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Tom Jackson and Bubby Upton shine

  • Tom Jackson rode an impressive round over the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials cross-country course on Capels Hollow Drift to move up into fourth with only a dozen horses to run. They were lying in 13th but clocked a comparatively fast round for just 3.6 time-faults.

    Tom was held on course after Sammi Birch and Finduss PFP had a fall at the Fairfax & Favor Boot Racks, fence 19. But it hardly broke their rhythm and they picked up their slick-jumping round where they left off.

    “You lose your momentum, and it wasn’t the perfect fence to get back into a rhythm but he was a total professional, straight back on to the job,” said Burghley first-timer Tom.

    “He went round Badminton really well in the spring and has come here and delivered even better so I couldn’t be happier. It’s quite hard work out there: the beginning of the course is gruelling, steady climbing all the way and then you get to the top and they get second wind, and he flew home.”

    Bubby Upton, 23, set out on a mission  after an almost-perfect round at Badminton was blighted by a run-out at the final fence. They were lying 11th after dressage on 28.3 and their good clear moves them up the order to fifth at this stage.

    The pair set the tone of their Burghley round with a copybook ride through the influential Holland Cooper Leaf Pit. If Cola might have been thinking about running out at the corner, a big kick from Bubby committed him.

    “The Leaf Pit was the most challenging fence, once I had that out of the way, I said, ‘Come on, it’s game on now’,” she said. “As it’s my Burghley debut, I had no idea how he would jump that. Every other fence you can prepare for, but you can’t for that.”

    Her misfortune at Badminton must have been playing on her mind, as she rode every fence with utter determination to stop the clock with 10 time-faults. Bubby motivated herself for her today’s round by replaying her Badminton video.

    “I took a while to analyse Badminton and tried to take away the positives,” she said. “I watched my round before I went today because 99% was pretty perfect, and not many can say that about their Badminton debut. He’s a class act, and he proved it again today.”

    Burghley Horse Trials cross-country: the hard-luck stories

    Ireland’s Susie Berry, riding Ringwood LB, a first-timer at CCI5*, was going really well when the horse came down on landing from an oxer at the Fairfax & Favor Boot Racks, a similar fall to Sammi’s. This is the highest point of the course, and although the horse had a good shot, he just clipped the front rail with his back legs and couldn’t quite get his landing gear in order. They had been lying 14th.

    William Fox-Pitt and Oratorio II had not had the start to Burghley that the six-time winner would have wanted, scoring 30.2 in a distracted dressage test to lie 18th. And his cross-country round came to a premature end when the horse, who was pulling hard, failed to lock on to the final corner element at the Holland Cooper Leaf Pit. After jumping the alternative William elected to save the horse for another day.

    Piggy French is still leading after finishing one second over the time on Vanir Kamira, with leaders Kitty King and Vendredi Biats still to come.

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    Keep up with all of the breaking news, behind the scenes insight and the best of the action throughout Burghley Horse Trials with no limit on how much you can read from as little as £1 per week with a Horse & Hound unlimited website subscription. Sign up now. Plus enjoy our full 20-page magazine report on Burghley, including in-depth analysis and exclusive comments from Nick Burton and Mark Phillips, in next week’s magazine (8 September).

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