There was no World Number 1 Michael Jung this year to defend his title and give the other riders a run for their money and it was Australian Chris Burton, who took home his first Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials title on ‘Nobilis 18’. A member of Australia's bronze medal winning team at Rio Olympics, Burton held a commanding lead after a good dressage performance, followed by a clear round over a tough cross country course to finish just over time. On the final day of show jumping Burton had four fences in hand when he cantered into the arena. He needed every single one of them as the 11-year-old knocked down four fences. He finished with a total of 49.4 penalties to win the GBP 63,000 top prize and the coveted trophy. If he had even one more fence down, victory would have gone to New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson, who had made an incredible come back from a neck injury last year. Nicholson guided ‘Nereo’ smoothly over the course and finished on 53.2 penalties after having one fence down and two time faults to come second. It was a good day for New Zealand as Jonelle Price and her husband Tim were third and fourth respectively.
Chris Burton who became Australia's first Burghley champion since Lucinda Fredericks, 10 years ago joked after his win saying "I thought I'd keep it interesting for everyone by making it as close as possible”. Apart from the four-star competition at Burghley, the ‘Tailgate Picnic Competition’ has become synonymous with the prestigious equestrian event and the competition for the accolade of ‘Best Land Rover Tailgate Picnic’ was as fierce as ever. Judging the competition for the third year was eventer Zara Tindall, ably assisted by TV presenter Adam Henson. Incorporating a cake tower and spread of food to feed a small army, the eventual winner Lucy Sharpley registered a third consecutive title of ‘Best Land Rover Tailgate Picnic’.