Princess Anne brings 50th anniversary of Burghley Horse Trials to a close

Photo: SM040911-038ow.jpg'Burghley Horse Trials show jumping. Winner, William Fox-Pitt, with Miranda Rock, left, and Princess Anne.
Photo: SM040911-038ow.jpg'Burghley Horse Trials show jumping. Winner, William Fox-Pitt, with Miranda Rock, left, and Princess Anne.
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A ROYAL visitor helped bring the 50th anniversary of Burghley Horse Trials to a close yesterday.

Princess Anne, who won the event herself 40 years ago, presented the winners trophies at the end of the four-day event, which was this year celebrating the diamond milestone.

The competition, which includes dressage, show jumping and cross country riding, is one of the most important three-day eventing competitions in the world and riders came from 10 countries to take part.

Among those competing was Zara Phillips, who finished in 10th place. Her father Captain Mark Phillips designed the challenging cross country course, which was the centrepiece of the event on Saturday.

The event was won by William Fox-Pitt, from Britain, who became the first ever six-time champion riding Parklane Hawk.

Event spokesman Bridget Jennings said there was a record number of visitors over the weekend.

She said: “We have had record crowds all weekend which has been fantastic.

“It has been an amazing competition with a brilliant and challenging cross country course designed by Captain Phillips on Saturday.

“The Princess Royal was here for most of the weekend to watch Zara, who had a couple of fantastic runs, and also presented the winners trophies at the end of the weekend. It has helped make our 50th anniversary a bit more special.”

She said diversions, caused by a light aircraft crashing near the A1, had been well-publicised, which had meant as many people could attend the event as possible.