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Burghley Horse Trials - Sam Griffiths 2nd After Cross Country

Andrew Nicholson

(Burghley, UK, 6 September 2014) Andrew Nicholson (NZL) riding Avebury lies in 1st place at the 2014 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials after today’s cross-country. Current Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing ‘live contender’ Sam Griffiths (AUS) riding Happy Times is lying in 2nd place with Great Britain’s Oliver Townend riding Armada in 3rd place.

Results after Cross-Country

1. Andrew Nicholson / Avebury (NZL) 46.1

2. Sam Griffiths / Happy Times (AUS) 49.8

3. Oliver Townend / Armada (GBR) 55.1

4. Jonathan Paget / Clifton Promise (AUS) 55.2

5. Izzy Taylor / Kbis Briarlands Matilda (GBR) 59.5

6. William Fox-Pitt / Bay My Hero (GBR) 60.3



Andrew Nicholson
Andrew Nicholson


The course, designed by Captain Mark Philips, proved tricky following a misty start to the cross-county phase of the competition at Burghley House in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Horses from 11 nations spanning Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, USA and the UK competed with the undulating ground for the substantial £62,000 first prize.

24 horses were either eliminated or retired on the 6,420 meter course. Despite the good ground conditions the water elements in particular proved tough for many of the horse and rider partnerships, resulting in the 11 minute 19 second optimum time proving elusive. Current Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing ‘live contender’ Sam Griffiths took an early lead, despite being held twice on the course, and is now lying in second after setting a highly competitive score that only eventing legend, Andrew Nicholson was able to match.


Andrew Nicholson riding Avebury: “I thought it went really well, the conditions were perfect. All I can do is ride to the best of my ability and all Avebury can do is jump to the best of his. He just has such a dependable and competitive attitude, he can deal with the terrain pretty easily and he loves the crowds. They seem to get closer every year and this year they were noisier than normal which most horses get nervous with, but he loves it. This is one of the best partnerships I’ve had, he’s very consistent, he comes out with the goods and hopefully he will tomorrow.”

Sam Griffiths riding Happy Times: “Burghley is such a prestigious event, it’s one of our Majors. It’s part of the Rolex Grand Slam which includes Badminton and Kentucky over in the states, it’s one we all want to win and with the Rolex Grand Slam in mind it’s one of our major events that we definitely want to win.”

Oliver Townend riding Armada: “It wasn’t spectacular, everybody knows Armada is a fantastic cross-country horse but with that comes pressure on yourself to make sure he’s in the right place. The best he does in the show jumping is usually two down so we’ll go out there and do our best tomorrow.”

Jonathan Paget riding Clifton Promise: “I had to change my plan at the water which cost me a bit of time. My horse was very honest and jumped all the jumps. Watching some of the other horses I think they set out a bit too fast and ran out of horse on the way home. I didn’t want to be in the position where I was chasing a tired horse home. I was careful in the beginning to not waste too much energy but maybe I should’ve just cut through the short lines. In previous years’ in the show jumping I’ve had a pole down, I can’t afford to do that tomorrow but if I had to pick a horse for show jumping it would be him.”

William Fox-Pitt riding Bay My Hero: “I was delighted with my horse, he really did try hard. It was hard work out there, it’s a very twisty track to ride. The conditions were really, really humid and I think it’s been tough for the horses - they needed cooling down before they’d even started! Where you can usually whizz along down the hill towards the end they were plugging along, it certainly wasn’t a recovery period of the track that it usually is. He’s usually a good jumper but I think today has taken a lot out of him, it’ll be interesting to see how he comes out tomorrow but he will try his best.”

Izzy Taylor riding Kbis Briarlands Matilda: “The conditions are really good, the horses are tiring but that’s because of the way the course is laid out, it’s not a pretty cross-county course, you have to be effective to get round and we did that. The ground is perfect, it’s not too hard. I’m really thrilled with my horse. The combinations were tricky but you just need to be very alert and very sharp and make it happen.”

Hannah Sue Burnett riding Harbour Pilot: “I’ve been so nervous this week, more nervous than ever before, the course rode extremely fast. After the combinations it felt pretty good, he was jumping fantastically. I was watching some other rounds and quite a lot of people at the Dairy Mound were jumping down the bank, which I didn’t expect at all because I thought that would take a lot more time, but I stuck to my plan and took the short way there. He actually accelerated up the hill to the last fence, I was like ‘Is this really happening?!’. He actually pulled both hind shoes, I didn’t notice until I went to the goose which is like the scariest jump on the course because it’s so upright and they’re so tired – he’s the best horse in the world!”

For an audio interview of the post cross-country press conference featuring Andrew Nicholson, Sam Griffiths, Oliver Townend, Jonathan Paget, Izzy Taylor, William Fox-Pitt and cross-country Course Designer - Capt Mark Phillips, please click link Below.

Captain Mark Phillips

Andrew Nicholson

Sam Griffiths

Oliver Townend

Jonathan Paget

Izzy Taylor

William Fox-Pitt

For more information on the 2014 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and full Results/Leaderboard, please visit

A New Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Contender

  Sam Griffiths
Sam Griffiths (AUS)

Having won the 2014 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Sam Griffiths (AUS) is the current live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Prize worth US$350,000. To win the prize, he will need to repeat his success from Badminton and claim a win at this year's Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. If he can complete this immense challenge, he will go forward to the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, with a win making him only the second person to be a Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Champion, joining Pippa Funnell.

For the full Burghley results, click here

Story from Revolution Sports for Rolex