Andrew said that when he walked the SJ course he thought it was fair, with the oxers higher and wider than usual.
Asked about whether he was disappointed at coming second on Avebury after winning last year, he replied that he is pleased at the consistency his horses are showing at the top, with Nereo coming 3rd at both Badminton and now Burghley, and Avebury’s results. Also that he’s a bit worried as Mr Smiffy won Burghley and then was 2nd the next year, so this seems to be a pattern!
Asked about how Jock Paget had ridden when he came to Andrew in 2009, Andrew replied straight-faced “He rode like a monkey up a pole”, before admitting that he had in fact been very very talented, with lots of natural ability, and was always very eager to learn, watching as many top riders as he could.
Asked about the effect of the HSBC FEI Classics, which he had just won, netting a $150,000 prize, Andrew said that it has made him more strategic about which horses to take where, which courses will suit which of his horses.
Jock said that he “always” feels nerves, but that with 2 fences in hand there was “no need to panic.” He has altered aspects of his show-jumping after his time training with Michael Jung, giving the horse a bit more room in front of the fence.
Regarding Kentucky and the Rolex Grand Slam, he said that he will “make a plan”…”pick a couple of good horses”, and “go out there to win it.” Apparently it really is that simple. After his two victories at 4* in England this year, perhaps it is! Unfortunately rumour has it that Clifton Lush has broken down; I sincerely hope this proves not to be the case. A quick check of FEI rules proves that riders are NOT limited to a number of rides at a CCI, it is at the Organisers’ discretion, so he could take multiple rides, if he has them.
The indefatigable Liz Inman, the Burghley Event Director, described Burghley as an “epic event”, with record crowds, yesterday’s definitely bigger than last year’s Saturday crowds. Another fantastic Burghley is over, I can hardly believe it, it really has been, undoubtedly, ‘epic’!