Organisers of the Defender Burghley Horse Trials have announced a staggering £110,000 prize for the Champions of the 2023 event.
A key event in the equestrian calendar, Burghley is one of only seven horse trials around the globe to be classified as CCI5* – the highest level in international equestrian sport.
Event Director Martyn Johnson said:
We always aspire to raise the bar at Defender Burghley. As a top-class sporting occasion and to reward our athletes and owners for winning the most prestigious and challenging three-day event in the world, we feel it appropriate to offer the most valuable prize in the sport.”
This is internationally acclaimed course-designer Derek di Grazia’s second year at the helm of creating Defender Burghley’s unique and thrilling cross-country track. US-based Derek visited the eventing site twice over the winter and is currently finalising his designs for Defender Burghley 2023, which will give a subtle twist to the course.
Defending Champion Piggy March will undoubtedly return this year; all be it without her 2022 ride Vanir Kamira (stable name Tilly). The news comes as March spoke of the mare’s retirement from 5* competition on social media this month.
In February, the Linconlshire-based venue announced its intent to win the bid to host the FEI Eventing World Championships in 2026. Having hosted two World Championships in 1966 and 1974, alongside a further six European Championships, the stunning venue, with its picturesque backdrop of Burghley House, is certainly more than capable of organising and presentingsuch a prestigious event. The bid progress for the 2026 Eventing World Championships will conclude by June.
Tickets for 2023 will go on sale to members on Thursday, 27 April, and on general release the following day, Friday, 28 April.
Feature image: Piggy March and Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira, Champions of Defender Burghley Horse Trials, 2022.