New Zealand Whitewash at Burghley
New Zealand Whitewash at Burghley
It’s a New Zealand trifecta at the Land Rover Burghley International Horse Trials this morning, with Jock Paget setting himself up beautifully to take eventing’s grand slam.
Aboard Frances Stead’s Clifton Promise, Paget completed an impressive Badminton-Burghley double – a feat not done on the same horse since 1989 – leading from the start. If he can complete the treble and win the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, he will pocket the grand slam’s 225,000 pound sterling bonus.
Master horseman Andrew Nicholson, who created a little history today as the first to ride three horses at Burghley, finished second on defending champ Avebury (owned by Mark and Rosemary Barlow), third on Nereo (owned by Libby Sellar) and eighth on Calico Joe.
It was a brilliant day all round for the Kiwis with six combinations in the top 10. Jonelle Richards and The Deputy (owned by Lucy Sangster) finished in sixth spot and Sir Mark Todd aboard his new ride Oloa (owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Pip McCarrol), in just their first four star outing, seventh.
But it was all about Paget, who continues to cement his status as the rising star of the sport.
“It will take a little time to sink in I think,” he said. “It has been a great day for Promise. It is a shame we had a rail down but he did what he needed to do.”
The 16-year-old former race horse will always hold a special place in Paget’s heart.
“He has always meant everything to me. I have been riding him for almost six years now and he is the first horse I won something big on.”
While it was nice to claim the Badminton-Burghley double, Paget says today was all about winning.
“I came here to win and it was nice to do that. It doesn’t make me feel good to beat Andrew because he has done so much for me but I came here to beat everybody, so whoever is in the field has to be beaten.”
He’s already looking forward to the Kentucky Three Day Event and is hoping he will be able to take both horses across the Atlantic.
Nicholson was full of praise for Paget.
“It is a great achievement,” he said. “Promise is a fabulous horse, and one that Jock has produced himself. He has had a lot of faith in him and is being rewarded for that.”
Nicholson was disappointed to take rails in the showjumping, but says even if he had gone clear, it wouldn’t have been enough.
Sir Mark Todd was rapt with the top 10 efforts of Oloa.
“He has gone as well as I could have hoped,” he said. “He had just one fence down (in the showjumping) and has tried really hard out there.”
He’s confident of some big improvements on the horizon..
“The exciting thing for me is that we can improve a lot more yet. He has now done a four star so we are well in contention for the World Champs (in 2014) and he is an ideal back up for some of my more established horses. It is very exciting!”
Neil Sprout won’t be disappointed with his 16th place finish on Upleadon (owned by Sharon Robbins, Annitta Engel and Spratt), with Richards finishing 22nd on her Olympic mount Flintstar (owned by Darnelle Hubbard, Tim Price and Mrs K Gray).
Paget opted not to present Clifton Lush (owned by Lucy Allison and Frances Stead) for the last horse inspection saying his leg, bumped on yesterday’s cross country, was a little sore so they wanted to save him for another day.
Just 42 from the original 68-strong field made it through to the showjumping, which proved more than a little challenging. There was just one clear round inside the top 20.
Twenty-nine-year-old Paget had a single rail in hand going into the showjumping, which extended to two by the time he came into the ring. He dropped the last fence, but it was irrelevant and he finished more than five penalty points clear of second-placed Nicholson and claiming the 60,000 pound sterling first prize.
Three-time Burghley winner Nicholson also had a rail apiece with his top two horses. As well as his Burghley prize money, he also secures the $US150,000 HSBC FEI Classics – a series of the six four star events which started at Pau, France in October and ends today at Burghley – with William Fox-Pitt (GBR) just edging out Paget for the second and third places.
Results (final) -
Jock Paget (NZL) Clifton Promise (owned by Frances Stead) 41.1 1, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Avebury (owned by Mark and Rosemary Barlow) 46.3 2, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Nereo (owned by Libby Sellar) 47.3 3, William Fox-Pitt (GBR) Parklane Hawk 50.3 4, Ingrid Klimke (GER) FRH Butts Abraxxas 52.2 5, Jonelle Richards (NZL) The Deputy (owned by Lucy Sangster) 59.4 6, Sir Mark Todd (NZL) Oloa (owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Pip McCarrol) 59.5 7, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Calico Joe 60.3 8, Ludwig Svennerstal (SWE) King Bob 60.7 9, Kristina Cook (GBR) De Novo News 62.4 10, Neil Spratt (NZL) Upleadon (owned by Sharon Robbins, Annitta Engel and Spratt) 69.6 16, Jonelle Richards (NZL) Flintstar (owned by Darnelle Hubbard, Tim Price and Mrs K Gray) 76.2 22, Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Lush (owned by Frances Stead and Lucy Allison) withdrawn before showjumping, Lucy Jackson (NZL) Willy Do (owned by Gillian Greenlees and Jackson) eliminated cross country, Sir Mark Todd (NZL) Ravenstar (owned by team Rutledge Recruitment and Training) withdrawn before cross country.
HSBC FEI Series: Andrew Nicholson (NZL) 67 points 1, William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 44 2, Jock Paget (NZL) 42 3.
For full results, head to -