Will Britain’s leading event rider Oliver Townend again defend his succession of wins in Barefoot Estates Burnham Market International’s headline class? He will certainly be giving it his best shot with four horses entered including last year’s winner Cooley Master Class and 2014 winner Black Tie II.
Oliver’s record at Burnham Market is remarkable. He has won the top level CIC3* class an astonishing nine times since 2007. Given that Burnham Market is the second leg of the Tri-Star Grand Slam with its £50,000 winner takes all bonus there is everything to play for.
However, there are plenty of riders entered who will be trying to stop Oliver in his tracks. Pippa Funnell has entered her Rio Olympic Games and previous 3* winner Billy The Biz. Fellow Rio veteran, Ceylor LAN, piloted by Kitty King, is also on form while both of Sir Mark Todd’s entries, Rio partner Leonidas II and London 2012 ride NZB Campino are capable of victory, as is Nicola Wilson’s Blair Castle 2016 winner Annie Clover or reigning 8/9 Year Old Champions Willa Newton and Caja 20.
Zara Tindall is bringing four horses to Burnham Market. High Kingdom, her team silver medal winning ride at London 2012, runs in the headline class; Fernhill Facetime, Drops of Brandy and BGS Class Affair are entered for the Advanced or Two Star sections.
Frequent British team member Tina Cook is in with a shout in the Advanced with either her Rio reserve Billy The Red or Star Witness. Also in the running might be Germany’s Bettina Hoy with 2016 Blenheim winner Seigneur Medicott – and Oliver Townend has three runners in this class, Lanfranco, ODT Ghareeb and Samuel Thomas II, any of which could win.
As ever, Barefoot Estates Burnham Market International has attracted many of the top riders in the sport. Crowd favourite Mary King joins the fray, as does Piggy French who is back in action after the birth of her son, and Eventing’s golden couple, Tim and Jonelle Price. Sixteen nations will be represented, with over 700 horses due to compete over the three days.
Of course, the competition isn’t just between horses. The East Anglian Air Ambulance Charity Camel Racing takes place on Easter Saturday and should prove highly entertaining. The jockeys are busy fundraising and are looking forward to entertaining the crowds.
Add in terrier racing, bungee trampolines, bouncy castles, a climbing wall and Razz & Pearl’s circus workshops, plus over 50 shops, and Barefoot Estates Burnham International really does offer a fantastic day out for all the family.