Strong links between Burgham and Olympics

Laura Collett (London 52) competing at Burgham in 2020. Picture by Rupert Gibson Photography.Laura Collett (London 52) competing at Burgham in 2020. Picture by Rupert Gibson Photography.
Laura Collett (London 52) competing at Burgham in 2020. Picture by Rupert Gibson Photography.
Two top-class sporting events take place this week, 9,251km apart - but there are strong links between the Olympics and Hambro Sport Horses Burgham International Horse Trials.

While Tokyo might get a touch more attention worldwide, there’s no doubt that Burgham - Northumberland’s premier equestrian event - is the summer highlight of Britain’s national eventing calendar in 2021.

This year, as well as its very well-supported international classes at CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S and CCI2*-S level and a full range of national sections, Hambro Sport Horses Burgham is hosting the British National Eventing Championships; the first time that these prestigious titles have been held in the North of England.

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And Burgham is very proud that all four horses and riders representing Britain in eventing at the Olympics this weekend have competed in its feature CCI4*-S class - indeed, Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class and Ros Canter (Allstar B) both won at Burgham in 2020, while Laura Collett and London 52 finished fourth.

Many of those horses and riders who have narrowly missed out on Olympic team slots will instead be running at Burgham, which takes place from Wednesday, 28 July-Sunday, 1 August with cross-country action for spectators to enjoy each day from Thursday to Sunday. Among them are British team reserve riders Piggy French, Kitty King, Nicola Wilson and Sarah Bullimore, all of whom will be determined to prove themselves worthy of a place at the European Championships in September.

The British Olympic team aren’t the only ones swapping Burgham for Tokyo - our cross-country course-designer David Evans is the official Olympic course-builder and, while David laid out Burgham’s beautiful and testing tracks before he left, his role on the day will be filled by two five-star replacements in Ian Stark and Eric Winter.

Hambro Sport Horses Event Director Martyn Johnson said: “I’m really proud that we can say that Burgham has contributed in such a big way to the British eventing presence in Tokyo. Riders know that we do our utmost to provide the best possible conditions for horses and riders, and this is proof of that.

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“We are thrilled to hold the four national championships this year - the British Open Championship, the British Intermediate Championship, the British Novice Championship and the British Restricted Novice Championship - and, as ever, we have a huge number of top-class entries across all our classes. We hope that it will be a real ‘festival of the horse’ with unaffiliated showjumping and combined training alongside, giving grassroots riders the chance to compete alongside those at the pinnacle of the sport. We have a new title sponsor for 2021, and we are very grateful to JC and Lexi Hambro of Hambro Sport Horses for their support.

“Last year we had to hold Burgham ‘behind closed doors’, and we can’t wait to welcome spectators back to our event, which has such a lovely, rural setting and atmosphere. We have lots of excellent and varied tradestands, food outlets and bars, and we are all set to give everyone attending a great day out.”