Glentham eventer Alex Postolowsky admits she is full of confidence ahead of her second Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials after an encouraging first half to her season.
Last year’s Burghley was the first four-star event Postolowsky had competed in and her 35th-place finish aboard Islanmore Ginger saw her win the FEI Classics training bursary, worth $1,000, for the best finish by a first-timer.
And the 29-year-old has continued her impressive form into 2014, claiming five wins with her younger horses including a hat-trick at the Great Witchingham International earlier this month.
Preparations for a return to Burghley are already well underway with Islanmore Ginger, who turns 16 this year, claiming three top-ten finishes in five events.
The gelding will take part in two more events before Burghley, at the three-star events at Burgham and Hartpury, and 29-year-old Postolowsky is confident he will be at his best when Burghley gets underway on September 4.
“Burghley last year couldn’t have gone much better for me,” said Postolowsky, whose stables are based at Grange Farm Cottage.
“All I really wanted was to get round and just being there was a big achievement for me and a dream come true.
“Winning the FEI Classics training bursary was just the icing on the cake as while it was in the back of my mind, I wasn’t pinning my hopes on it too much.
“It was undoubtedly the highlight of my career but, having gone clear, I feel like I’m expected to go clear again this year so it will be a different kind of pressure on me this time.
“There are less nerves because I know what to expect and I know I can do well at the four-star level.
“But now that I’ve done it, getting round isn’t enough and I want an impressive finish. As great as last year was, we want to improve on 35th place – I’d like to make the top half this year at the very least.”
The prestige of Burghley is made all the more special for Postolowsky given it’s closeness to her home.
And she believes the course is ideally set-up for a strong performance.
“The style of the course at Burghley suits me and Ginger perfectly. He’s a bold horse and he loves fences you can attack at so it really suits him,” Postolowsky added.
“I know this time that Ginger is happy with the fences and he’s not going to worry. I don’t need to worry about what he’ll think, I just need to make sure that I do everything right.”
The multi-award winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, September 4-7, has been established as a major international equestrian and social event in the Autumn Sporting Calendar for over 50 years. For more information visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk