Who is your money on to win Burghley – Will it be a male rider or a female rider?
Eventing is one of very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms! The ratio of male and female winners since the horse trials began in 1961 is 33:23 in favour of men.
For the past 7 years Burghley has been won by male riders representing Britain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand with rider Andrew Nicholson (NZL) winning it three years in a row. The male riders have been dominating both Burghley and Badminton until this year when Jonelle Price broke this deadlock.
The Kiwi riders have won Burghley a staggering 13 times since 1987 and very nearly had a straight run from 1995 to 2001 but Mary King broke this chain by winning in 1996. Sir Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson have won Burghley five times apiece and both have good rides and are in with a chance this year. Yet it is British rider William Fox-Pitt who hold the title for the most Burghley wins with an amazing six wins on six different horses!!
There are legendary horsewomen on the Roll of Honour such as Lucinda Green, Lorna Clarke and of course Ginny Elliot (nee holgate ) who had four consecutive wins and a fifth one two years later. So it appears that the female riders have some catching up to do!. Miss Anneli Drummond-Hay on MERELY-A-MONARCH was Burghey’s very first winner back in 1961.
Pippa Funnell who wis riding Majas Hope this year rode into the record books winning the Rolex Grand Slam in 2003. Caroline Powell another New Zealander was the last female winner in 2010 and she is only the second female rider from overseas to triumph at this event after Lucinda Fredricks (Australia) win in 2006. This means that Burghley is well overdue a female winner.
Potential female winners for this year you ask?, well a bit of luck always plays a part in this game especially with the cross country still to come but Piggy french who is currently sitting 4th after the first day of dressage has been twice runner up at 4*level would be one to watch, but Tina Cook on Star Witness came so close last year will do her dressage today as will Pippa Funnell who can always mix up the leaderboard in the dressage phase. Though I don’t think that this weekend will see the male riders worrying about chivalry somehow!!.
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