By Abi Curran at the Defender Burghley Horse Trials
Local Lincolnshire lad Richard Coney beamed with debut delight as he made the top half of the standings at the 2023 Defender Burghley Horse Trials.
Coney, 24, based at Honington Grange, made his first Burghley appearance last week and rode less experienced horse, Poetry in Motion, at the most influential 5* course in the world.
The pair finished 23rd with a total score of 73.6, finishing the show jumping finale with just one down.
“I’m happy to be here on a horse which has gone really well,” he said. “It’s a local event for us so it’s just nice to see all of our friends coming and supporting.
“It’s a really nice place to be and to complete well.
“I’m just really pleased to come to a first Burghley on a less experienced horse and complete is the main thing.
“This is the strongest Burghley field they’ve ever had and in most years, 50 per cent usually complete and to be in that 50 per cent considering the field that we’ve had is great, I’m really proud.”
Coney competed at 5* Pau with Mermus R Diamonds and the first horse he produced Kananaskisat in 2020, finishing in 9th and 18th place.
He was ecstatic to complete and match the top 25 feat with Poetry in Motion this year, who has been Coney’s ride for just 12 months.
“I’m quite lucky that a few years ago when I was doing juniors and young riders I had a few different horses and I had a few years at 4*s to get established,” he added.
“I had a good run at Pau in 2020 but since then it’s been quiet just with injuries and other things like this so I don’t feel too much on the back foot.
“I definitely have a bit of an understanding of what needs to be done but I’ve not got to full-time like some of the other guys.”
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