Jackson stunned by incredible second place finish at Burghley Horse Trials

·3-min read
Tom Jackson celebrates his sensational show jumping run on the way to finishing runners-up at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
Tom Jackson celebrates his sensational show jumping run on the way to finishing runners-up at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

By James Reid at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

Tom Jackson was left struggling for words as he finished runner-up at his first-ever Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

The Ashford-born rider admitted he had arrived at the iconic 5* event with high hopes, but went far and beyond them with second place.

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials returned in 2022 bigger and better than ever, with huge crowds descending on the 16th-century house and its rolling hills for the first event since 2019.

They may have been enough to set the nerves going for a rider on their maiden appearance, but Jackson showed little of the kind to go clear in the show jumping stage with horse Capels Hollow Drift.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” beamed Jackson. “He’s been such a good horse for us all the way through, to come here and deliver like he has this week is phenomenal.

“I was definitely coming thinking we were in with a very good shout of being in the top 10 and if we did really well top five, so to be on the podium now is very exciting.

“We always knew he was capable and if everything goes right on the right day, and luckily it has this week, then he’s more than capable of producing some seriously good results.”

Jackson began the three-day event with a competitive dressage score of 28.9 before a clear cross-country run just nine seconds over the optimum time left him sitting in fourth heading into the final day.

And while eyes may have been on more illustrious names such as Kiwi couple Tim and Jonelle Price, Jackson stayed strong as others blinked inside the arena with its electric atmosphere.

“I’m very proud of the horse,” added Jackson. “He was just unbelievable today.

‘To go in there and try as hard as he did, he jumped very well but not maybe as good as he can do after yesterday’s effort.

“For him to dig as deep as he did is really pleasing.

“It’s very pleasing to be able to go in there on a Sunday when the pressure is on.”

The return of Burghley in 2022 was highly anticipated, and it did not disappoint on its reputation as one of the toughest 5* events.

The infamous cross-country course, designed by Olympic course designer Derek di Grazia, claimed 21 riders including both of world no.1 Oliver Townend’s mounts.

But Jackson looked in complete control around the track as he announced himself on the top stage of eventing.

“We’ve been working quite hard for a while and I’m hoping that a lovely horse like him can keep progressing and get us closer to these [international] teams,” said Jackson.

We’re always striving for better aren’t we, we’ll go home, give him a break and then get going 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 www.burghley-horse.co.uk