By Tom Masters at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
Tom Jackson made his Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials bow in style, as he sits in 13th place at the end of day two.
Jackson and horse Capels Hollow Drift scored 28.9 on the second day of dressage, ahead of the showpiece cross-country event on Saturday.
The Godalming equestrian entered his first 5* event at Badminton earlier this year before entering Burghley for the first time a few months later.
And the 29-year-old is beyond belief at coming to two of the most prestigious eventing courses in the world in such a short space of time.
He said: “This and Badminton are the pinnacles of our sport in terms of an individual basis instead of as a team.
“So to come to these places is just incredible to be honest as they are like no other ones in the world.”
Jackson was tipped for big things at Burghley after finishing 16th at Badminton, but he insists that his earlier success does not add to the pressure of competing on the iconic Lincolnshire soil.
He added: “I don’t think Badminton adds to the pressure, he was very good, and it was his first one.
“I feel like we can keep progressing and hopefully end up slightly further up the leaderboard this time, but we shall see.”
Much has been made at Burghley this year of the change in course designer, with American Derek di Grazia taking over from long time designer Captain Mark Phillips as the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials returned for the first time since 2019.
And Jackson believes that it will be a challenge on the course tomorrow.
“The terrain is the main factor here, it looks very big out there and square which is kind of what you’d expect coming here,” he said.
“I think having not been here before but having been and watched and spoken to loads of people, it’s amazing how much you really have to know your horse and feel your way around this course - so hopefully we’ll be able to do that tomorrow.”
One person Jackson has been benefitting from is reigning champion Pippa Funnell, and he is extremely grateful to the 2019 champion for her support as he looks to conquer the infamous Burghley cross country course for the very first time.
He said: “Pippa’s been a massive help and part of our team, she’s been invaluable to everything up to this point really to be honest.
“I walked around the course with her (Pippa) yesterday and her experience round here of saying things like ‘sometimes they can feel like they’re struggling up this hill, but don’t worry because it comes back’.
“That kind of experience you cannot teach, so I’m really glad to have her in my corner.”
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