Emily Prangnell was delighted to see her horse keep its cool and save its performance for the big occasion.
On her home event, the Lincolnshire rider sits 35th after the dressage phase with horse DHI Beaunesse going into Saturday’s cross-country.
The first-timer had a few nerves taking to the famous arena, but both she and her 12-year-old mare soaked up the atmosphere and delivered on the day to give them momentum heading into the rest of the weekend.
“I’m really pleased with her – she was really rideable, it’s probably the most rideable I’ve had her in a test and it’s our weakest phase,” said the 26-year-old, from Kettlethorpe.
“I’m just pleased she coped with everything and I think she likes the crowds. She’s much more settled and she likes to show off to people, so I’m very pleased with her.
“I’m from Lincoln so there’s lots of people here that have had to get up really early, being third up on Friday and then also because I’m in the middle of the numbers, I didn’t know whether I’d be Thursday or Friday.
“So, no one knew when to book days off work and things, but most people have managed to guess Friday which is good, and we’ve had great support.”
With the dressage concluded, Saturday’s action will see the riders tackle the notorious Burghley cross-country course, ahead of Sunday’s show jumping trials.
Family-friendly Burghley is one of two UK-based four-star events and one of only six in the world, with 160,000 people and the best equestrians on the planet descending on Stamford for the week’s action.
And Prangnell believes that the challenging course designed by Captain Mark Phillips was nothing less than she expected as she competes in a four-star event for the very first time.
“I’ve had a chance to walk the course and it’s big, but we didn’t expect any different. it looks good and the ground is great,” she added.
“She would be slightly better on wetter ground, but I’ve just had a look round so far and we’re going to walk it again twice more before Saturday.”
The multi-award-winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials from August 30 – September 2 has been established as a major international equestrian and social event in the Autumn Sporting Calendar for over 50 years. For more information visit burghley-horse.co.uk