It will be a sixth visit to Badminton for British-based Australian rider Christopher Burton (37) who was 18th on his last visit here in 2017 with Graf Liberty – one of two entries this year. He has four completions under his belt. Christopher who is based near Godalming in Surrey is the British Open Champion – having won the title at Gatcombe last August (Polystar I) his second Open Championship title. Last year with Badminton entry Graf Liberty, Christopher won the final leg of the ERM CIC3* series at Blair, taking the overall series title. He was a member of the Australian team for the 2018 WEG (Cooley Lands – with who he won the 2017 CIC3* at Blenheim) and was a member of the bronze medal winning team at the Rio Olympic Games (Santano II) his second Olympic appearance – where he was 5th individual. He is currently 24th in the FEI World rider rankings (08/04/19).
Christopher was born in Toowoomba AKA the ‘garden city’ in Queensland. He rode as a child and was inspired to take up eventing when Australia won team gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Having trained with Australian eventing legend Wayne Roycroft he was awarded the New South Wales (NSW) eventing ‘Rider of the Year’ award in 2005, ‘07’ ’08 and 2010. In 2010 he was also awarded the Anna Savage medal for Australian ‘Best and Fairest’ rider. In 2008 he won the Adelaide CCI4* with Newsprint and in 2010 represented Australia for the first time at the WEG in Kentucky with Holstein Park Leilani and the following year (2011) relocated to the UK. In 2012 he was a member of the sixth placed Australian team at the London Olympic Games where he was sixteenth (Holstein Park Leilani) and in 2014 a member of the Australian team for the WEG in France. He has won the the Hartpury CIC3* on three consecutive occasions (2012, ’13 & ’14) and in 2015 claimed a then new World Record for the lowest, finishing score at a three day event with Santano II in the CCI2* in Camphire, finishing on a dressage score of 24.5. In 2013 with catch ride TS Jamaimo, he won the 2013 Adelaide CCI4* when his original rider, Will Enzinger, broke his leg just a week before the event. TS Jamaimo was subsequenlty purchased for Christopher in February 2014. In 2016 he was the winner of Burghley (Nobilis) – his third four-star win. Outside of eventing he enjoys skiing both water and snow, golf and playing the guitar. His brother Karl is a professional horseman in cutting and campdrafting in Australia.Christopher is married to Rebekah (nee Thompson) and the couple has two sons; Harry (2) and Jack (three months).
Cooley Lands owned by Kate Walls, is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. Bred by Peter Rice he is by Cavalier Land (a son of Cavalier Royale) out of a mare by Clover Hill. He was acquired as a four-year-old from Ireland by owner Kate Walls who has produced the horse and done much of the work with him as well as continuing to compete him. In 2017, with Christopher, he won the 8/9-year-old CIC3* at Blenheim and was his ride for the 2018 WEG.
Graf Liberty, owned by the Graf Liberty syndicate, is a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse. Bred by Brian Livingstone he is by the Irish-based Holstein Limmerick (also the sire of four-star horses Shannodale Titan, Loughan Glen , Magennis and Longwood) out of Lisheen Star by the famous Cavalier Royale. He was produced by Owen Moore and acquired by the syndicate as a seven-year-old. He won the CCI1* at Tattersalls and was then aimed at the World Young Horse Championships which were rained off. The pair travelled to Pau instead and won the CIC2*. He was fourth in his first CCI4* at Luhmuhlen in 2015.
17.0hh , dark bay , gelding
Sire Cavalier Land
Dam Clover Light Girl (Clover Hill)
Breeder Peter Rice
Owner(s): Joe & Kate Walls, Stamford, Lincs.
16.3hh , brown , gelding
Dam Lisheen Star (Cavalier Royale)
Breeder Brian Livingstone
Owner(s): The Graf Liberty Syndicate, c/o Beaminster, Dorset