WORCESTERSHIRE’S Nicky Hill is delighted with how her season is progressing after her step up to the top level of eventing competitions.

The 27-year-old made her debut at the Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucestershire earlier this year where she and MGH Bingo Boy finished in 18th position.

Badminton was a surreal experience for Hill, who has been eventing since she was 18, but the pair continued their form into the summer.

“This season has been good and it’s gone really well,” former University of Worcester student Hill said.

“We’ve been to Badminton, that was his second event at this level and his first time going to Badminton.

“We finished 18th and it was incredible. It’s our local big trials and we never dreamed it would go that well. It was pretty surreal.

“He’s done two events since then where he finished eighth at Barbury and seventh at Hartpury.”

MGH Bingo Boy will be one of 81 horses taking to the international five-star event in Burghley Park, Lincolnshire, from Thursday until Sunday.

Event riders will compete in dressage, cross country and show jumping disciplines, looking to follow in the footsteps of 2018 winner Tim Price.

It will be the first time the Worcestershire duo compete at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and Hill hopes they can replicate the performance from Badminton.

“Along with Badminton it’s the other trials everyone dreams of going to,” Hill, who is based near Himbleton, added.

“Just going there is pretty amazing and I’m really looking forward to it but it’s a bit scary at the same time.

“I’m lucky because my horse is such a good jumper that we just cruised around Badminton and made it feel pretty straight forwards so fingers crossed we’ll have a similar ride.

“I’ve got no expectations of him because he’s gone so well this year that whatever happens we can’t ask for much more from him.

“It would be really nice to finish on a good one and go well, he feels incredible, but I’ve got no expectations and he’s still so young.

“Hopefully we’ll get another completion.”

This year’s trials sees the two previous winners being drawn in the penultimate and final slots on the start list.

The 2017 winners Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class start at number 81 while last year’s winners Price and Ringwood Sky Boy will wear back number 82.

With both likely to produce excellent dressage tests, their late starting positions will guarantee fans’ interest until the end of the two days of dressage and through to the conclusion of cross-country day.

Price will also start as number one on Bango and as 42 on Xavier Faer.

His wife Jonelle also has one ride Faerie Dianimo who is 68.

Townend too has three rides entered with Ulises number two and Cooley Master Class 43.

But Cooley Master Class is unlikely actually to start at Burghley as he is Townend’s selected ride for the European Championships the previous week.

Pippa Funnell also has three horses on the list but they are double-entered so she will only actually run two of them.

Billy Walk On can run at six or 78 with Majas Hope drawn seven and MGH Grafton Street at 77.

The multi-award-winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials from September 5 to 8 has been established as a major international equestrian and social event in the autumn sporting calendar for more than 50 years.

For more information visit burghley-horse.co.uk.