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Badminton 2024 ~ A traditional Eventing Competition

Lucy Latta (IRL) riding RCA Patron Saint

I found this years Badminton Horse Trials incredibly exciting and I think a big part of the reason why, is that it felt like a traditional event. By that, I mean it really felt that every phase mattered and anyone could win it. I can’t remember the last time I watched Badminton and Burghley and thought someone placed outside the top 20 after dressage could win it. But this year I did and it wasn’t far from happening.

The dressage kicked off the completition and after what several riders commented as “mean” judging, left the field bunched very closely together. There were less than 20 penalties, 1 stop across country, between nearly all the competitors. Just 1 combination sat outside this 20 penalties, just 25.9 penalties behind the leader. So we knew, going into the cross country, that any mistake and any time would really shake up the leaderboard.

Top 5 after Dressage

  1. Rosalind Canter & Izilot DHI 25.3
  2. Bubby Upton & Cola 27.3
  3. Tim Price & Vitali 27.7
  4. Boyd Martin & Tsetserleg TSF 29
  5. Emily King & Valmy Biats 29.2

After a few withdrawls after the Dressage, 62 horses started the cross country on what promised to be another challenging test of jumping and stamina. By the end of the day, 9 combinations were eliminated and 12 retired, including the dressage leader Ros Canter & Izilot DHI.

Despite the challenging course, 31 combinations managed to get home with no jumping penalties, but no one made the time. Most combinations came home with 20-30 time penalties. But those who got close to the time, were able to jump up the leader board dramatically.

Top 5 after Cross Country

  1. Tim Price & Vitali 31.7 (3rd)
  2. William Fox-Pitt & Grafennacht 33 (=8th)
  3. Lucy Latta & RCA Patron Saint 37.2 (46th)
  4. Emily King & Valmy Biats 38 (5th)
  5. Sarah Ennis & Grantstown Jackson 40 (42nd)

4 horses were withdrawn/failed the horse inspection before the show jumping yesterday, leaving just 37 horses to jump. In the morning session, both the time and the clear rounds looked hard to get with most riders picking up time and jumping penalties. And with the leaders being closely bunched together, you knew the pressure would be on to find those speedy clear rounds.

As we saw in the cross country, the show jumping also significantly shook up the leaderboard. Only 3 combinations jumped clear within the time. Only 1 combination went clear with time penalties and only 15 made the time while picking up jumping penalties.

Top 5 after Show Jumping

  1. Caroline Powell & Greenacres Special Cavalier 43.2 (6th)
  2. Lucy Latta & RCA Patron Saint 45.2 (3rd)
  3. Alexander Bragg & Quindiva 45.2 (10th)
  4. Emily King & Valmy Biats (4th)
  5. Tom Jackson & Capels Hollow Drift 48.4 (8th)

Once again, Tim Price’s Vitali struggled with his show jumping, dropping them down from 1st to 8th, truly heartbreaking for Tim who has worked so hard on this horse’s jumping. He’s such a talented horse and so capable of winning one of these big 5 stars one day. He just seems to struggle with this phase.

But the top 5 at the end of the competition is an incredible top 5 for stories. Winner Caroline Powell won her first Badminton at the age of 51! Lucy Latta, who rode incredibly well to finish 2nd after going into the cross country in 46th position is an amateur rider! Alex, Emily and Tom have been chipping away at these big 5 stars for years, always turning up and putting in good rides. It’s great to see that work paying off for them all.

Last Updated on 13/05/2024

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