Every year, Burghley house attracts thousands of people for one of the largest and well known three day events. Despite living on the door stop, I have yet to attend the trials on all 4 days (I haven't even been in the house or anything!), instead following the dressage online and normally doing the same with cross country. This year, however, was different as my mum and I decided to go on the Saturday instead of the Sunday. It's safe to say that whilst I still loved going Saturday, it was odd not being there on Sunday so I'm going to try and be there at least both days next year if not all 4!
Catching up with the dressage, I noticed how more and more riders seem to be opting for hard hats now, which is something I fully back. As much as top hats do look smart, I think that at this level, especially, the riders are seen as role models and just because they are riding on the flat, it doesn't mean that accidents can't happen. I still think that hard hats look smart, especially with the large range of options available now! (as a side note, it was nice to see the GB dressage team at WEG all wearing hard hats!).
At the end of the dressage it was nice to see Jock Paget in the lead after all the hassle he went through with the doping - though I bet he was rather apprehensive about returning to Burghley! Moving onto cross-country and it was such a foggy start to the day that Mum and I were wondering if we'd manage to see anything! Luckily the fog soon cleared and it ended up being a really nice day! Cross-country day to me is always a bit of a hard one! We got there slightly earlier to do some shopping, yet still missed the start of cross-country as we didn't realise the time and never heard any tannoys about it beginning which I think is something that should potentially be considered? I understand that not everyone at these events want to know about the cross-country, but I think it would be a nice thing to have. Mum and I had a bit of a walk round the cross-country, getting lost and missing a load of fences out! It's so hard to follow along as obviously you can't necessarily follow the course as the horse goes and instead have to go the long way round so miss a bit! However, we did see a few riders but no falls! We seemed to have moved off to the next fence at the time whensomeone would fall at the previous fence! We even missed Andrew Nicholson go round as we made our way back to the shopping area so it is hard to ensure you see riders, therefore I think I would definitely go over a few days so you can shop and see riders as I think on cross country day it's hard to do both!
As previously mentioned, it was so weird not being at Burghley on the Sunday and I feel like you miss a lot as the television hardly shows it! Something definitely needs to be done about increasing equestrian coverage on television! As much as I was happy for Andrew Nicholson to have managed to win for the third year in a row (although my mum likes to say that he technically hasn't) there's always a part of me that would love for an outsider to win! Looking at the top 25, I think it's encouraging to see riders coming through such as Francis Whittington, Gemma Tattersall, Izzy Taylor, Matthew Heath and Georgie Spence which I think could be exciting for teams in the next few years!
Did you go to Burghley this year?
What were your highlights? Or lowlights?
Thanks for reading,