Having been runners-up in 2017 and 2019 it was an emotional and jubilant Piggy March (GBR) who secured the title at this years Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials with Trevor Dickens’ 17 year-old mare Vanir Kamira.
The pair lowered one show jump in today’s final phase to complete on 27.0 while a clear round elevated Burghley debutantes Tom Jackson (GBR) and Sarah Webb, Patricia Davenport and Millie Simmie’s Capels Hollow Drift from fourth after cross-country to the runners-up spot on 32.5. Tim Prize (NZL) and Joe and Alex Giannamore’s Vitali rolled three poles but their score of 38.5 was still good enough for third.
“Hallelujah!” exclaimed an emotional Piggy after her round. “I’ve been through a rollercoaster of emotions today but the main one I’m feeling now is relief. Vanir Kamira (AKA Tilly Bean) so deserves this – to win at Burghley is so special and I’m delighted that she will have her name on Winners Avenue, she absolutely deserves it and this is what dreams are made of.”
By Piggy’s own admission Tilly is not always the most reliable of show jumpers, and she was fearing the worst after the mare lowered an early pole: “I think we rubbed virtually every fence,” she said, “we usually do! Good horses were having two or three down in there so I had assumed we would too but she was just phenomenal.”
29-year-old Kent-based Tom Jackson is a former Young Riders European team medallist and one of several riders at this year’s Burghley who trains with Pippa Funnell:
“I don’t quite know how to sum up this week to be honest,” he said. “I’m absolutely over the moon – Capels Hollow Drift is pure class and to have delivered like he has over the last few days is just phenomenal and makes my life very easy. If I’m honest I came here thinking we were capable of a top-10 finish but to be on the podium is beyond expectations.”
Capels Hollow Drift is an 11-year-old Irish-bred Irish Sport Horse and has been ridden by Tom since a seven-year-old.
Tim Price was naturally slightly disappointed but philosophical about Vitali’s performance: “He’s not God’s gift to show jumping,” he admitted, “but I think we’ll get there – he’s got the ability, I just have to find a way to get it out.”
Tim’s wife Jonelle was fourth with Classic Moet on 40.2 after rolling two poles.
A stunning clear round from another pair of Burghley first-timers was enough to move Alice Casburn (GBR) and her mother Caroline’s homebred Topspin into fifth place on 40.2. The pair has had an outstanding year, finishing 19th at Badminton in the Spring and then collecting an individual bronze medal at this year’s Young Riders European Championships:
“I’ll remember this for the rest of my life,” she confessed. “To jump a clear round like that is mind blowing.”
Dressage leaders Kitty King (GBR) and Vendredi Biats were sixth on 42.2, while clear jumping rounds yesterday across country and today in the show jumping arena moved Richard Jones (GBR) and Alfies Clover up from 22nd after dressage to eventual seventh on 42.4.
Double clear jumping rounds apiece from Pippa Funnell (GBR) and Billy Walk On, Tom Crisp (GBR) with Liberty and Glory and Cornelia Dorr (USA) and Daytona Beach 8 rewarded them with eighth, ninth and tenth places respectively.
“It was so great to be back at Burghley for what proved to be a great week of sport. It was a fabulous result for Piggy March, so thoroughly well deserved for both Piggy and Vanir Kamira (fondly known as “Tilly Bean”), only the third mare to ever win Burghley.
Helen West, Chief Executive for British Eventing, said “It was so great to be back at Burghley for what proved to be a great week of sport. It was a fabulous result for Piggy March, so thoroughly well deserved for both Piggy and Vanir Kamira (fondly known as “Tilly Bean”), only the third mare to ever win Burghley.
To have seven British riders in the top ten is extremely exciting for us, with some young names featuring highly. What a fabulous result for Tom Jackson who put in a class performance from start to finish with Capels Hollow Drift finishing second in his debut at Burghley. Alice Casburn, the youngest rider in the field, finished fifth in her debut demonstrating maturity well beyond her years. What a partnership she has with her wonderful homebred Topspin, with whom she recently won team gold and individual bronze at the Young Rider European Championships. The future certainly looks bright for us.”
Full results here