Burghley (GBR), 3 September 2009
POINTS MEAN PRIZES AT NEXT HSBC FEI CLASSICSTM VENUE, THE LAND ROVER BURGHLEY HORSE TRIALS
Audio link available HERE
Crunch-time approaches in the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM, as a star-studded cast lines up for the fourth and penultimate leg, The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) this weekend (3-6 September).
The big question is can William Fox-Pitt, last year's HSBC FEI ClassicsTM winner, maintain his extraordinary record here with a third successive triumph and a record sixth win? He currently heads The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials roll of honour with Mark Todd (NZL) and Ginny Elliot (GBR) with five victories apiece, but no one has ever won three times in succession.
He has certainly set himself up for success with the quality Argentine Thoroughbred Macchiato, 5th at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and one of the boldest galloping horses around, plus the German-bred, former Ingrid Klimke ride Seacookie, a great jumper and sixth on his 4-star debut at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event in April.
The other big question is whether Oliver Townend, who has made the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM a personal mission this year, can maintain momentum after his brilliant Badminton win.
He rides the elegant grey Carousel Quest, a new ride this season and one of the class acts of Kentucky where they finished 8th and he has also entered his top horse Flint Curtis, his potential ride in the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championship later this month.
Other riders poised to make serious inroads into the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM standings are army officer Dirk Schrade (GER) and the mare Be My Guest; Sam Griffiths (AUS) with his 2008 Saumur CIC*** (FRA) winner and Badminton 3rd Happy Times; the always dangerous Phillip Dutton (USA), 2nd to William Fox-Pitt in 2005, who this time rides Truluck, a first-timer at this level; and Mary King (GBR), a former Burghley winner in 1996 on Star Appeal, who has the feisty chestnut Apache Sauce, 4th last year, and her maturing home-bred mare Kings Temptress, by Primative Rising, 4th at the Luhmühlen CCI**** presented by E.ON Avacon Vertrieb, in June.
Riders of interest also include reigning World Champion and 2003 runner-up Zara Phillips (GBR) on Glenbuck, who is returning to form after a veterinary problem; former dual winner Andrew Nicholson (NZL) who could be the first to complete on two full-brothers, the Spanish-sired chestnuts Armada and Nereo; Olympic bronze medallists Daisy Dick (GBR) and the athletic Springalong (GBR), absentees from Burghley since 2004 due to team duties; Karen O'Connor, 3rd here in 1991 on Mr Maxwell and back with her Olympic ride Mandiba; and Germany's Kai Rüder, runner-up at Boekelo CCI*** (NED) last year on the stallion Leprince des Bois.
Around 90 horses have arrived at historic Burghley Park, one of the world's leading Eventing venues. Dressage starts today, Thursday 3 September and nations represented are: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, and the USA.
Follow the event on www.burghley-horse.co.uk
The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials TV transmission times Sunday 6 September BBC2, 2.00pm-3.30pm - presented by Clare Balding
2009 HSBC FEI CLASSICSTM Standings (after 3 of 5 events):
1 Oliver Townend (GBR) 18 points
2 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 17
3 Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) 15
4 Michael Jung (GER) 15
5 Bettina Hoy (GER) 12
6 Andreas Dibowski (GER) 12
7 Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) 11
8 Bruce Davidson Jnr (USA) 10
9 Dirk Schrade (GER) 10
10 Sam Griffiths (AUS) 10
11 Nicholas Touzaint (FRA) 8
12 Mary King (GBR) 8
13 Roberto Rotatari (ITA) 8
HSBC FEI CLASSICSTM CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2009
1. 22-26 April Rolex Kentucky Three Day-Event (USA)
2. 7-10 May Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR)
3. 11-14 June Luhmühlen CCI**** presented by E.ON Avacon Vertrieb (GER)
4. 3-6 September The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR)
5. 21-25 October Les Etoiles de Pau (FRA)
Notes to editors:
The HSBC FEI ClassicsTM, established last year, unites the top end of the international Eventing circuit, namely the five 4-Star Eventing competitions currently on the calendar. The Top Ten placed riders at each event receive points; the five riders with the highest number of points at the end of the season are awarded prize money.
Points will be awarded to the Top Ten riders at each event as follows:
Riders can only win points with their best horse/performance at one event and if the combination has obtained a qualifying result. In case of equality of points, the best placed rider is the competitor with the lowest total of penalty points at the specific event (=differentiating score).
1st: 15 points
2nd: 12 points
3rd: 10 points
4th: 8 points
5th: 6 points
6th: 5 points
7th: 4 points
8th: 3 points
9th: 2 points
10th: 1 point
1. William Fox-Pitt (GBR)
2. Nicolas Touzaint (FRA)
3. Frank Ostholt (GER)
4. Phillip Dutton (USA)
5. Bettina Hoy (GER)