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Eyes Turning to the Badminton Cross Country Course 2022

Laura Collett riding London 52 in the lead going into Cross Country. Credit Badminton Horse Trials

It’s been an exciting few days of dressage for the first Badminton since 2019. All the top 10 riders are within 5 penalties of each other heading into the cross country, making it all really close. But with a challenging cross country day ahead, it certainly isn’t a dressage competition!

Leaders After Dressage

It’s exciting to see so many British riders in the top 10 after the dressage.

PositionRiderHorsePenalties
1Laura CollettLondon 5221
2Tom McEwenToledo De Kerser23.4
3Kitty KingVendredi Biats24.8
4Mollie SummerlandCharly Van Ter Heiden24.9
5Tamra SmithMai Baum25.3
=6Oliver TownendSwallow Springs25.7
=6Piggy MarchVanir Kamira25.7
=8Amanda PottingerJust Kidding25.9
=8Oliver TownendBallaghmor Class25.9
10Rosalind CanterLordships Graffalo26

Soladoun & Lordships Graffalo

Throughout Badminton Horse Trials this year my eyes are very much on two horses. As always, we follow the ex racehorses tackling one of the toughest events world wide. This year there is just the one ex racehorse competing, Soladoun, ridden by Elizabeth Power. They finished the dressage with 33 penalties leaving them in 38th position.

Elizabeth Power riding Soladoun. Credit Badminton Horse Trials.
Elizabeth Power riding Soladoun. Credit Badminton Horse Trials.

Lordships Graffalo, who for those of you who haven’t seen out previous posts is a horse bred at my University I was lucky enough to work with. Now ridden by Ros Canter, he is tackling his first ever 5* at Badminton this year. They finished the dressage with an incredible 26 penalties leaving them in 10th position going into the cross country.

The Cross Country Course 2022

If you plan on watching the competition tomorrow, you will need to purchase Badminton TV (if you live in the UK.) I highly recommend signing up before the cross country starts tomorrow and watching the cross country preview with course designer Eric Winter and Kiwi legend Andrew Nicholson. Without spoiling it too much, Andrew said it was a “serious” and “intense track” which feels like it is going back to it’s roots of being a “proper cross country” course.

There are some really quite tricky looking elements on the course and some of the jumps look like incredible rider frighteners. The first big question on the course is Badminton Lake, fences 9 & 10. It has a few different options over some angled brushes and could easily catch out a few combinations.

Fence 13, Ford Broken Bridge, should be a fairly straightforward fence to jump, but it looks a scary one! Imagine someone has cut a bridge in half and you are expected to jump from the middle of the bridge to the bank on the other side… that sums up the ask of the broken bridge. But this type of jump typically jumps well and doesn’t usualy bother our horses.

Coming straight after the potential big leap at 13, riders have possibly the hardest combination on the course, the KBIS Brush Village. They have to accurately jump 3 large brush elements on a related distance travelling down hill. Parts b & c are large corners. It looks pretty easy to not make the angles here!

Combinations 17 & 18 also look interesting. 17, MARS Equestrian Sustainability Bay needs the horses to jump down a steep drop into the pond before quickly turning left to a fence in the water. 18, LeMieux Leap doesn’t look too complicated, but it’s not a type of fence we see that often at the level. They have to jump a large brush to a small log hanging over a large ditch with another fence directly afterwards. Over jumping the brush at A could completely ruin the strides and not give the horse time to see the next two elements.

Overall, it should be a very interesting course and I can’t wait to see how it rides. You can checkout the course on the Badminton Horse Trials website here. But I also really recommend watching the Cross Country Preview on Badminton TV.

Last Updated on 06/05/2022

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