Unsurprisingly, my money is on the back end of the field. Although I don't think I'll be taking too much of a break in the middle of the day as there will be some very interesting combinations going through, some of whom have travelled the furtherest to be here. The witty and amusing Australian, Hamish Cargill, will be on course mid afternoon, and this fiery little brown horse has flown all the way from Australian, via Kentucky, and a number of other obscure locations to be here (Anchorage?, was that really necessary!).
|Hawley | Focussed|
Of the British rising stars, I do hope Laura Collett has a good Burghley, to make up for her disappointment at Luhmuhlen last weekend, and I'm sure there's a Chinchilla stroking blogger on the east coast of the states who'll be cheering her on too! Personally I'll be watching Kitty King on High Havoc, as this is a horse I have some interest in, and I'm keen to follow his progress up the grades.
|Calma Schelly | Withdrawn|
This does still leave the Germans with 2 runners in the line line up, Simone Deitermann on Free Easy, and Anna Warnecke on Twinkle Bee, both with some mixed form at this level.
Some at Badminton often lament the lack of varied terrain that Burghley enjoys, although that track produces some of the most challenging fences for a horse, like the skinny angled rails over the vicarage vee. Burghley this year, from the little I've seen, has surpassed all previous years in building something, a little scary, and full on. Mark Phillips has fully exploited the rules in relation to maximum width and height of fences, and been very canny in his use of almost unnoticeable undulation, and the use of colour and contrast, all of which gives the rider and horse a significant challenge in reading the each fence just right. More of a challenge than the physical ability to actually jump the fence.
Fences in Picture Jump By Jump
More than ever I really think this promises to be the best Burghley for 50 years, and a golden year to be based in the UK. The action starts today so get here if you can......