Sarah takes the positives from challenging week at the Burghley Horse Trials

Sarah Bullimore riding Valentino V in the dressage phase of the Burghley Horse Trials. Photo by Trevor Holt/ Burghley Horse Trials via Getty Images
Sarah Bullimore riding Valentino V in the dressage phase of the Burghley Horse Trials. Photo by Trevor Holt/ Burghley Horse Trials via Getty Images

Bedford’s Sarah Bullimore admitted she had higher hopes for this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials after the dust had finally settled.

Bullimore was embarking on a double assault at the world famous four-star event last week, competing onboard both Reve Du Rouet and Velentino V.

Valentino V started strongly with a score of 49.5 in the dressage but struggled in the cross-country and then picked up eight faults in the show jumping to finish 31st.

Reve Du Rouet meanwhile had a slow start with 55 in the dressage but moved up 10 places after taking on Mark Phillips’ cross-country course. Five faults in the show jumping secured a top-20 finish as they placed 19th overall.

And 41-year-old Bullimore believes the experience of competing at Burghley will prove to be a great learning curve for her horses.

“I had come here with slightly higher expectations but that’s horses and I’m pleased with both of them,” she said.

“Reve Du Rouet is a really young horse and he does struggle with the crowd and he does get quite nervous so I’m really chuffed with him.

“He really tried; we made a hash of it at times but he pulled it together and we went clear the rest of the way.

“He was feeling like he was coming back at me rather than actually travelling forward so we got a time fault but I’m really pleased with him.

“The crowd is quite close so it was good for him to go and do a parade because they never get to see this kind of atmosphere and get used to it so it’s great experience.”

She added: “Hopefully he will have grown up again, he’s 10 so he is quite a young horse but I’ve had him from a three-year-old so he still likes to be the baby at home but it is time he started to man up a little bit.”

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is widely considered to be the most prestigious four-star event in the world and Bullimore was delighted to have another week in Lincolnshire under her belt.

“They’ve completed and they’re in good order and they would have learned a lot from the experience and we’re looking to the future,” she added.

“You’ve just got to ride with what is under you and take it from there really so we can’t be too disappointed.

“I think we always put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do well but I’m happy with the horses even if I’m slightly disappointed with the outcomes.

“At the end of the day if the horses have gone as well as they can then that’s what you have to be happy with and it’s great to back at Burghley and competing in such an amazing competition.”

The multi-award winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials has been established as a major international equestrian and social event in the autumn sporting calendar for over 50 years. For more information visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk