Photo credit: Peter Nixon
It’s the second and final five-star fixture on UK soil and a week every equestrian anticipates. Make the most of your Burghley trip with our five-day diary
The beginning of September can only mean one thing – Burghley’s here. Every year, more than 160,000 spectators head to the quaint town of Stamford in Lincolnshire for four days of action-packed equestrian competition. One of the toughest tests in the sport, Burghley sees competitors face a particularly spectacular cross-country course, which boasts stunning views, hills, splashes and jaw-dropping fences.
Whether you’re going for the first time or tired of the same old routine, Burghley’s full of surprises you might have overlooked. We’ve put together the perfect calendar of all the best bits so you can make the most of your trip.
Wednesday 4 September
It’s the first horse inspection, but not until 4pm. While it’s quiet, why not book a cross-country course walk with a top rider to discover the secrets of top-flight eventing? Plus, you’ll find some amazing vantage points on course to keep in mind for Saturday. You could even scout out the perfect spot by the Trout Hatchery for a picnic, if you’re that way inclined.
Thursday 5 September
Dressage begins in the main arena at 9am sharp, so rise early and hit the food court for a breakfast bite and a coffee to go before the queues form. If a couple of hours of fancy footwork is quite enough, head to the high-octane Pony Club team jumping competition, held in ring two throughout the day. However, if dressage is your absolute bag then stick around for the lunchtime display at 12.30pm.
Friday 6 September
It’s day two of dressage. Meanwhile, the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Finals in ring two features talented four- and five-year-old future superstars to swoon over. There’s a break for a display of British Sport Horse stallions at 12.30pm, too – plenty to get your teeth into.
Saturday 7 September
Cross-country day has arrived! The favourite phase of many eventing fans, prepare to cheer the riders on over fences up to 1.45m tall and 3m wide. You can catch the speed demons in the Shetland Pony Grand National in the main arena at 9.30am to kick things off. With time to spare before the first starter hits the course at 11am, why not hit the shopping village to hunt out some bargains?
TOP TIP – Take the agony out of waiting for your favourite rider by checking their start times ahead of the day.
Sunday 8 September
Get a good look at the equine athletes in the final horse inspection at 9am, then time for some more retail therapy before the final phase starts at 10.30am. You can catch the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse HOYS qualifier at 12.20pm, hear the military band at 2pm and cheer on the Burghley Horse Trials 2019 champion in the 15.45pm prizegiving, just after the parade of hounds.
TOP TIP – Thursday and Friday are quieter times to shop, but Saturday morning is prime time if you’re only going for cross-country day. Don’t get weighed down carrying your purchases around the course – leave them at the shop and drop to collect after the action, either behind the East Grandstand or at the Information Point.
Visit The World of the Horse
If you’re a shopping addict, Burghley is the place for you. You’ll find all the biggest and best brands the industry has to offer in the extensive shopping village.
For top names, the latest innovations and countless industry experts waiting to advise you, look no further than The World of the Horse pavilion. From superb saddles and the latest in rider safety gear to gorgeous clothing and supplements, you’re bound to find just what you’re looking for.
Plus, visit the Horse&Rider stand to say hi to the team. We’ll have the latest issue on sale, plus books, DVDs, amazing subscription deals and other goodies you simply won’t be able to resist.
Find the World of the Horse near the Lion Bridge, just a short walk from the cross-country course.
For something slightly different…
Burghley offers so much more than just the equestrian action. Why not try…
booking a Land Rover experience Based on the south side of the lake, experience the thrill of driving one of the latest Land Rover models over a dynamic display to really test out its off-road capabilities
having a go on the mechanical Musto Mare Show off your riding prowess over simulated fences or strut through a dressage tutorial. Each day, the top three simulator riders will bag some Musto goodies. It’s located on the south side of the grandstand near the World of the Horse pavilion
taking your dog around an agility course Find the ‘have a go’ course at the Discovery Valley close to the Country Living Makers’ Marquee. Every round wins an Autarky dog food goody bag, so what’s not to love?