Dorr quietly confident before Burghley Horse Trials debut

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Cornelia Dorr will make her Burghley Horse Trials debut in September

Fresh from a first Nations Cup appearance in May, Cornelia Dorr is gearing up for her debut in 5* company at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in September writes Tom Masters.

Surrey-based Dorr, 24, was a part of the USA team for the first time at Houghton Hall a few months ago on Burghley-bound Daytona Beach 8.

The pair were 15th in the individual competition as the USA finished second overall behind winners Great Britain and Dorr has taken great confidence from that performance ahead of her first visit to Burghley.

She said: “That was a big confidence boost for the two of us, she went really, really well there.

“Before that, we went to Switzerland and did Avenches for the European Tour last year.

“That was a really tough, big, bold course, so that was a big step in our preparation.

“Since then, there's been a lot of pressure on her for that, so I've just taken the pressure off in terms of competition and she's run a couple intermediates to keep her going and keep her fit.”

Ahead of her maiden Burghley experience, Dorr believes the competition will prove to the liking of her companion.

“Anyone who looks at our record would see she [Daytona Beach 8] has a lot of anxiety in the dressage,” she said, speaking ahead of the event that is back for the first time in two years - due to the Covid-19 pandemic - better than ever, with renewed impetus, a top class field and additional activities on offer.

“Burghley really isn't all about dressage, it's not a dressage competition, and so I think in that way, it suits us.

“I just hope that I've given her enough positive experiences in that arena this year to be able to sneak a test out of her at Burghley.

“We're both fairly confident in each other, more than fairly confident actually, I think we’ve got it.”

With positive results behind her throughout the year, Dorr is heading into Burghley feeling confident but is keeping a lid on her expectations.

“The Nations Cup was amazing, I never actually got out to try to make time with her on a four short, she was the first one out for the team and we were one second over the optimum time,” she said.

“I've been riding off that all year and that was a huge confidence boost to know that we can go and do that as a pair.

“I'm realistic with myself about the chances of winning.

“I would be really, really happy to jump there and go fast in the show jumping and cross country.

“And I think the dressage will be what it is. But I think if I can jump clear and go fast, she should have a fairly good result.”

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