Dorr conquers big stage emotions at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

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The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials are back bigger and better than ever this year after a two-year hiatus (Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials)

Cornelia Dorr overcame her big stage emotions to deliver a rock-solid display on her Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials debut writes Tom Masters.

Dorr, 24, travelled over from Massachusetts in January to join Kevin McNab’s yard in Compton, Surrey with the target being to compete at Burghley.

And on the opening day of the 2022 edition of the prestigious competition, she finally fulfilled that dream.

With a score of 39 in the opening day’s dressage, Dorr was happy with her horse Daytona Beach 8’s first 5* run after battling the weight of occasion in Stamford.

She said: “I’m really happy with her and she tried really hard to stay with me and listen to me.

“She runs on a lot of adrenaline, and she had a great run.

“It’s pretty surreal, I got a bit emotional when they rang the bell at the start, I was like ‘wow this is pretty cool!’

“I’m just happy to be here – I have had a chance to walk around the cross country, I think it looks big, but fair, so hopefully it rides as well as it walks.”

Dorr admitted that Daytona Beach 8 is not the easiest horse to get around a dressage course, but that what she lacks in that discipline, she more than makes up for in cross country.

She added: “What makes her hard in there (at dressage) makes her amazing out there (cross country)

“Kevin (McNab) has got her so much better in the contact, and I can actually put more leg to hand on, and she finds comfort in that.

“She is a bit of a character - I’ve had her since she was eight and she’s 12 now.”

And after dreaming of making an appearance on the hallowed Lincolnshire turf, Dorr was ecstatic to finally compete at the prestigious 5* event.

“It was pretty amazing to be here finally,” she said.

“In terms of the atmosphere, the crowd were so nice, quiet, and respectful, so that was really nice.

“I’m very happy with how that dressage went, and I’m really excited for Saturday, I think the more I walk it (the course), the more I’ll make a plan, but it looks great!”

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