By James Reid at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
Phil Brown finished off a fairytale debut at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials by completing the show jumping stage to leave the eventer elated.
Brown, alongside horse Harry Robinson was competing at the iconic 5* for the first time, and the Scarborough native felt it could hardly have gone any better.
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is back in 2022 for the first time since 2019, after two absent years due to Covid-19, and Brown made up for lost time with a strong performance despite knocking four fences on the final day.
And with the 16th-century Burghley House in view from Brown’s Stamford base, the 35-year-old admitted he was living the dream.
“It’s just been the most incredible week,” beamed Brown.
“I did a PB in the dressage, clear in the cross-country and a few poles fell today but that’s his tricky phase.
“I knew a few would go but he’s tried his heart out and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s been a bit of a fairytale really.
“Even being here was a dream, but to complete is incredible. A massive thank you to his owners and the whole team to get me here.”
With Burghley back for the first time since before the pandemic, anticipation for one of the flagship dates in the eventing calendar has been through the roof, with swathes of crowds descending on the Lincolnshire hills.
Spectators lined Burghley’s gruelling cross-country route, which Brown and Harry Robinson completed clear in 13:55 as the course saw 21 riders eliminated.
American designer Derek di Grazia was also making his Burghley debut, with the Tokyo Olympic course designer’s challenge proving tricky for many riders, including Huddersfield’s world no.1 rider Oliver Townend, who fell on both his horses.
And Brown revealed the crowd were once again in full force for Sunday’s show jumping showpiece.
“It’s buzzy in there,” added Brown. “You can feel the noise out here, the hum of the crowd, and when you go in it’s deathly silent while you’re going round.
“It just erupted at the end and that’s super special.”
Please leave in final par - 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