Caroline Powell rode a perfect Jumping round under pressure to become the first New Zealand female rider to win the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), the fourth leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™.
The win has propelled her into third place in the HSBC FEI Classics™, behind William Fox-Pitt (GBR), the new leader, and Andreas Dibowski (GER) with one event left, Les Etoiles de Pau in France in November, where Fox-Pitt has already declared a possible runner in Navigator.
Powell, 37, did not put a foot wrong all weekend on the 17-year-old Lenamore, who stands only 15.2hh. “He was such a wee star,” she said. “The owner, Lexi Mackinnon, is getting married next week. I’d told her that I hadn’t got her a wedding present and that I’d try and win Burghley for her! I can’t believe that’s come off.”
William Fox-Pitt (GBR) missed a record sixth Burghley victory by 4 penalties, but he said it was “an honour” to finish second to such a popular, seasoned combination, and was pleased with form shown by both his horses, Seacookie, second, and Macchiato, sixth.
Clayton Fredericks (AUS) scored his best ever Burghley result, third, a considerable feat of horsemanship on a horse with which he had only slight acquaintance. He got the ride on the German-owned Be My Guest this summer. “She’s not the easiest ride, but everything I tried with her seemed to work. She’s a very good jumper, but sometimes a little too bold.”
The jumping course, designed by Richard Jeffreys, who will be officiating at the forthcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, rode well on improved footing and produced 18 clears.
Three riders finished on their Dressage scores: Powell, Fredericks, and Mark Todd (NZL), 11th on Major Milestone.
Lauren Shannon (GBR), 12th on Zero Flight, won the HSBC Training Bursary for the best CCI4* debut.
Caroline Powell, who is based in Kelso, Scotland, but hails from Christchurch in New Zealand, has had a long road to success, but now her achievement in winning Burghley puts her on the roll of honour with fellow countrymen Mark Todd, Blyth Tait and Andrew Nicholson.
She initially came to Britain to work for Ian Stark (GBR), whom she accompanied to the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
She got the ride on Lenamore, one of the oldest horses to win Burghley, in 2004 and was fourth at Badminton on him last year. She was a member of the New Zealand team with Lenamore in 2006 and 2008 and will compete Mac Macdonald in Kentucky.
1 Caroline Powell/Lenamore (NZL) 38.7 + 0 + 0 = 38.7
2 William Fox-Pitt/Seacookie (GBR) 40.3 + 1.6 + 1 = 42.9
3 Clayton Fredericks/Be My Guest (AUS) 45.8 + 0 = 45.8
4 Oliver Townend/Carousel Quest (GBR) 39.2 + 0.4 + 8 = 46.6
5 Mary King/Apache Sauce (GBR) 44.8 + 0 + 4 = 48.8
6 William Fox-Pitt/Macchiato (GBR) 46.8 + 2 + 0 = 48.8
7 Mary King/Kings Temptress (GBR) 45.3 + 0 + 4 = 49.3
8 Clea Phillipps/Lead The Way (GBR) 49.5 + 0.4 + 0 = 49.9
9 Anna Warnecke/Twinkle Bee (GER) 50.5 + 0 + 1 = 51.5
10 Francis Whittington/Sir Percival lll (GBR) 48.3 + 0 + 4 = 52.3
Full results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk
Caption: Caroline Powell (NZL) and Lenamore on their lap of honour after winning the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), the fourth leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™
Audio link: an interview with the winner of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, the fourth leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™, are available at: http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/BUHT Caroline Powell Sun.mp3