By James Reid
Morven Pringle will take her first-ever mount to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in a storybook end to a decade-long journey.
The Lockerbie-based rider, 27, will compete at the prestigious 5* event on Dunbog Gypsy Rose, a 15-year-old mare.
The trials return this September for the first time since 2019 after two years away due to Covid-19, with anticipation higher than ever for the flagship event in the eventing calendar.
And Pringle admitted that while there are some nerves ahead of her first-ever ride in the grand surroundings of Burghley House, she is thrilled to be doing it with the horse she knows best.
“I’ve never competed there, so I’m really looking forward to it,” said Pringle, 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.
“I think it’s going to make it even better having the crowd, because it makes it feel like a much bigger thing. Everyone’s really excited just to be getting back to normal.
“Obviously it gets the nerves going as well because you’ve got loads of people watching you, but you need to have the spectators there to make big events.
“The horse I’m taking to Burghley, she was my first horse coming off ponies and I never really thought she’d be as good as she is.
“It’s been an incredible journey with her, I’ve had her for 10 years now.
“I’ve had her since she was five, so her whole competitive career it’s just been me and her. I know her inside out, and she knows me inside out.
“We get on really well, I trust her and she trusts me. We came up through young riders, every level we’ve stepped up it’s been both our first times at that level.
“To be doing our first 5*, I wouldn’t want to be sat on any other horse.”
Fantastic to see so many top class entries coming in for this years #LRBHT.
You can see the combinations entered so far here 👇🏼https://t.co/7PayTgJYkJ#BurghleyHorseTrials #Eventing #betterthanever pic.twitter.com/69iAWAz2s2
— Land Rover Burghley (@LRBHT_Official) July 31, 2022
Pringle has enjoyed a solid build-up to her first Burghley, posting a 19th-place finish at 4* Bramham in June.
The Scot is realistic as to her chances of challenging at the top next month, but is confident of putting up a good showing and banking some invaluable experience.
“She’s such a good little jumper, she’s been double clear in all her 4* events this year. She’s feeling great and will be ready for Burghley,” added Pringle.
“She wouldn’t be your typical 5* event horse. She’s quite small, you wouldn’t look at her and think that will go and jump around Burghley but she’s got such a massive heart.
“She’ll just try and do as much as she can, she’ll always give me 110%.
“My main aim is just to go and take it all in and just enjoy the experience.
“I’m not expecting anything wildly amazing; to complete is our main aim, that would be the dream to complete our first Burghley.
“We’re based in Scotland so we’ve got lots of hills here so I’m hoping she’ll be really fit.
“To get the opportunity to compete at such a prestigious event, that’s what I’m really looking forward to.
“It’s not just another event, it really is one of the biggest in the world and I feel honoured to have this chance and I want to make the most of every minute of it.”
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