X-hibitors:Believe it or not, some visitors attend the Horse Trials with the intention of not looking at a single horse. That’s because the event’s 600 exhibitors are hand-picked to include brands like Fairfax & Favor, Dubarry, Joules, Boodles, Pol Roger and Musto plus local businesses such as The George of Stamford, Duncan & Toplis and Warner’s Gin.
Y is for Years:The event has been running since 1961, and with Liz Inman leading a team of eight since 2005, the team reckon they have a collective 120 years of service.
Z is for Zara:In 2011 HRH The Princess Royal presented the prizes, but in 1971 she competed as the young Princess Anne. Captain Mark Phillips also has a longstanding association with the event, winning Burghley in 1973 and subsequently becoming Course Designer. Their daughter Zara Phillips is the only child of two former winners to compete at the Event. In 2017 HRH The Countess of Wessex visited Burghley on the Sunday of the Event to present the winner with the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge Trophy.
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials takes place from 5th to 8th September. See burghley-horse.co.uk or call 0121 796 6079.