Phil Brown hoping to step into the light at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

·3-min read
Eventer Phil Brown is hoping to shine on his debut at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, just a stone's throw from his yard
Eventer Phil Brown is hoping to shine on his debut at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, just a stone's throw from his yard

Having cut his eventing teeth in the shadow of Burghley House, Phil Brown can’t wait to step into the light as he makes his debut at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this September.

Brown, 35, originally hails from Scarborough and is now based in Stamford as he embarks on his eventing dream.

The trials, making its return after missing two years due to Covid-19, is one of the biggest stages eventing has to offer, and Brown can’t wait to sample the atmosphere on his doorstep, having missed out despite qualifying six years ago.

“My yard is literally over the road, you can see it from the house, the buzz in Stamford is building because it’s back,” said Brown, 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.

“It feels like a long time coming. I qualified six years ago but with injury I never got there.

“It’s been a long six years trying to get back to that point. All the hard work it takes to get one there, it’s all finally going to happen.

“It is literally like living a dream. You don’t think it’s going to happen until you get there.”

Burghley will be Brown’s first 5* event, the highest calibre event with just six worldwide, and the Yorkshireman knows it will be a tough task for himself and horse Harry Robinson.

But the 35-year-old is simply looking to enjoy the experience on what will be his biggest stage yet in his career.

“I’m going there with no expectation,” said Brown. “I’m trying to say to myself it’s just another event.

“I’ve had the horse since he was six years old so we know each other inside out.

“I’m hoping that every 4* we’ve done counts towards that experience in the bank.

“Just take each phase as it comes and enjoy the experience, there is an achievement in just getting there.”

While this may be Brown’s bow at the prestigious event, he admits that making sure he would be competing at this year’s event was a key aim.

“This year, the goal has been to finish the qualification and try and get to Burghley,” he added.

“I’d be lying if there wasn’t a bit more pressure. Last year doing the 4*s, I went into them a bit more naively, thinking we’ll just do a few shorts and then I ended up qualifying for a long.

“This year, it felt a bit more possible, I felt a little bit more pressure, more expectation.

“I’m just going to try and stay focused and just do what we normally do.”

Regardless of how the pair perform in Lincolnshire, Brown, who coaches alongside riding professionally, will be well supported by friends and family from across the country, including some vital local support.

“A lot of the people I coach in Yorkshire are going to come down and watch,” said Brown.

“I’m one of the youth coaches for the East Midlands, I’ve got a lot of support from people around here.

“Our yard is so local, we’ve got quite a lot of momentum behind us – that means a lot, it’s quite surreal.”

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