By James Reid at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
Kristina Hall-Jackson admits she cannot get enough of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials crowd after making her debut at the landmark 5* eventing competition.
The Wakefield-based equestrian, accompanied by horse CMS Google, scored 33 in their dressage test on Friday to open her campaign amidst the stunning backdrop of 16th-century Burghley Horse.
The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials are back for the first-time since 2019 after two missed years due to Covid-19, with crowds now flocking to Stamford, Lincolnshire.
And while having so many eyes watching might cause some young riders to wobble, 25-year-old Hall Jackson is relishing the big stage.
“I absolutely loved it,” she beamed. “I was in there thinking ‘I feel like I’m famous!’
“She felt a little nervous and I just had to hold her hand a little bit but then she got the confidence and she was great in there.
“I’m thrilled with that to be honest, dressage isn’t her strong point, she’s an out and out jumper.
“We’ve worked really, really hard on it and it was really annoying, I made a mistake in the half-pass which made her change early so really it could have been lower, so kicking myself but she did everything she could.
“She really does try her heart out and really improved in this phase – I’m thrilled to bits with her to be honest.”
Hall-Jackson has been with mount Google since 2017 as the pair have risen through the eventing ranks together.
The duo placed sixth at 4* Bramham earlier in the year, proving their credentials at the top level but now face a step up at one of the toughest courses eventing has to offer.
The pair must now prepare for Burghley’s famous cross-country course, which has been designed by the curator of the Tokyo Olympic course, Derek di Grazia, after he succeeded Captain Mark Phillips.
And Hall-Jackson feels ready to tackle such a huge and challenging course on a mount with whom she has such a special relationship.
“It’s very big, very bold,” added Hall-Jackson.
“I wouldn’t want to go out on any other horse but her, she gives me all the confidence in the world so hopefully we can do our best job and get round clear, safe and sound.”
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