Swedish eventer Ludwig Svennerstal is heading into his third Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials hoping to strike lucky in the international four-star.

The two-time Olympian is still only 28 years old but has already built up quite a reputation as a precocious rider, and is being earmarked for great things by those in the know.

He enters the Stamford trials in good form, finishing third in the British Open Championships and placing at Aachen – another of eventing’s six leading horse trials, but Burghley poses a new challenge altogether.

“Hopefully I have a well-prepared horse,” said the Cirencester-based eventer.

“Burghley’s always special, the horse has had two very good lead-up runs and has been feeling very good, hopefully they’ve helped him with the fitness.

“The terrain, it’s a very big climb, the horses need to work hard and be fit. It’s always difficult to calculate beforehand because sometimes they can take it very well and sometimes they can get tired.

“It has extremely tough conditions, probably the toughest in the world. You don’t really know until you’ve crossed the finish line to be honest.”

Svennerstal will be among 100 entrants to the international four-star event in Burghley Park, Lincolnshire, from August 30 – September 2.

Eventers compete in dressage, cross country and show jumping disciplines, looking to follow in the footsteps of six-time champion and three-time Olympic medallist William Fox-Pitt.

With such high stakes, and expectations – chiefly his own – falling on the Swede’s shoulders, Svennerstal is hoping to use this pressure to his advantage.

“You should get nervous, because otherwise there’s something wrong with you,” he continued.

“It’s about treating it as a normal show – of course you get nervous, but you want to be able to control how nervous you get, to perform as good as you can.

“But I think it’s also important to get a bit nervous, because then you perform better, as long as you can control it to a level where you can use the positives of it.”

“For me it’s really the rider’s event, where you really enjoy competing. This is really the show where riders want to win.

“It’s very prestigious, but as a rider it’s probably the number-one show that you want to win.”

And whilst that's something he's refusing to entertain as a possibility, at least outwardly, Svennerstal certainly feels that he and horse Stinger have a chance of doing something special.

“I think the horse should definitely be good enough for a top-ten finish, possibly a bit better,” he added.

“It’s a little bit difficult to say. He’s been on very good form and I’m very happy with him, he feels amazing, but it’s tough. 

“The horse needs to be there on the day and you need a bit of luck, but it’s a very tough show and he’s as well-prepared as he could be.”

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