WILTSHIRE has a new Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials champion after Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy finally broke their duck to claim the 2018 title.

The combination rode clear in the show jumping finale to finish first in the overall standings after an enthralling few days of action at Burghley House, near Stamford.

Price and his horse, who had previously finished runners-up, fourth and fifth at the four-star event, went into the last discipline with the overnight lead after the cross-country.

But the New Zealand native was put under pressure by defending champion Oliver Townend before showing nerves of steel in the final jump of the day.

“This horse deserves a big day, but he’s the sort of horse that is usually somewhere in the mix, with a couple of good weeks,” said the 39-year-old.

“But to put it all together in one week has been exceptional. I couldn’t be prouder of him and it’s just a super team effort. It means everything to me, it’s Burghley.

“I’d like to think of myself as a very natural horseman. I go through the motions in a competition and that’s my background, working with horses, and you look at Burghley and it’s the place that exemplifies all that.”

Price was run close by fellow Wiltshire-based Kiwi and five-time winner Andrew Nicholson, from Marlborough, who also went clear on Burghley first-timer Swallow Springs.

“I was very, very pleased with him and he couldn’t have done anything better,” said the six-time Olympian.

“I don’t think I could have done anything better, so I’m delighted.

“I left home thinking if he can go the way he can, and I do my job properly, then he could have a chance. While I would have loved to win, for Tim to win is great.

“Him and Jonelle have worked very hard. They came over here and they had to work very hard to get where they are, so for him to win this one - which is probably one of the reasons they came over here - is what it’s all about.”

Family-friendly Burghley is one of two UK-based four-star events and one of only six in the world, with 160,000 people and the best riders on the planet descending on Stamford for the weekend’s action.

Fans were treated to the very best equestrian performances in dressage, cross-country and show jumping as they saw a new champion crowned.

Price had trailed fellow Kiwi Mark Todd following the dressage, but the five-time champion’s leading horse Kiltubrid Rhapsody was eliminated after a fall.

And Todd, who did complete the event on second horse NZB Campino, finishing in 18th, was pleased with his overall performance despite Saturday’s mishap.

“It’s another four-star completion, it wasn’t the result we were wanting but he’s gone really well all week,” said the Badgerstown-based rider.

“I guess with him I didn’t have the luck, but we’re really pleased.

“I’ve got a sore leg out of yesterday as well! It’s been a mixed bag for the last two years and I think the moral of the story is not be in the lead after the dressage.”

Elsewhere, Marlborough-based rider Elizabeth Power finished ninth on Soladoun, having leapt up from 37th to seventh after the cross-country on Saturday.

"What can I say? I felt like he jumped a great round and he was a bit unlucky,” she said. “I’m not sure quite what he did in there. I’ve got to be delighted with him the whole weekend.

“All of his performances, even in his dressage test, which in my head was a few marks better than it was, it’s been his only aim all year and he’s come here and delivered.

“And it just shows that if you prep them, you can just target one event and go for it. He’s better than he’s ever been because he was relaxed. I couldn’t be happier.”

The multi-award-winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials from August 30 – September 2 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