The morning after cross-country is always tense at an international event, but never more so than when the course is as influential as yesterday’s mammoth track at Badminton Horse Trials.
The final horse inspection took place in front of the house at 8.30 this morning, and while the temperature was low, the crowd’s enthusiasm was high.
Some of the horses – Alice Naber-Lozemann’s Harry Belafonte, for one – looked full of running after yesterday’s exertions, while others, such as Andrew Nicholson’s Nereo, took a more gentlemanly approach to their trot-up.
Several horses were sent to the holding box early on. Oliver Townend’s first ride, Samuel Thomas II, Alex Bragg’s Zagreb, Tina Cook’s Billy the Red, Astier Nicolas’ Piaf de B’Neville and Lissa Green’s Malin Head Clover were all asked to re-present. First-timer Bragg – in 8th place overnight – made the hard decision to withdraw, opting to save the promising horse for another day. Lissa Green, too, opted not to re-present. The remaining held horses were re-presented and passed. Becky Woolven withdrew Charlton Down Riverdance prior to inspection.
The first half of the showjumping – for horse and rider combinations sitting outside of the top 20 – begins at 11.30. Stay tuned for more updates as the competition kicks off.