Burghley, UK, 7 September 2013 - Current Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize contender, Jonathan Paget (NZL) riding Clifton Promise has maintained his overnight place after cross-country in 1st place at the 2013 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Paget riding his other horse Clifton Lush is also lying in 2nd place, with Andrew Nicholson (NZL) riding Avebury in 3rd place. Seven out of the top 10 placed horses after the cross-country stage are from New Zealand.Rider Quotes
Jonathan Paget is riding Clifton Promise & Clifton Lush.
Q. How did the course ride for you for your two horses?
I thought it was hard work all day on both horses and I was on two exceptional horses, but I still found it hard. It started off very intense – you don’t get into much of a rhythm as you are always turning, going up and down.
The fences are big, they’re angled, they’re skinny, ditches, always turning back on yourself – and once you get your horses up to the Dairy Mound your horses are tired – but then you are saying you need to make up some time and its hard to make up time on a tired horse! For me the most important thing was to respect the fences but try and make up time at the same time.
Q. Is this one of the strangest days you’ve ever had having been stopped out on course on both horses during your rounds?
Yes, it was weird! It definitely worked in my favour on the first horse (Clifton Lush) – he had a breather and then he got going again and he was much quicker, but it didn’t work in my favour for my second horse (Clifton Promise) – he was a little bit surprised to be going again and it was hard to get his attention on the fences, but luckily he's a very good horse.
Q. Any sticky moments out on course?
I was a tad nervous when I nearly jumped the Judge at Cottsmore Leap (fence 21), and coming home, on both horses actually, through that last water over the two boats for different reasons, were not as smooth as I would have liked it to be.
Q. Why were you stopped on both horses out on the course?
The first horse (Clifton Lush), I think I had an awkward jump over fence 6 and I think he bumped his nose with his knee and it bleed a little bit - the vet wanted to make sure it wasn’t coming from the lungs and once he could tell that he let me go. And the second horse (Clifton Promise) just bit his tongue.
Andrew Nicholson is riding Avebury, Nereo & Calico Joe.
Q. Three of your horses in the first 8 – what was it like for you today?
Unlike Jock who it sounded like he had a couple of hairy rides – mine felt very smooth! Calicoe Joe is very, very fast and he has great stamina – he doesn’t have a big jump and he has his own way of doing it. Joe felt like he was enjoying it and when I told him to go – he went quite happily and I knew I was going far too fast at the end, but I didn’t dare slow down in case he’d thought we’d finished.
Avebury felt perfect all the way – it was only up at the road crossing or the verticals – otherwise he felt like he thought it was very easy and he thoroughly enjoyed whizzing around the mounds and turns and all the ducking and diving at the beginning.
For Nereo it’s a very difficult place at Burghley for him with the little mounds and undulations – the times he’s been here before he’s found it hard work. I thought he dealt very well with it and kept very honest - I’m very, very pleased with all three of them.
Results after Cross-Country:
1 Jonathan Paget/Clifton Promise (NZL) 37.1
2 Jonathan Paget/Clifton Lush (NZL) 42.0
3 Andrew Nicholson/Avebury (NZL) 42.3
4 William Fox-Pitt/Parklane Hawk (GBR) 42.3
5 Andrew Nicholson/Nereo (NZL) 43.3
For more information on the 2013 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and full Results/Leaderboard, please visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk