Top riders flock to Norfolk for Burnham Horse Trials
Top riders made their way to North West Norfolk over the weekend to make the most of one of the first post-lockdown opportunities to compete at an international level event on their best horses.
Although the Burnham Market Barefoot Estates horse trials organisers had to restrict spectators to ticket holders only, there was no shortage of competitors with around 600 entries over the three days.
They included world class riders with Olympians, gold medallists and European title holders tackling the dressage, show jumpng and cross-country phases in perfect weather and ground conditions.
Event director, Alec Lochore said: "It is great for the sport to be back and running, especially for the elite riders and horses."
He said there was a wonderful feeling of fun and satisfaction with owners finally able to attend and see their horses running and, with the Tokyo Olympics and European Championships in the offing later in the year, for everyone to be able to see world class horses galloping round the course.
For the first time over a decade Oliver Townend missed out on victory in the four-star class, although he did top the table in the three-star class with Cooley Rosalent.
He had another horse just inside the top ten in that section but ran out of luck with his four-star entry when they were eliminated for a refusal on the cross country course.
Four-star winners this time were Piggy March and Kitty King. Piggy (formerly Piggy French), who was born in Norfolk and based here for several years, took eight horses to Burnham and, apart from one, they all finished with a top ten placing.
She was first on Dargun in section C of the four-star competition with second place going to Kitty who had travelled up from Wiltshire.
In section B at the same level the positions were reversed with Piggy finishing second to Kitty on Cristal Fontaine.
Piggy also won her section of the advanced class with another former Norfolk-based rider Pippa Funnell close behind in second place.
Badminton winner and Olympic team rider, Tim Price, on Falco, topped the second section of the advanced class.