Ahead of the start of the 4* Badminton Horse Trials on Thursday the estate hosted the Burghley Young Event Horse qualifier on Wednesday. Amongst those competing in the class for five year olds was Woollard rider Dani Evans.
Riding Ann Butller’s Hollywood Dancer, a 16.2h five year Dani battled it out against 48 riders who had qualified for the five year class. As the first qualifier for the Burghley Young Event Horse competition to be held at the end of the summer all the riders were aiming to finish in the top three in order to get in the draw for the hugely popular competition that showcases potential ‘four star’ horses at an early age.
Open to four and five year olds, the aim of the Series is to encourage breeders and trainers to produce and present the type of young horse which will be considered to be the best material to make a world class three day event horse.
The judges look for an athletic, loose moving horse with a promising jumping technique and attitude which, with correct training and production, will develop physically and mentally into a strong three day eventer.
The winner is that with the highest overall marks from four sections: Dressage, Jumping, Conformation & Quality and Suitability & Potential.
In the Dressage section Dani and Hollywood Dancer scored 26 one of the highest scores with only seven of the 48 riders scoring more and no-one scoring more than 28. In the showjumping section Dani and Hollywood Dancer had a clear round scoring 36. With a trot up in front of the judges following Dani and Hollywood Dancer’s final score was 74 leaving the pair in seventh.
Finishing seventh in a field of over 40 of the most promising future ’four star’ event horses is no mean feat, and with Dani suffering from a broken leg following an accident just three weeks before the competition this achievement is all the more impressive.