Burgham gets Royal seal of approval

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The 2017 Burgham International Horse Trials were held at the weekend and proved to be a huge success.

They were also a huge relief to the organisers after an event earlier in the year at the same venue was cancelled due to the conditions.

British rider Laura Collett won the feature CIC3* class on Mr Bass.

The event also had a Royal seal of approval with the Queen’s grand-daughter, Zara Tindall, among the competitors.

It was Laura’s first visit to Northumberland’s only international event, and she said: “It’s been amazing from start to finish. All my three horses have gone really well this weekend and Mr Bass has topped it off. He’s a pleasure to ride.

“I’ll definitely come back to Burgham. The ground has been perfect, the courses are great – I highly recommend it.”

Laura finished on her dressage score of 39.9, beating Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class by just half a mark.

It was a thrilling finish to the 80-runner class: Oliver could afford to be two seconds over the time allowed on the cross-country and still win but, in the end, he was three seconds over and had to settle for second.

Constance Copestake, who rides for France but who is based in Lincolnshire, took the Howard Russell CIC2* aboard her own 12-year-old mare Aprobanta. It was 20-year-old Constance’s first CIC2* win.

She was second behind New Zealand’s Tim Price (Falco IV) after dressage, but Tim had a refusal across country, handing the win to Constance.

She said: “My mare has been super all week. The big, galloping cross-country course really suited her – it was well-designed [by David Evans] and beautifully built, and rewarded forward riding.

“This is such a friendly event – I will definitely come back.”