Canada’s 2012 Olympian Rebecca Howard of Salmon Run, BC competed amongst eventing’s elite athletes in her debut appearance at the prestigious CCI 4* Land Rover Burghley Three Day Event held September 5-8 in Stamford, GBR
Howard, who currently lives and trains near Marlborough, GBR, deftly piloted her 2012 Olympic and 2010 World Equestrian Games partner Riddle Master, a 12-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding sired by Rodero, owned and bred by Blithe Hill Farm of Orangeville, ON, over the 31 technically taxing, and often times massive obstacles, for a foot perfect cross-country performance earning only 9.2 time penalties, finishing with 60.2, placing them 17th heading into show jumping. Only one competitor out of the 68 entered successfully negotiated a double clear over Capt. Mark Phillips course.
In the dressage test, the pair’s miss on their flying lead changes helped put their score at 51.0, sitting them in 28th before Saturday’s cross-country. In an otherwise flawless performance during Sunday’s final show jumping, Riddle Master’s split-second hesitation a stride out from the Liverpool gave them an unlucky rail earning four faults, but the round was good enough to move up them the leaderboard five spots to finish the event in 12th place with a total three day score of 64.2.
Of their performance and week at Burghley Howard offered, “I was really pleased with our cross-country performance. Riddle Master was super, he’s a class horse to jump your first Burghley on. The course was huge and technical, I was worried about the terrain and how much horse I would have going home. I was a bit disappointed in our dressage phase; we missed our changes in the ring. He had been doing them so well in warm-up, so now we must get them solidified over the winter because there is no reason he shouldn’t be scoring in the low 40’s. We could have done better if he didn’t shy at the water but he’s a cheeky boy and is very spooky, he just hadn’t done that in a while. It was an expensive spook!
“It’s been my lifelong pursuit to jump the biggest tracks in the world and this was without a doubt the biggest course I`ve ever tackled. It wasn`t easy but he made it feel as easy as it could be, there are things in each phase I can work on to knock off penalties but it was still a very successful event for us and he came out of the event really well.
“The week here was incredible, it is the biggest CCI 4* in the world and it has that feel and air about it. Everyone on the organizing committee was so accommodating; they worked really to make things easy and as rider friendly as possible. It made it very enjoyable. So now Rupert (Riddle Master) is in the field for a nice break then we’ll get to work in prep for next year.”
For complete results click here.