A COMPLETION on her first Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials appearance was a more than satisfactory outcome for delighted Worcestershire rider Nicky Hill.

Hill and her horse MGH Bingo Boy finished 27th overall after a dramatic show jumping finale at Burghley House near Stamford.

She was making her bow at the prestigious five-star event, having also made her Badminton debut in May where she finished 18th in a year of firsts for the 27-year-old.

After safely navigating the dressage and cross-country, Hill, who is based near Himbleton, jumped clear in the final phase to finish her Burghley experience with a flourish.

The result gave the rider plenty of encouragement as she hailed her Irish-bred 11-year-old gelding who she has reared since acquiring the horse more than four years ago.

“He was so good, he tried so hard in that phase,” said the University of Worcester graduate.

“He’s a good jumper and just comes out and tries his best. I really cannot fault him at all.”

The strong performance of MGH Bingo Boy on his Burghley debut also led Hill to draw comparisons with eventual champion Pippa Funnell’s horse MGH Grafton Street.

She added: “Interestingly we noticed that Pippa’s horse and mine are both the same age and they both have no breeding history so maybe they come from the same place.”

The world-renowned trials is one of only six five-star events in the eventing season and one third of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing.

Two days of dressage were followed by cross-country and the show jumping.

Hill was one of only 33 riders to came through the demanding Captain Mark Phillips’ cross-country course with many more experienced riders falling foul of the challenge.

But while she was happy to place on her first Burghley experience there was still some frustration from Hill about the mistakes she made around the four-mile track.

“I’m really chuffed to have completed it,” she added. “I am a little bit frustrated with myself as it was my fault I got the 20 penalties in the cross-country. I couldn’t be happier with him (the horse).”

The multi-award winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (September 5-8) 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.