Burghley Horse Trial
Dressage Day One
3 September 2015
After a 5 hour delay in Atlanta, an 8 hour flight, and a terrifying and confusing 2.5 hour drive (on the wrong side of the road) my mom and I finally made it to Stamford. The town is absolutely adorable and we are staying in the coziest B&B right in the city. Unfortunately my flight delay meant I missed out on even getting to Burghley on Wednesday – I was so dissapointed to miss the first horse inspection! I didn’t want to miss out on anything else Burghley had to offer, so we got up to head over early this morning and catch the first day of competition.
Great Britain native Oliver Townend was first to kick off the dressage at Burghley Horse Trials today. He rode Dromgurrihy Blue. He had a very accurate and pleasant test and finished with a score of 45.8 pushing him just out of the top ten for the day in 11th place.
Oliver Townend and Dromgurrihy Blue
A large chunk of our day was spent exploring the grounds and getting the lay of the land. We enjoyed many of the shops and the members enclosure (a necessary Burghley splurge IMO). We, of course, made a point to be back in our seats to see the most recent Rolex Kentucky champion Michael Jung and his mare Fischerrocana FST. His test was nearly flawless, and his effortless, yet effective, equitation was drool worthy. I’m looking forward to his second ride tomorrow afternoon. My mom and I were also lucky enough to catch him walking the cross country course today. Or, rather, hoping some fencing to get around the first water elemet because he forgot his wellies!
Michael Jung and Fischerrocana FST
Following the lunch break, Lynn Symansky was the first American to take on the Dressage riding an American OTTB, Donner. Making her way around the greenspace, Lynn and Donner began to recieve some cheering and applauding. To this, she quickly shushed her fans to keep Donner calm, cool, and collected. She rode a beautiful test and “the deer” didn’t show any unnecesary antics. They scored a personal best with a 47.7 setting Lynn in 14th place at the end of day one. I’m looking forward to watching his thoroughbred make quick work of “Big Bad Burghely” on Saturday.
Lynn Symansky on Donner
I also took some time today to explore Capt. Mark Phillips cross country course. First, the land is absolutely gorgeous. Any direction you look is stunning. The first major element on the course, the Lion Bridge water complexes, comes up quickly as the fourth, fifth and sixth fences. We also made the treck to take a peek at the infamous Cottesmore leap at jump 13. Not only is the simgle effort of the ditch and wall mammoth, but five strides after there is a triple brush B element. These efforts are not for the faint of heart! Tomorrow I plan to explore the rest of the course and watch our other Americans Lainey Ashker and Collen Rultledge in the dressage phase.
At horse shows my boyfriend Kody always likes to look through the program and pick his favorite horse names. He usually picks the most clever ones. Today I think I found one of my all time favorites. His name was Mr. Chunky and he had a lovely test to score a 49.5 with rider Lucy Wiegersma (pictured below). Lucy also just had a baby only 4 months ago! It always amazes me to see how athletic the women of our sport are!
Also I should mention a personal hilarious moment from the day. I said there were three Americans competing this weekend. To this my Mom responded, “No there’s four. The three girls and Anthony Patch, but I’ve never heard of him!” I couldnt stop laughing because Anthony Patch, known as Al, is Lainey Ashker’s horse!