Fairfax & Favor 5 to Follow at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
by Nicole Brown Burghley TV commentator
We can’t wait to welcome new and old friends back to Fairfax & Favor’s biggest stand yet at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this week and to give you the inside line on some of the leading contenders this year we have teamed up with presenter, Burghley TV commentator and host of the EquiRatings Eventing Podcast, Nicole Brown, to find some combinations to look out for this week…
Whether you’re heading to Burghley for the first time, plan to watch along online on Burghley TV or are a seasoned Burghley pro it’s always fun to have a few ones to watch along the way. So, the big question is, who do you need to keep an eye on this weekend?
It’s the one we all want to know the answer to, who will win? Well, the numbers have been crunched and the favourite to take the top spot on the EquiRatings Prediction Centre is Oliver Townend and Swallow Springs (19% win chance). They finished 3rd at Badminton this spring and won their final preparation run at the Hambro Sport Horses Burgham International Horse Trials at the end of July. Oliver’s two previous Burghley victories came on greys, can he make it #3 here this year? Amen to his grooms is what we say.
Piggy March and Vanir Kamira (18% win chance) also had a victorious final prep run, they topped the podium at the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials a few weeks ago and have been inside the top 5 on all three of their last runs at Burghley. Course specialists and they love a tough old 5* but only twice from 59 runnings of Burghley Horse Trials has a mare won the title. If anyone can do it then these two can.
The Burghley Specialist:
William Fox-Pitt has more Burghley victories than any other rider (6) and he lines up this year with Oratorio in a bid to make it lucky number seven. Oratorio was top 20 at Badminton this spring and is well established at the 5* level now, albeit this is a first Burghley for the horse. William has completed here a few times (a massive 28 to be exact) so he knows what it takes and you just couldn’t put it past the big man to deliver.
The Dark Horse:
Tim Price won here in 2018 on Ringwood Sky Boy and he is the only rider in the field this year to line up on 3 horses. The one that I will be watching with most interest has been off the radar for the last couple of years and that is Polystar I, a relatively new ride for Tim. He was previously campaigned by Chris Burton who won the 4*L in Saumur with him in 2019, as well as picking up plenty of other top placings. It's a 5* debut for the horse, we really haven’t seen much of him recently and it’s obviously a new partnership. The odds are stacked against them in that way but it feels like there could be a big result in there as both horse and rider are obviously hugely talented – one to keep an eye on!
It’s a first trip to Burghley for Alice Casburn & Topspin, a combination who have been top 20 at both Badminton and Pau over the last 12 months. They come here off the back of a superb individual bronze medal at the Young Rider European Championships just a few weeks ago too. Cross country machines, Alice belies her 20 years of age and as the youngest rider in the field is definitely one to watch.
Fairfax & Favor rider Felicity Collins is another to cheer on with RSH Contend - or Mickey, as he is known at home, was brilliant to finish 10th at Bicton 5* last year and was another who impressed at Badminton this spring, jumping clear in both the cross country and show jumping. Plus, we’ll all be watching to see which F&F boots Felicity dons at the horse inspection, my money is on the Amira’s.
It's a tough old ask narrowing the field down and this list omits the likes of Ros Canter, Tom McEwen and Zara Tindall who all stand a great chance. Who are you most looking forward to watching? Drop us a comment and let us know.
Make sure you tune into the Eventing Podcast Burghley Tour Diaries, which will be bringing you all of the behind-the-scenes action, and is supported by none other than Fairfax & Favor. Keep your ears peeled for some top F&F tips and get involved to be in with a chance of winning an item of your choice from the brand-new A/W 22 range.
It’s been three long years since we’ve been to Burghley and goodness, it’s good to be back. Excitingly for the first time this year Fairfax & Favor are official sponsors too – keep your eyes peeled for the Fairfax & Favor Boot Racks on cross country day