Tom Tierney and Annie Jones’ Fernhill Fugitive finished 18th at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. I love Burghley — it’s the toughest event in the world — and it was great to be there and be a part of it. We weren’t right up there with the leaders at the end of the event, but we’ll aim for that next time.
Jack scored 50.5 in dressage, which was a little disappointing. He was going so well in warm-up and during the first part of the test, and I think I got a little too relaxed on him and had some costly mistakes in the flying changes at the end of the test. He can tend to get backed off, and I should have anticipated that a bit better.
It wasn’t a dressage show though, with Capt. Mark Phillips’ course requiring a lot of fitness and a lot of endurance, and the degree of difficulty and the terrain really upped the ante. We are so proud that Jack jumped clear around one of the toughest tracks in recent years to sit inside the top 25 after cross country.
The course was much tougher for Jack than an event like Rolex. The terrain is very up and down, and he doesn’t accelerate very quickly, so on uneven terrain it’s hard to get him going. He doesn’t go across the ground like a Thoroughbred would, but he tried his heart out. He jumped beautifully and stayed brave, and he was always looking for the flags.
Jack came out feeling fresh for show jumping thanks to Emma’s excellent care, and he jumped great. He had the last fence down which was totally my fault — I should have waited for another stride — but I couldn’t be more pleased with him. He struggled in the show jumping at Kentucky this year, so I was proud of him to improve on that performance.
Thank you to Tom and Annie for their support, Emma for her dedication to the horses, my family for being there to cheer us on, and my sponsors — we couldn’t do this without you! Lastly, thank you to Nico Morgan Photography for the great shots of Jack at Burghley.