By Tom Masters at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
Alice Casburn was left beaming as a perfect jumping round saw her finish fifth as the youngest rider at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
The 20-year-old entered her first ever Trials with hopes to simply complete the Lincolnshire course, but the Corpusty equestrian massively exceeded those expectations.
After a dressage score of 33.6 penalty points followed by a sensational cross-country run of 11 minutes 37 seconds, Casburn started the day in eighth.
But a clear round of jumping and errors from Ros Canter, Kitty King and Bubby Upton, Casburn and horse Topspin rose up the rankings.
She said: “He was just incredible in the show jumping.
“Yesterday he was brilliant too and I was just so grateful to have such an incredible ride.
“To then have a clear like that is amazing and it feels great.
“I was really nervous before, I think it’s hard on a horse like him, because I know that if I get him on a form of stride, he’s really careful and he’s scopey and that almost makes me more nervous knowing that if anything goes wrong it’s on me.”
Casburn confirmed her first experience of the prestigious 5* event was just as special as she hoped.
“It was an incredible atmosphere in there and when you hit that finish line it is just such a nice feeling,” she said
“It was amazing, you hope that you’ll have a safe Burghley and get round and improve for next year.
“To have my first Burghley and have one like this, I just hope I haven’t peaked too early, but he’s been phenomenal and like my mum said it’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”
It has been a whirlwind few months for Casburn and she has already set her eyes on Badminton in the spring, but decompression is the order of the day for now.
She added: “He’s now going to have a very well-deserved rest, and probably get really fat and have a big winter coat.
“If he comes up well then probably Badminton is on the cards and that’s as far as I’ve thought to be honest.
“It’s been a very busy few months, I’ve been going from event to event so I think I’m just going to get home and celebrate what an incredible year it’s been because I don’t know if I’ll ever have a year like this again!”
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (1-4 September 2022) returns after a two-year hiatus, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A major international sporting and social event for over 50 years it attracts 80 of the world’s top equestrians and over 170,000 visitors. For more information visit