5 Sep 2019

Kiwi eventer entering three horses at Burghley

9:26 am on 5 September 2019

Defending champion Tim Price concedes he "might be a little bit mad" competing with three horses at the Burghley Horse Trials but says his trio of horses all ready to go.

Price will ride 2018 Burghley champ Ringwood Sky Boy, alongside 13-year-old British-bred Xavier Faer and 13-year-old Irish sport horse Bango, but he's picking his 16-year-old bay gelding Ringwood Sky Boy as the one to beat.

The Irish sport horse went to the Rio Olympic Games with him in 2016, was second at Burghley (2015), fourth at both Luhmuhlen (2016) and Burghley (2016), fifth at Burghley (2017) and twice top 10 at Badminton.

Tim Price competing on Ringwood Sky Boy at the 2018 Burghley Horse Trials.

Tim Price competing on Ringwood Sky Boy at the 2018 Burghley Horse Trials. Photo: Libby Law Photography/ESNZ

"I can't quite believe that I am taking three to Burghley," said Price.

"I have watched those guys do that in the past and thought they are a little bit mad and now I am doing it myself, but you can't hold a good, fit and ready Burghley horse down," he said.

"They are very much suited to this competition, so I am very excited about getting them there and having a good week. All the preparation has gone good and they are feeling great."

"Then we want the weather gods to be on our side so we don't have anything too crazy to happen in that department. I am definitely looking forward to it."

His wife Jonelle, who last year won Badminton, will compete aboard her 14-year-old British-bred mare Faerie Dianimo.

Former Burghley winner, Caroline Powell has entered her 13-year-old gelding On the Brash while Samantha Lissington is on debut with her 10-year-old Ricker Ridge Rui.

It will be also the first five start event for Dan Jocelyn's Irish mount Blackthorn Cruise.

New Zealanders have an impressive history at Burghley, having won the competition 14 times including a five-year stretch between 1997 and 2001.

Andrew Nicholson has completed Burghley more times than any other rider with a staggering 35 completions, including five wins, five seconds and six thirds.

He and Avebury made history as the only combination to have won the title for three consecutive years (2012, 2013, 2014).

Sir Mark Todd has also won five Burghley titles, with Blyth Tait claiming two.

Britain's William Fox-Pitt is the most successful rider with six crowns to his credit.

Last year there were three New Zealand riders in the top ten, with Price winning aboard Ringwood Sky Boy, Nicholson third on Swallow Springs and Tim Price also finishing 10th on Bango.

The competition begins with two days of dressage on Thursday night NZT.