Tom Crisp defied injury to complete the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials cross-country course on Saturday writes Tom Masters.
Crisp, 43, suffered broken ribs in a recent fall which understandably limited his training, but it did not stop the Norfolk born equestrian from getting around Derek di Grazia’s challenging Burghley cross-country course.
Crisp completed the course on horse Liberty and Glory in 11 minutes 47 seconds, which combined with his dressage score of 36 sees him sitting in 15th place on 46.8 points.
And Crisp recalled the special feeling a rider feels when finishing the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials cross-country course.
He said: “I got round and getting round a course like Burghley clear is always very special.
“I took a fall three weeks ago and broke a few ribs so I haven’t been in much training with her, and I didn’t want to let her down - I knew she was ready.
“I definitely felt the pull coming home but she kept the jump, I was a little down on time but it’s a very special place and I certainly wasn’t thinking about my dressage score going round there.”
Crisp was particularly content to finish the ride on a horse that has been bred by his family, and one that he took control of all those years back.
He added: “We’ve bred this horse, the in-laws bred it.
“She was a right pain in the arse to begin with, she wouldn’t do cross-country, she just used to lie down on the ground anytime you asked her to do anything.
“I took the ride on, I must be good with quirky girls because I took to her and never really looked back!”
And despite being nervous this morning, Crisp finished the race in style – entertaining the large Burghley crowd.
“It’s amazing what we ask them to do, what complicates it is it’s Burghley, thousands of people are watching and you want to do your best job so you put the pressure on yourself.
“I couldn’t feel my legs this morning but once you’ve done a few you get used to it, it’s just a blur of colour.
“You’re here to entertain them, and I thought whatever I do I want to do it spectacularly.
“To make the credits on grandstand you have to either be top 10 or fall off trying.”
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 www.burghley-horse.co.uk