The top 3 riders after XC, Captain Mark Phillips and Event Director Elizabeth Inman were present.
Did your experience earlier in the day on your first horse change any of your plans for your second horse?
OT: “No, but it filled me with confidence that the plan A was the good plan. Obviously the first ride I went straight at the Trout Hatchery which felt very good. With this one I went the long route, as I’d seen Gemma and Izzy do the same and be inside the time, and I knew I wouldn’t be obviously as quick as Arctic Soul or Trevidden but I thought, you know, at that stage he’ll probably be huffing and puffing a bit, it’s the furthest he’s been, he’s not seen the people before, he’s not jumped fences that big before, so try and give him a breather and if he’s clear to that point just be as quick as I can home.”
A little bit about his background from 2012?
OT: “Yeah, I think we had him from 4 coming 5 years old, he was very sharp as a young horse, which is why originally he wasn’t sold away. He used to bolt a little bit, we’ve all had a turn at falling off him at home, the last time one being two weeks ago. You know, he’s always been tricky in the character but at the same time when you’ve asked him to do his job he’s very very beautiful at doing his job, he’s very nice to ride, so, you know, I’ve become very fond of him, cos if I wasn’t fond of him he’d have been got rid of one way or the other because he was fairly wild as a young one in terms of a bit dangerous probably…
Well, we just all fell off him too often. You know, he’s run out of the school without jumping out, he’s run through the rails, he’s run through a mirror, he’s done lots of things that he shouldn’t have in his life but.. so have I.”
Moving swiftly on.
To Gemma: It really did physically seem to take it out of you, that round. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Gemma Tattersall: “I’ve had a stinking cold all week, it’s quite on my chest, and Arctic Soul was quite feisty today and quite strong, and at the end I certainly felt it.”
And did you remain with the strategy you set out on? Did you ride all the routes you intended?
GT: “Umm, originally I was going to go straight at the Trout Hatchery, but when I cam down the hill towards it I was a good ten seconds up on my clock and I felt not physically strong enough to turn him in the water because I knew that he was going to fly in over that log, so I made the decision then that I was going to go long.”
GT: “He felt as feisty as he always does, he felt as feisty as he did at Badminton this year, but perhaps not as much as he has been in the past. He certainly wants to get on with the job.”
To Izzy: Do you realise that your great-aunt, Anneli Drummond-Hay, won the first Burghley? And so you are now in third place, that was a fantastic XC round, do you think that’s the round that’s going to be your year?
Izzy: “he was fantastic across the country, he gave me a great spin. Do I think it could be my year? Well, we’re in September now, so it’s a bit of a short year. But I was really pleased with him today.”
Was there a time where you had to change your mind very quickly when you were on the course?
IT: “The Trout Hatchery I originally hoped to go straight, I got a bad shot in so the decision was made in the water to take the long route out, otherwise we kind of stuck to plan A. He was green in places and I had to help him, and then I made the odd mistake and he helped me, but I was really pleased with him overall.”
And a British Bred horse I believe?
IT: “Yes, bred by Vin Jones of Preci-Spark so very exciting on that front as well.”
Questions for Captain Mark Phillipps, Course Designer.
How do your feel your course rode today?
CMP: “We knew it was big beforehand, luckily we had perfect conditions. Interesting to see we had 29 clear rounds, well if you get 50%… if my daughter Zara hadn’t fallen off I would have had my 50%. So you get clear rounds, 3 inside the time, it was a real cross country day. I think the big surprise was Andrew Nicholson early on, he had a horrible fall when he took a stride out in Storm Doris, to see Michael Jung glancing off and retiring, Toddy was up on the clock when they had a bit of a miscommunication coming into Discovery Valley.
So I think the course rode very much as we were expecting. It was very much a course where if you didn’t get the shot you wanted you had to change your mind, and the girls did that and all credit to them, it’s great to see 6 Brits in the top 10, we haven’t seen that in a long time, I don’t know whether it’s Chris Bartle’s influence or whether everyone just got inspired by last week but that’s great to see, and I’m pleased because I got two of my US team people, Lynn Symansky and Boyd Martin, in the top 10 too.
What I was surprised about was that more people didn’t go the long way in Discovery Valley, because we knew from last year that it was the risk of jumping into the bottom, we know the game’s over if you do that in Discovery Valley, and to me to go the long way over the trunk and a straight shot at the green Discovery was quicker than going round to the glider trailer, so I’m surprised that more people didn’t take that when they were coming to it and thinking that they were maybe going to land in the bottom on the other side. But having said that, surprises but I think a great day’s sport, and a great day’s entertainment for a massive massive crowd.”
Liz Inman, the Director of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
LI: “I am absolutely thrilled to bits, firstly I would like to thank our Course Designer, and our Competitors, for giving us a wonderful day, it’s been absolutely fantastic, it really has, so thank you very much Mark and Competitors. The crowds have just been flocking in since eight o’clock this morning I think, we’ve had a lovely day, I’ve been wandering around shopping, the tradestands have done fantastic business, so all in all, really great. I just hope we aren’t going to be up all night counting the tickets to see how many did come in. But it was a record crowd I think, so really really fantastic.”
Top and bottom photo by kind permission of Shaw Shots – Peter Shaw Photography