Stamford, England - The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team showed that the future is bright claiming two spots within the top ten at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Sunday proved to be an influential day of Show Jumping as the leaderboard saw a huge shake-up from top to bottom. Sinead Halpin and Allison Springer put a summer's worth of training in England, thanks to Land Rover Competition and Training Grants, to the test producing classy efforts throughout the week to claim second and sixth places respectively.
Halpin (Oldwick, NJ) entered Burghley's main arena as the overnight leader with Carriag LLC's Manoir De Carneville but three unfortunate rails left them in runner-up position. The 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding collected twelve faults after lowering the oxer at three, the third element of the triple and the out of the double to finish on a score of 48.3.
"He warmed-up beautifully and certainly was a bit tired but I feel like we were as prepared as we could have been going into that situation," said Halpin following her round. "So it was disappointing but I'm still proud of him."
Despite the day not ending the way she had envisioned, Halpin is still pleased her performance over the last four days. "I feel like this has been a fantastic experience, this has been a brilliant event and I'm so lucky to have this horse. And we'll be back again and again and again." Halpin's second place finish is the best U.S. result at the prestigious competition since Stephen Bradley's win with Sassy Reason in 1993.
In the past the Show Jumping phase has proven heartbreaking for Springer (Upperville, VA) and Arthur but not on Sunday. The pair rose one place from seventh following the cross country despite two rails finishing on a score of 57.2. This is the second top ten CCI4* placing in 2012 for Springer and Carole and William Springer's 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse Cross gelding after having come second at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event presented by Bridgestone in April.
Springer also claimed third place in the HSBC Classics™ series after her top finishes in Kentucky and Stamford.
California's Kristi Nunnick finished just outside the top 25 in 26th place with her 11-year-old Holsteiner mare R-Star. The pair had a single rail on Sunday to complete their first Burghley on a score of 83.9.
Kate Hicks and Erin Sylvester were also competing for the first time at the British fixture. They finished in 50th and 52nd riding Belmont and No Boundaries respectively.
New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson collected his third Burghley title after a four fault effort with Avebury.
Watch the competition unfold on Burghley TV with video on demand posted shortly after the completion of each ride at http://burghley.tv/
Follow the 2012 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.
Photo: Sinead Halpin and Manoir De Carneville (Shannon Brinkman)