2019 Course Notes
by Land Rover Burghley's Cross Country Course Designer, Captain Mark Phillips
Burghley 2019 looks better than ever. However, while there are many changes, I don’t believe riders will think it easier and I’m sure they will give it the greatest respect.
Lamberts Sofa (1) is the new number one with Lambert larger than life surveying the scene as riders leave the Start Box at Ring 2. The Flower Bed (2) comes up very quickly and all will be aware they are now at a 5*. By the time horses reach the Pol Roger Table (3) they will have settled into a rhythm, but it will be too early to stop for a drink!
The first minute marker comes up as horses enter the Main Arena with all its distractions.. Horses will have to be paying attention to their riders as they angle the first of the Walls (4). It’s then 3 strides to the Land Rover Fountain before angling the second Wall again 3 strides later.
As riders gallop down into Discovery Valley (5) they will need to keep their horses on their feet in order to jump the Log before kicking on and flying over the large Discovery Double Brush.
The Rolex Grand Slam Triple Brush (6) at the two minute mark looks super scary. Those on their game will jump it but there is an alternative for the more cautious. The Holland Cooper Leaf Pit (7) has a brand new look. The drop down is as daunting as ever, but once gravity has taken over riders will be hoping they have enough control to jump the big Double Brush and Triple Brush three strides later. Again, there is a longer route for the faint hearted.
Back to Discovery Valley (8) and at the three minute mark another new combination beckons. The Oxer is routine but the bending 4 strides to the Corner on the edge of the drop off is definitely not. Again there is a longer scenic route for those whose confidence is starting to wane.
The Flight Hangar (9) at Herbert’s Hollow has a new look. The one Hanger has a large drop, the alternative Hangar and Hedge, is not a lot longer and many may want to give their horses an easy here.
Now into the fourth minute the Land Rover Trout Hatchery (10,11) looms up and again has a completely new look. The Oxer on the mound on the approach appears enormous and the Oxer in the Water will command great respect. The Log into the Top Hatchery is unchanged but the Step Out is never easy and riders will need their ducks in a row to jump the Rails into the Top Pond that comes up very quickly. There are a variety of easier longer routes. We’ll see all sorts of solutions here.
The Captain’s Log (12) is a let up before the five minute mark and the most intensive part of the course, starting with Joules at the Maltings (13). The Oxers here on a 6/7 stride bending line are ‘out of the park’ and massive before bending again to a very big Corner. As ever there are longer options but the serious contenders will be trying to go the most direct route.
The Rolex Combination (14) is another matter and riders here have a genuine choice as the longer route will only cost 3 or 4 seconds extra. The direct route though is a left hand Corner four strides to the ‘Vicarage Vee’ Rail over the ditch and four more strides to a right hand Corner. This fence always has riders’ attention.
The Horse Sport Ireland Flyover (15) is brand new and is in the sixth minute. Riders here will either need to slow down or bring a parachute as they could be a long time coming down.
Land Rover at the Lake (16) is as ornate as ever in front of Burghley House. Most will jump the two Gates on two strides. I’m not sure anyone will be brave enough to go on one stride.
The Winners Avenue Bank (17) is new but will hold few fears as horses make the energy sapping climb to the eight minute mark and Cottesmore Leap (18). A Burghley classic it never gets any smaller.
Riders will need their wits about them on landing because the long route for the Keeper’s Brushes (19) comes up very quickly. If they miss this opportunity, they are committed to the two daunting Triple Brushes through the Hollow by the Keepers Cottage.
Clarence Court at the Dairy Farm (20) is the last serious combination as riders approach the nine minute mark. The climb to the first Chicken Coop looks serious and then there are only three strides to the first Egg Box and then two more bending to the second Egg Box and looking as though you are jumping into thin air. There are five efforts on the longer route for those running out of petrol.
The Pardubice (21) which follows is again massive and as riders descend down the hill towards the Lake, the Collyweston Slate Mine (22) doesn’t look any smaller either.
The Anniversary Splash (23) in the lake is new and looks large but the Hedges are soft for those starting to tire with the ten minute mark beyond in the Lake. The Lion Bridge (24 & 25) is also completely new with fences before and after the Water. The fences under the arches are more of a photo opportunity than a realistic alternative route.
It’s then kick on for home, over the Parasol Table (26) and around the thorns to the Land Rover Finale (27).
This is a real Burghley Championship 5* track. The winner will thoroughly deserve to take home all that Land Rover Prize Money.