By Tom Masters at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
Piggy March admitted relief was the overriding emotion after coming through a nervy show jumping finale to seal her first Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials triumph.
The 42-year-old, on board Vanir Kamira, held a two-fence lead heading into her show jumping round after impressive dressage and cross-country displays and held off Burghley newcomer Tom Jackson, who claimed an impressive second place after a perfect show jumping run.
The victorious March, twice a Burghley runner-up, has now completed a prestigious double after winning at Badminton in 2019 and said: “That won’t settle in for a while, I was very nervous all day.
“Right now, relief is the word. I’ve gone through so many emotions today.
“I just kept thinking ‘this horse deserves it’ and she really does, she’s been second here three times before.
“Burghley horses are so special, but I think I just wanted it for her, more than anything, to have her name up that winner’s avenue.
“It’s what dreams are made of. She’s a very special mare and she’s given me the best days of my life.”
March went into Sunday at the summit courtesy of a dressage score of 22.6 penalty points and an incredible cross-country run on Vanir Kamira, clocking 11 minutes and 21 seconds, which gave her a comfortable lead.
But the duo are no strangers to clashes with fences and she was made to sweat after an early fence fall saw her lead slashed.
She added: “We always hit every fence, it’s just how we do it, sometimes they stay up, sometimes they don’t.
“It’s a long way from there and I knew I could have two (fences fall). I would have loved the feeling that I could’ve had three. I said to Tom (Jackson) when he came out ‘you could have just knocked one more down!’
“There were some very good horses who were knocking three down, so that shows it’s tough.”
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