Top 10 for Prices

A good start for Jonelle and Tim but there's another day of dressage to come, plus of course the challenging cross-country and show jumping. Burghley is not called one of the toughest four-star events for nothing!

Bettina Hoy with Designer 10 during their magnificent dressage test (Image: Libby Law)
Bettina Hoy with Designer 10 during their magnificent dressage test (Image: Libby Law)

Bettina Hoy from Germany lit up the arena on day one of dressage at Burghley with a beautifully executed test on Designer 10. It was in a class of its own and may prove hard to beat.

The only fault in their exhibition of lightness, smoothness and balance seemed to be a little tension in a flying change, and, with a score of 34.5, Bettina has a comfortable eight-penalty margin over Australian Bill Levett on Improvise.
Jonelle Price and Classic Moet had a great performance to go into 6th place (Image: Libby Law)
Jonelle Price and Classic Moet had a great performance to go into sixth place (Image: Libby Law)

Jonelle and Tim Price will be well pleased with their efforts on the first day too. Jonelle went into sixth place on Classic Moet with a score of 48.5. Tim on his first ride, Bango, scored 49.5 and is currently tenth. He rides Ringwood Sky Boy tomorrow.

Tim Price and Bango about to go into the arena for their dressage at Burghley (Image: Libby Law)
Tim Price and Bango about to go into the arena for their dressage at Burghley (Image: Libby Law)

Bettina Hoy, who has been described as the ‘uber-diva’ of eventing dressage, was expected to do well in this phase. Her illustrious career stretches back to the 1984 Olympics, and she took the European title at Burghley in 1997 on Watermill Stream. She is a popular and familiar face on the British circuit, but has never won a CCI4* there, her best result being fifth at Badminton this year on Designer 10.

“I think Designer must have been having a little chat with [her other horse] Seigneur Medicott, who usually does the better test, as he felt great in there,” she said. “I’ve developed a special programme for him in the warm-up because he can get a bit tense. Every time I feel him tighten, I go into rising trot and that helps.”
She added that she had been working hard with her trainer, Sebastian Langehanenberg, as Designer 10, a 12-year-old Westphalian gelding by Dali X, “is not built for dressage”. Sebastian had suggested changing from a snaffle to a double bridle because having two bits in his mouth seemed to settle the horse.
“I’m feeling very motivated after Rio [where she was training a Russian rider]. Burghley holds a special place in my heart and, although it won’t be a dressage competition, I know Designer can do it.”
Bill Levett rides Improvise during the CCI4* first day of Dressage at the 2016 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (Images: Libby Law)
Bill Levett and Improvise (Image: Libby Law)
Bill Levett has been based in Britain for many years and has been getting closer to CCI4* success all the time. He re-routed Improvise to Luhmühlen, where the horse finished 13th, after an early retirement at Badminton in May.
Paul Sims rides Glengarnock into third place after the first day of dressage at Burghley (Image: Libby Law)
Paul Sims and Glengarnock hold third place after the first day of dressage (Image: Libby Law)

Paul Sims, a relative newcomer to this level, is currently the highest-placed British rider, having scored his best CCI4* dressage result on the white-faced Glengarnock to lie third on 46.6. This is their third Burghley; they finished 25th last year. Paul admitted to feeling quite confident: “He’s a reliable cross-country horse, as long as I don’t make any mistakes.”

Hubby Tim awaits the score for Jonelle Price (Image: Libby Law)
Tim Price awaits Jonelle’s score (Image: Libby Law)

Burghley first-timer Elisa Wallace’s (USA) campaign got off to a good start when she scored 46.8 on the American thoroughbred Simply Priceless for interim fourth place. “He can be quite tense so it’s been a huge journey to get him to be expressive,” she said. “When I looked up at the scoreboard and saw the score, I couldn’t believe it.”

Team NZ owners/supporters Lucy Sangster and Di Brunsden with ESNZ HP Dressage Coach Isobel Wessels: (Image: Libby Law)
Team NZ owners/supporters Lucy Sangster and Di Brunsden with ESNZ HP Dressage Coach Isobel Wessels (Image: Libby Law)

The main challengers tomorrow are likely to be New Zealanders Sir Mark Todd (NZB Campino) and Andrew Nicholson (Nereo), who have 10 Burghley wins between them, plus the dressage leader in Rio, Christopher Burton (Australia) on Nobilis 18 and his team mate Sam Griffiths on the veteran Happy Times.

Burghley is the final leg of the 2015/2016 FEI Classics™  series, which Michael Jung leads by a very wide margin, with Tim Price second and Clarke Johnstone third.

Shane Rose rides Shanghai Joe (Image: Libby Law)
Shane Rose rides Shanghai Joe (Image: Libby Law)

You can follow the action on www.burghley.tv and with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk

Results after first day of Dressage
1 Bettina Hoy/Designer 10 (GER) 34.5
2 Bill Levett/Improvise (AUS) 42.5
3 Paul Sims/Glengarnock (GBR) 46.6
4 Elisa Wallace/Simply Priceless (USA) 46.8
5 Ros Canter/Allstar B (GBR) 47.0
6 Jonelle Price/Classic Moet (NZL) 48.5
=7 Sarah Bullimore/Reve de Rouet (GBR) 49.1
=7 Emily Gilruth/Topwood Beau (GBR) 49.1
9 Andrew Hoy/Rutherglen (AUS) 49.4
10 Tim Price/Bango (NZL) 49.5
FEI Classics™ 2015/2016 Leaderboard (after 5 of 6 events)
1 Michael Jung (GER) 42 points
2 Tim Price (NZL) 18
3 Clarke Johnstone (NZL) 16
4 Astier Nicolas (FRA) 15
5 Shane Rose (AUS) 15
6 Andreas Dibowski (GER) 15
7 Sir Mark Todd (NZL) 13
8 Andreas Ostholt (GER) 12
9 Lauren Kieffer (USA) 12
10 Maxime Livio (FRA) 12