01 September 2011

Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos Lead the U.S. Effort After Day One at the 2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials - By Joanie Morris

Neville Bardos and Boyd Martin at Burghley
(Photo: www.stockimageservices.com)

Lexington, KY - American Boyd Martin rode confidently into the main arena at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials to put in a top 12 effort on the first day of dressage. Riding Neville Bardos, whose trip to England was made possible by a Land Rover Competition and Training Grant, Martin was accurate and produced an excellent effort at the CCI4*.

Neville Bardos' appearance at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is something of a miracle after the 12-year-old Australian Thoroughbred gelding was trapped in a fire in Martin's barn in May. Incredibly the little horse survived and recovered from the smoke inhalation, amazing all of his connections and veterinarians. His score of 47.9 at his first Burghley is a testament to the time and effort that Martin and his team have invested in him. Tenth at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games last year, Neville Bardos appears to be returning to form.

"I was pleased to get here and make it one-third of the way around so far," said Martin. "That's his weakest phase of the three and we got through it close to our best."

The talk of the event has been the challenging cross country track, and Neville Bardos is renowned for his ability to run and jump. Only 10 points off the leader, Great Britain's William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk (39.7), the Neville Bardos Syndicate's hope is well within reach of a top placing.

William Coleman looked like he was ready for a top placing with Jim Wildasin's Twizzel this morning after spending the summer in England utilizing his Land Rover Competition and Training Grant only for the 15-year-old Westphalian to go inexplicably lame moments before he went in the ring. Coleman has been preparing and training all summer and Twizzel has improved tremendously, it was horrible timing for the combination. Coleman withdrew and Twizzel is being evaluated.

The final U.S. pair to compete today was Colleen Rutledge. Riding in only her second CCI4*, Rutledge rode Shiraz to a score of 63.7. The 13-year-old American Thoroughbred coped admirably with the electric atmosphere that is the Burghley main arena.

UK-based American rider Jules Stiller kicks things off tomorrow morning, dressage for the second half of the field begins at 9:30 AM local time. Stiller and Chapel Amble will be first in the ring. Michael Pollard, who also received a Land Rover Competition and Training Grant AND was named to the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the Pan American Games on Tuesday (with Schoensgreen Hanni) will ride Icarus at 11:00 am and the final American will be Sinead Halpin, she rider Manoir de Carneville at 12:45. Halpin received the Jacqueline Mars Training Grant from the USET Foundation to fund her trip. She is the reigning Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Champion.

Information about Land Rover's partnership with the USEF is available here: http://www.landrover.com/us/en/lr/experience-land-rover/sponsorships-events/equestrian-usef/

Follow all the action at http://www.burghley-horse.co.uk

Video on Demand should eventually be available here: http://www.burghley.tv

Information about the Rolex Grand Slam is available here: http://www.usef.org/images/eblasts/rolex/grandslamhome.html

Follow the U.S. Eventers in Europe this fall here: http://usefnetwork.com/featured/EventersinEurope/

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