Eventing: Tim Price eyes Burghley crown
New Zealand’s highest-ranked eventer, Tim Price, has his sights on claiming the crown at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (August 30-September 2).
Last year, Tim Price, who lives in Marlborough,was the best of the Kiwis at Burghley with his fifth place aboard Ringwood Sky Boy. He has been in the top five there for the past three years and is in New Zealand's team for September's World Equestrian Games (WEG) in North Carolina.
This year he’s picking the 15-year-old bay as the favoured of his two entered mounts - purely on his experience at top level: “Both Ringwood Sky Boy and Bango are in really good form coming into this event this time. Both are fantastic with a lot of talent and ability and I am slowly learning how to get the best out of them in all three phases."
"The endeavour is to produce solid performances...and be first and second.”
There are 10 Kiwi combinations lining up to do battle against the very best at the CCI4* event – one of just six 4* competitions in the world.
The timing is a little tricky, just a week out from when the New Zealand eventing team flies to the United States to compete at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, but Price says it is the nature of their jobs: “I feel going and having a couple of good runs at Burghley will only set me up further for WEG.” he says.
Five-time Burghley winner Sir Mark Todd (based at Badgerstown) is entered with 16-year-old NZB Campino and 11-year-old Kiltubrid Rhapsody, who was sixth this year at Badminton in his first 4* start.
Lockeridge-based Andrew Nicholson is entered 12-year-old Teseo, 11-year-old Jet Set and 10-year-old Swallow Springs. All three are green at this top level, but the same can’t be said for the rider who was eighth last year with Nereo.
Andrew Nicholson has also won the Burghley crown five times and with 34 completions to his name and has a record-breaking 15 podium finishes. Aboard the popular Avebury he made more history as the only combination to have won Burghley three consecutive years.
Entries have come from across the globe for this year’s Burghley including six previous winners all vying for a slice of the £300,000 prize purse, with £95,000 to the winner.
Captain Mark Phillips has been the Burghley cross country course designer since 2005. A previous winner, this year he is promising “a real championship course”: “Riders will need to take care of their horses and ride by the seat of their pants as there is so much new this time. The winner will be a Burghley champion in the truest sense.”