Best dressed at Burghley

With Ginny Thompson's late withdrawal, the New Zealand contingent is down to seven combinations at Burghley

Dan Jocelyn stands Blackthorn Cruise for the Ground Jury (image: Libby Law)

Horses can be heart-breakers. And New Zealand rider Ginny Thompson has experienced another of the gutting lows that go along with the highs in top-level eventing, having to withdraw her mare Star Nouveau (‘Paige’) from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, shortly before the first trot-up.

“Unfortunately, this is part of life with horses, but we are very much looking forward to making new plans for the rest of the autumn season,” Ginny says.

Sadly, this means Ginny won’t have the thrill of competing alongside her best friend Sam Lissington for the first time in the UK; Sam and Ricker Ridge Rui were cleared by the Ground Jury to compete, and will do their dressage at 9.54am on Friday morning (UK time), which is 8.54pm Friday night for New Zealand fans.

Sam paired a short, tiered lace dress and tie-front black jacket with short boots; Ricker Ridge Rui was impressed with the crowd! (image: Libby Law)

There were several other late withdrawals ahead of the opening horse inspection. Leading contender Oliver Townend has scratched Ulises, but remains on the start list with Ballaghmor class. Izzy Taylor has withdrawn her Tattersalls CCI4* winner, PSH Gazelle, and Tom Crisp’s mount Cooleys Luxury is also out.

The remaining 67 contenders presented before the Ground Jury of Nick Burton, Christina Klingspor and Xavier Le Sauce passed without drama, with not a single horse being asked to re-present or be sent to the holding box..  

Defending champion Tim Price is the only rider with three mounts in the mix. 

Tim’s classic grey suit served him well for trotting up his three beautiful horses, Bango…(image: Libby Law)
…defending champion Ringwood Sky Boy… (image: Libby Law)
… and Xavier Faer, who shares a dam with Faerie Dianimo (image: Libby Law)
Jonelle channelled her inner wildcat, going for animal print under a cropped black jacket, and a keen-looking Faerie Dianimo (image: Libby Law)
Caroline Powell showed her fashion chops, teaming classic white jeans with a bo-ho long-sleeved swing top and high boots, and a shiny On the Brash (image: Libby Law)

Tim and Bango will be the first pair in the dressage arena at 8.30pm tonight (NZ time). The next New Zealand rider out is Caroline Powell at 1.48am, and Tim closes the first day of dressage with Xavier Faer at 3.21am.

New Zealand dressage times on Friday (NZ times) are Sam at 8.54pm, Dan at 1am, Jonelle at 1.32am and Tim with Ringwood Sky Boy at 3.21am.

The dressage is being live-streamed here