Hollie Swain hailed the Surrey Hills as the secret to her success as she successfully navigated Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials’ infamous cross-country course writes James Reid.
Bramley-based Swain got round in 13:22, picking up 20 penalties, to leave her 30th ahead of the final day.
But while a chance at the title may be gone, the New Zealand native was happy with how horse Solo performed on the biggest stage despite the few mistakes.
“He was mega out there,” said Swain.
“I’m sort of kicking myself a little bit now, having the information, so it’s slightly annoying.
“He just flew round there and gave me a delightful ride, living in the Surrey Hills, I think they really came into play.
“I was too scared to kick on at the end because I’d been told by so many that’s it’s Burghley and you have to respect it, but absolutely I think we could have gone again!”
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is back bigger and better than ever in 2022 after two missed years due to Covid-19, with large crowds descending on Lincolnshire.
Anticipation has been high with Tokyo Olympic course designer Derek di Grazia taking the reins from Captain Mark Phillips, after over 30 years in the hot seat for the former royal.
And di Grazia’s course proved challenging, with 21 riders failing to progress to Sunday’s showpiece, including world no.1 Oliver Townend.
But Swain’s Solo was not swayed by the swathes of spectators to prove that he was a true Burghley horse.
“He definitely is,” affirmed Swain. “The distances all came out, and obviously when you’re walking, you know they’re going to grow.
“He was fantastic and I had enough information into how he should be feeling at the end, so I’m just so thrilled to get through and have the house behind me, and hopefully we’ll be here again next year.”
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