Tough finish at Burghley Horse Trials

Sir Mark Todd rides NZB Campino during the first day of dressage at the Burghley Horse Trials. Photo – Libby Law Photography.

Cambridge eventing champion Sir Mark Todd finished up last week at the Burghley Horse Trials in the UK in 18th place on 49.6, rounding off a weekend that didn’t quite go his way. “He jumped a really nice round,” he said of his horse NZB Campino after the final showjumping round on September 3. “Unfortunately we had just one down. It has been a bit like that all week with him – nearly but not quite in all three phases.”

Todd was eliminated during the cross country phase the day before, aboard Kiltubrid Rhapsody owned by Niki Ryan and Dr Elizabeth Donald. Starting out the day at the top of the leader board, Todd and Kiltubrid Rhapsody parted company at fence 10 to be eliminated, but walked back to the stables.

But it wasn’t all bad for the Kiwis at the event, Tim Price managed to put New Zealand at the top of the table by winning the event overall, finishing with 27.3 penalty points, and another member of the New Zealand team, Andrew Nicholson finished in third place on 32.1 behind Great Britain’s Oliver Townend on 31.9 aboard 2017 champ Ballaghmor Class. Price was also 10th on another horse, Bango.

After finishing day two of the event, Todd was sitting in first place at the end of the dressage. The oldest rider in the field at 62, Todd and his striking grey Kiltubrid Rhapsody scored 26.4 penalty points, with Price aboard Ringwood Sky Boy right on his heels on 26.9.

For Todd, in his 39th year competing at Burghley, it was a near foot-perfect performance and a repeat of last year when he led at the end of the dressage aboard Leonidas II.

“The horse was second after the dressage at Badminton and I think he has improved since then,” said Todd. “He went out and did a very solid test today.”

Kiltubrid Rhapsody, who finished sixth at Badminton this year, skipped just once in his extended trot but was otherwise very impressive. “I am delighted to be in the front at this stage but as we all know, it is still a long way to go.”

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