Kristina Hall-Jackson is backing her mount Google to jump at the chance of competing at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials for the first time.
The West Yorkshire-based rider is set to debut at the famed event, one of only five 5* eventing venues in the world, in September.
The 25-year-old has posted a strong season so far, finishing sixth at Bramham, a 4* event.
Hall-Jackson is hoping that Google’s strong ability over the jumps can help the duo to a strong showing at Burghley as it returns for the first time since 2019.
“She’s a jumping machine and I would hope to go double clear,” said Hall-Jackson, speaking ahead of the event that is back for the first time in two years - due to the Covid-19 pandemic - better than ever, with renewed impetus, a top class field and additional activities on offer.
“We’ll go out there and enjoy ourselves but she’s an amazing cross-country horse.
“She runs in her own style, she wouldn’t be your textbook of how they’re meant to jump and run.
“She’s a bit of a truffle-snuffler. She tries to gallop with her head on the floor but that’s her style, she’s comfortable there, I’m used to riding her and it works for us.”
Hall-Jackson and Google have been together since 2017, with the duo rising up the ranks together.
And the Yorkshire star believes their special relationship will hold them in good stead in September.
“She wasn’t always the easiest horse at the start of her career, she’s quirky and she can be a little bit difficult,” added Hall-Jackson.
“She’s quite sharp but I know her inside and out now, she’s the funniest thing.
“At home she probably wouldn’t even go over an 80cm log without spooking at it and then you go out on one of the big tracks and she eats them up like you wouldn’t believe.”
Hall-Jackson will hope she won’t be left searching for Google’s bravery at Burghley, especially in the dressage, which she admits is the pair’s weakest component, but sights are set high.
“She can do it and she is very good at it but finds it difficult,” she added.
“For the dressage, we’ve really been working hard with her and she’s really coming into her own now.
“I’m hoping for a 32 or below dressage, I know that’s quite ambitious but she is more than capable of it now.”
Exciting few days here at @landrover_uk Burghley HQ.
Stables are on their way 🆙
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials runs from 1 / 4 September 2022.#countdownison #betterthanever #LRBHT #eventing #BTS pic.twitter.com/HeVk2V3BNB
— Land Rover Burghley (@LRBHT_Official) August 4, 2022
For Hall-Jackson, a first ride at the storied 5* event will be a major career milestone, with the hope of many more to come.
Burghley is the holy grail for many riders, and the 25-year-old is quick to credit those who have helped her to this stage after starting out riding ponies as a youngster.
“My mum used to ride back in the day, she did it on a budget and enjoyed it,” said Hall-Jackson.
“She bought me and my sister a pony and that’s how it started. I’m not sure my dad would buy us a pony if he wound back time now!
“I’ve been lucky to be supported by some amazing people in my career. Judy Bradwell has been a massive part of my career, so has Chris Battle.
“I’m very lucky to be supported by these people and they’ve helped me along the way.
“There’s lots of ups and downs, more downs and ups in horses, but it builds you to be a lot stronger.”
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (1-4 September 2022) returns after a two-year hiatus, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A major international sporting and social event for over 50 years it attracts 80 of the world’s top equestrians and over 170,000 visitors. For more information visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk