Nicky Hill hopes her trusty partnership with golden gelding MGH Bingo Boy will serve her well for the rest of the 2023 Defender Burghley Horse Trials after completing the dressage phase, writes Sportsbeat's Abi Curran.
The 31-year-old, who is based near Droitwich in Worcestershire, made her Burghley debut with Bingo Boy in 2019 and this year’s competition is her first 5* event since.
Thursday’s eventing saw a few mistakes from the 14-year-old horse but a score of 36.8 is something Hill believes can be improved upon.
“He’s my pet, he’s an absolute spoilt brat and I absolutely adore him so it’s lovely to have him back at this level,” she said.
“He went a bit nervous, he’s not seen a lot of crowds for a while and he does get a bit excited by it so he was fine.
“He made a few mistakes but it’s not his strong phase so it’s fine.
Bingo Boy was acquired in 2016 and the following year the pair were selected to represent Team GB in the European Championship in Belgium where they finished ninth and won team silver.
The famed Burghley course, designed by Derek di Grazia, will be marvelled at by crowds in Lincolnshire when the cross-country phase gets underway on Saturday.
And Hill is using all her experience to prepare Bingo Boy in the best possible way.
“It’s definitely Burghley,” she added. “It’s big and there is lots to do but it’s fair, if you get your lines right and you read it well, you’ll do well.”
“It’s quite clear where you’ve got to go and you’ve just got to ride it well.
I had him as a seven-year-old so he’d done a couple of intermediates and he’s been with me eight years.”
Defender Burghley Horse Trials (31st August - 3 September 2023) has been a major international sporting and social event for over 50 years. It attracts the world’s top equestrians and over 170,000 visitors. For more information visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk