Event rider Imogen Murray enjoyed her CCI4* debut last weekend (4 – 7 September 2014) at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials on the M S Team’s Wiseguy IV. Competing at Burghley, one of the top three day events in the country, the Leicestershire rider produced a solid performance throughout the tough competition.
At just 21 years old, Imogen was the youngest of the first time Burghley competitors and started her week off in good form with a dressage score of 57.5 penalties. Riding the bay gelding affectionately known as Fred, Imogen went on to jump clear over the 32 cross country fences seeing the combination move up several places ahead of the final showjumping phase.
An elated Imogen commented following her first Burghley Horse Trials completion; “It went better than expected, it was really good! When we were at the stables it felt like a normal event then as you went to the main arena it felt like Burghley, I was shocked how many people were there. It is my most local event so there were so many people there supporting me which made it special.”
The final day saw the Sport England funded BEF Excel Talent Programme rider add 13 penalties from the showjumping phase to her score leaving them in 35th place overall; “It [BEF Excel Talent Programme] has been really helpful, especially the dressage training from Nick Burton, he has transformed the way I ride. Fred doesn’t find dressage easy but I got a sub 60 score which is what I was aiming for.
“He is an unlikely 4* horse because he is so lazy but he loved it, looking at the crowds and showing off, and he made the cross country feel easy. I have always wanted to get around Burghley but I didn’t expect him [Fred] to get this far, we have had to learn together, it doesn’t really feel like it’s happened!”
The Sport England funded BEF Excel Talent Programme, was developed to extend the rider talent pathway below the UK Sport funded World Class programme, and help riders develop to be the best they can be in their chosen discipline.