5-8 September 2024

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Former top international event riders Andrew Nicholson and Nicola Wilson are joining the judging panel at this year’s Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Final at Defender Burghley Horse Trials (29 August-3 September).

Friday, July 14, 2023 - 12:01
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The Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse series for four- and five-year-old event horses is the most prestigious showcase for future talent in the UK. The summer-long programme of qualifiers culminates at Defender Burghley on Friday, 1 September, where the young horses perform a dressage test and a round of jumping, and their conformation is examined. The top 10 in each of the two classes then come forward for a final assessment, where they are judged on their suitability and type for the top levels of the sport and their potential to gallop round a five-star track in years to come.

The dressage phase in 2023 will be judged by the highly experienced pair of Les Smith and Sue Baxter, both of whom have officiated on CCI5* ground juries round the world, including here at Burghley.

Reigning European eventing champion Nicola Wilson, who retired from the sport after a bad fall at Badminton in 2022 but is pursuing a busy and active second career as a coach and commentator, will join former Burghley winner Jane Holderness-Roddam – the first woman to ride on a British Olympic eventing team - in judging the jumping phase.

Former British eventing team vet Dr Jenny Hall will judge the “suitability and type” phase. The final 10 in each age group then go forward to the gallop. This will be marked by five-times Defender Burghley winner Andrew Nicholson, who is taking a very different role at the event for the first time.

The Dubarry Young Event Horse series and final underwent a refresh in 2022 under new Burghley Event Director Martyn Johnson, who greatly increased the prize-money on offer and made some adjustments to the way these most exciting young horses are assessed in order to keep the classes as relevant as possible to the fast-moving modern sport.

Martyn said: “I am delighted to welcome to Burghley all six of our judges, who between them have countless years of expertise in the sport of eventing from every possible angle. The Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse final is where we hope to see the horses who, in years to come, will return here for the five-star competition, and is always very hotly contested.”

The Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Finals will be broadcast live on Burghley TV, Burghley’s top-quality subscription livestream service, along with every phase of the five-star action from the first trot-up to the final presentation, with daily highlight shows too. To book your tickets to Burghley or to subscribe to Burghley TV (which costs £20 for 12 months), visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk.