What are the Burghley Horse Trials?

History of Burghley Horse Trials

Did you know that Burghley Horse Trials haven’t always been held at Burghley? in 1961 when the 6th Marquis of Exeter heard that a three-day event could no longer be held at Harewood House, he invited the British Horse Society to transfer the event to his estate.

Since 2005 Land Rover has been the leading sponsor for Burghley following a long standing association with it where, for example, it supplied vehicles for the medical teams who needed prompt access to all areas. Nowadays its involvement extends to feature fences on the course, an off road demonstration area and even a hospitality pavilion where you can enquire about your next Land Rover  :-D

It’s classified by the FEI as one of the six leading three-day events in the world. The others being the Badminton Horse Trials, the Rolex Kentucky Three Day, the Australian International Three Day Event, the Luhmühlen Horse Trials and the Étoiles de Pau.

It has competition at CCI**** (four star) level. A CCI**** is the highest level of competition that is aimed at advanced level for horses and riders, both of which have a good deal of experience and success in international competitions. The following strict conditions have to be met by both horse and rider:



Age of rider


Age of horse


Cross Country




Length of course


Minutes per mile


Total course time

11-13 minutes

Show Jumping






Length of course


Minutes per mile



The prize for first place is currently £50,000. Can you believe that prize money is given down to 20th place?

To date there have been six course designers. Since 2005 it’s been Captain Mark Phillips, himself a highly experienced rider.

Previous winners from Great Britain include Mary King, Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pitt

Tredstep continues to be the brand of choice for many eventers and this year they have a number of sponsored riders at Burghley. So look out for Lauren Shannon, Elisa Wallace, Caroline Powell, Mark Kyle and Joseph Murphy.

Click here to be in with a chance to win £250 worth of Tredstep Medici chaps and paddock boots.



Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.

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