Kate Walls saddles up for second appearance at the Burghley Horse Trials

Kate Walls, pictured riding Alter Ego, will compete in the Burghley Horse Trials for a second time this year
Kate Walls, pictured riding Alter Ego, will compete in the Burghley Horse Trials for a second time this year
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A STAMFORD eventer is gearing up for her second ride at the Burghley Horse Trials.

Kate Walls, 37, runs an equine rehabilitation yard at Newstead Farm Stables in Stamford.

On her first ride at Burghley in 2010 Kate came 50th, riding Alter Ego, this year she will be riding Cooley Lands in the four-year-old class.

Kate said: “It is fantastic having an event like Burghley on the doorstep. It is one of the biggest events in the world and there is a lot of preparation that has to go into it.

“There is a massive team behind each horse and it is nice for them to be able to see it because they can’t when we are competing away.”

Kate believes 2012 will be a vintage year for Burghley with a lot of the foreign competitors who took part in the London Olympics staying in Britain to take part in the world renowned event.

Kate said: “From a British point of view winning a silver medal is great for the sport and a lot of people will go to Burghley to see our Olympians competing.”

British Olympic team silver medallists Kristina Cook, Mary King and William Fox-Pitt head the list of entries for this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, which run from August 30 to September 2.

The top trio of British riders are among over 120 international riders, representing 15 nations, aspiring to compete at the famous three-day event.

All riders will first have to conquer Capt Mark Phillips’ distinctive cross-country course of 33 specially built fences, many of which are now landmark features of this four-mile track around Burghley Park: Lambert’s Sofa, the Leaf Pit – with its daunting drop, the Cottesmore Leap – acknowledged as the largest eventing fence in the world and the Trout Hatchery are well-known signature fences.

Capt Phillips considers the revamped Rolex Combination might be one of the most difficult cross country fences and the new fences in the Main Arena are an Olympic legacy straight from Greenwich Park.

The competition starts with two days of dressage on Thursday and Friday. Thursday features the Pony Club Team Jumping in Ring Two, which also hosts the popular Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Finals on Friday. As much a part of Burghley as the horse trials, the finals are the culmination of national qualifying competitions designed to talent spot the equine stars of the future. A parade of sport horse stallions will fill the lunch-time break in Ring 2, while international dressage trainer Ferdi Eilberg will oversee a dressage display in the Main Arena. Saturday is cross country day – when an anticipated 90 horse and rider combinations will test their mettle around the park and the competition reaches its climax with show jumping on Sunday.

For details and tickets visit 
www.burghley-horse.co.uk