By James Reid
Kristina Hall-Jackson will complete the final stage of a career-long journey when she competes at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
The Wakefield-based rider, 25, is set to make her debut at the storied 5* event in Stamford, Lincolnshire on 11-year-old Google, with the pair having been together since 2017.
Burghley represents the pinnacle of eventing for many riders, with its demanding cross-country course set within the grandeurs of the 16th-century Burghley House.
“She is the horse I’d want to do my first 5* on,” said Hall-Jackson, 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.
“She is a horse I know inside out.
“We’ve been together from the start of her career, I’ve produced her from baby all the way up the levels so doing it on her is very special.
“I sit on her and it’s like, she is me. I’ve made her into my horse, we have a relationship like no other.
“When you take rides on from other people it’s still brilliant, but one that you’ve produced from the start it’s a completely different relationship.”
The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials return in September for the first time since 2019, after Covid-19 caused cancellation of the landmark event two years running, meaning anticipation is high for all those descending on Stamford.
Hall-Jackson posted an impressive sixth-place finish at 4* Bramham in June and is hopeful of carrying that form into her 5* debut at Burghley.
“It’s very exciting that it’s actually running and I get to run Burghley as Burghley, as my first 5*,” she added.
“It’s prestigious, it’s where you want to run, it’s the dream and it’s what we do it for. For it to be back at Burghley is very exciting.
“More people are going to spectate because everyone has missed going and watching. It wasn’t quite the same for us competing in Covid years without spectators.
“You don’t realise how much spectators boost the atmosphere and make it feel like events.”
Fantastic to see so many top class entries coming in for this years #LRBHT.
You can see the combinations entered so far here 👇🏼https://t.co/7PayTgJYkJ#BurghleyHorseTrials #Eventing #betterthanever pic.twitter.com/69iAWAz2s2
— Land Rover Burghley (@LRBHT_Official) July 31, 2022
The West Yorkshire star is aiming for as strong a finish as possible at Burghley to further boost her already burgeoning career.
However, Hall-Jackson admits while she hopes to have the offer of riding some of the very best horses in the future, nothing will beat riding Google.
“I’m hoping that it will help boost my exposure,” said Hall-Jackson.
“I’m getting more recognised now and being on the big stages of Burghley, hopefully it helps my sponsors out who really support me through it all and also attracts some more owners.
“I haven’t had the massive budget to go out and buy an experienced horse, I’ve had to do it from the start of their careers.
“I find it a very enjoyable way to do it, from the start of the horse’s career, because you have that relationship and it’s just so rewarding to know how far we’ve come.”
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