With over 173,000 visitors over the four days, more than 600 carefully selected exhibitors, an average of 80 of the world’s top competitors and a prize fund of over £300,000, 21st century Burghley Horse Trials is a far cry from the inaugural event, which took place 60 years ago with just 19 competitors and in front of a mere 12,000 people.
Eventing came to the magnificent Elizabethan parkland surrounding Burghley House in 1961 by accident rather than design, after the Marquess of Exeter, a keen equestrian, heard that the three-day event at Harewood was to be cancelled due to a suspected outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. He invited the British Horse Society to transfer the event to his estate in a move which was to prove the start of a remarkable journey.
In only its second year,1962, Burghley ran the FEI’s European Championship. It went on to host two World Championships (1966 and 1974), six European Championships (1962, 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989 and 1997) and one Young Riders European Championship (1978). No other horse trials site has staged as many Championships.
Today the event has become one of the most popular and highly regarded within the equestrian and social calendars and ranks within the UK’s top ten national sporting occasions by attendance. It has also been voted a firm favourite amongst riders from all over the world, securing the coveted L’Annee Hippique award an incredible seven times – a record within international Eventing.
Burghley Horse Trials is one of only six CCI 5* events worldwide, the star rating denoting the highest standard of event (technically and administratively) and the most challenging test of horse and rider.
G&T Executive provides an executive chauffeur taxi service to the Burghley Horse Trials.