The grounds of Burghley House are packed today as the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials enters its cross country stage.
Cross country action started at 11.30am and visitors are out on full force and lining the course on what is a glorious sunny day,
In addition to the equestrian action, visitors are enjoying a thrilling Land Rover Experience on the south side of the lake, in which they are being driven in one of the latest Land Rover vehicles over carefully designed obstacles created to push the off road capabilities to the limit.
Tastebuds are being set on fire at The Food Walk and 600 carefully handpicked exhibitors are offering people the chance to buy a variety of wonderful items including everything from jewellery, cars, kitchens, craft items and garden furniture.
So far a host of riders have competed including Oliver Townend on Samuel Thomas II, and the pair have been making the course look very jumpable - on the run towards home the horse napped at the top of the Leaf Pit, incuring 20 penalties, but still came home just 3.2 seconds over the optimum time.
It has been a sad end for Zara Phillips riding High Kingdom as her horse fell on a jump early on and tossed Zara into the water after the Royal had made a flying start to the event.
One of the riders is Angus Smales, formerly of Allexton, Rutland who has just moved to Somerby.
Angus, who was riding on MJI Mount Echo, a horse competing in its first three-day event, got off to a very fast start but then incurred two time penalties on jumps. At the time this story was published he sits in 30th position.
Angus said: “The horse is green, it was trying for me and ultimately I should have given him more.
“It is a tale of two halves really. I did really well at the start and I was just too low at the end.
“I am gutted because I do not like penalties. I pride myself in not getting jumping penalties.”
Although he didn’t do as well as hoped, Angus enjoyed the course none the less.
“It is a really clever course. It is the best one Mark Phillips has done.
“I have walked the course for the past five years and not really like any of them, this time I thought it is the best course in years.”
A full report of the event with pictures will appear in next week’s Mercury.