Lenamore and British-based New Zealand rider Caroline Powell kept their cool to produce a clear round when it mattered most, to win The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
The pair also produced their own piece of Burghley history; Caroline is the first New Zealand female winner – and the first from New Zealand since Blyth Tait in 2001 – while Lexi Mackinnon’s 17-year-old Lenamore is the oldest horse to win the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge trophy.
“Goodness that was good,” said Caroline as she came out of the arena. “I am so thrilled with the way he jumped – he has been a wee star all week – and Lexi has got her wedding present.”
The pair who finishes on their dressage score was given the luxury of a fence in the bank when William Fox-Pitt and Seacookie, despite jumping clear, added one time fault to their score to give Caroline the fence in hand. “It was quite nice to have a breathing space but even better that it wasn’t needed," said Caroline who has lived in Scotland for 18-years.
The winners denied William Fox-Pitt his sixth Burghley victory. The British team member was still second with Catherine Witt’s German-bred part Trakehner, Seacookie, who added just 2.6 time penalties to his dressage score. “What a fantastic combination to be beaten by,” said William. “Seacookie is a brilliant horse and he will have his day and I have had a terrific weekend – to have two horses in the top ten is as much as anyone could hope for,” said William who was also sixth with the Thoroughbred Macchiato.
A double clear brought British-based Australian Clayton Fredericks up to third place with the Thoroughbred mare Be My Guest II – another bred in Germany – a ride he took over from German rider Dirk Schrade in the spring. Burghley is just their sixth competition together – their last cross-country run was an Open Novice at Wilton. “If you had told me I would be here at all let alone in third when I was sitting on my backside on the bank at Aachen [after a fall from her] I most certainly wouldn’t have believed you,” said Clayton.
Two fences down meant last year’s winners; Oliver Townend and Carousel Quest had to settle for fourth place – although Carousel Quest gained his breeder, Joan Hood, the prize for being the highest placed British-bred (Lenamore was bred in Ireland).
Mary King also went home with two special prizes, winning the Sport Horse Breeding-Great Britain (SHB-GB) prize for the highest placed horse sired by one of their stallions – fifth placed Apache Sauce is by the Thoroughbred Endoli, as well as a scholarship from Twemlows Hall Stud for the highest placed British-bred mare which went to her homebred, seventh placed mare Kings Temptress who is by Primitive Rising.