Chris Burton wins British Open Championship

Chris receives the Princess Royal Perpetual Trophy from The Princess Royal, Princess Anne and Katie Page-Harvey, President of the Magic Millions


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Chris Burton set out last on the Magic Millions CIC3* cross country course but came home as the first ever Australian winner of the British Open Championship thanks to the fastest time of the day

But surely Chris has won this class before at the Festival of British Eventing? Yes indeed, in 2015 he won on board the Australian off the track thoroughbred TS Jamaimo but, due to a change of rules this year, the overall winner is also the British National Champion, regardless of their nationality. In 2015 Nicola Wilson won the British Championship although Chris won the 3* class but this year he takes full honours including the generous £16,000 winner’s cheque, thanks to the new sponsorship of the Magic Millions

It is particularly fitting that, in their inaugural year of sponsorship of the Festival, the Australian based thoroughbred auction horse with strong ties to Queensland should have a rider born and bred in Queensland as their first winner



After jumping a clear round in the Main Arena this morning, Chris and Polystar I moved into the lead on their dressage score of 21.4 when Oliver Townend added eight penalties on Cillnabradden Evo to drop to third (27) and Izzy Taylor riding Be Touchable took second place (23.5) heading into the cross country

With two incredibly fast and experienced competitors chasing him, there was certainly plenty of pressure on Chris to live up to his touted title of being the fastest rider across country. Today he did live it up to it, coming home clear with just 3.2 time penalties to finish on a score of 24.6, well ahead of second placed Izzy Taylor on 31.1

“This horse gave 110%, more than that really and I just love him to bits” says Chris of the 16.3h black gelding by Polytraum that is owned by Trisha Rickards “Anyone who is thinking of buying a horse should talk to Trisha Rickards. She knows how to pick a horse a mile away, she’s knows the secret obviously. She saw him, loved him and bought him for me and now here we are, British Open Champions”


Chris Burton


      Izzy Taylor and Be Touchable


It was a day of ups and downs for Izzy who picked up 40 penalties riding Director General but finished in second place on Be Touchable and eighth place on Direct Tullyoran Cruise. However, the second place prizemoney of £12,000 and the trophy for the leading British rider may have helped Izzy forget a couple of hiccups on course on other horses


Izzy Taylor


      Drat! A run out for Oliver and Cillnabradden Evo


Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo have had some very good results this year but today wasn’t their day, starting with eight penalties in the show jumping and then a refusal at 6ab, the first serious question on the course, so Oliver decided to call it a day, opening the door for Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal who positively bolted through it.


      Ludwig and Stinger


Ludwig set off at a cracking pace on board Stinger and kept it up most of the way, coming home with 6.8 time penalties to finish on 35.5 in third place, earning £8,000


Ludwig Svennerstal


      Emily King and Dargun


Emily King and Dargun also looked very good on cross country after putting in a lovely clear show jumping round. They added 8.4 cross country time penalties to their dressage score to finish in fourth place on a score of 36.2 and 22 year old Emily also the Best Under 25 and best first time completion prizes


Emily King


Six combinations had withdrawn prior to the start of cross country and, while Ireland’s Elizabeth (Esib) Power had every intention of starting, she got no further than the Start Box. Esib, who had just won the Advanced class, had a little contretemps with her horse Samuel Thomas II who gave some serious bucks and unseated her in the actual Start Box.

“He has been known to do this sort of thing to other riders but it’s the first time I’ve experienced it!” said Esib, who luckily was fine and able to laugh about it. More from Esib, who won the Advanced class on Soladoun, to come .....

Final results