What did Ingrid Klimke, Michael Jung and Andrew Nicholson have to say after piloting their horses into the top three at Badminton Horse Trials? Watch the press conference video below and scroll on to read more quotes from Lauren Kieffer and Lynn Symansky, the only two American riders to complete.
Ingrid Klimke: “First of all I would like to thank (Michael and Andrew) because I walked the course with Andrew, which was very interesting and he really helped me a lot. Second, I saw Michael’s really superb, wonderful round and then I finished watching, went to the lorry and said, ‘I will try to do it as good as these two guys are doing it’ so thanks a lot to them!
The course was really definitely tough and I felt that he had to work quite much. On the other hand I was really so pleased because Horseware Hale Bob did such a wonderful job. He was so bold and so full of himself, and he was so fresh in the end that he really was a pleasure to ride.
Michael Jung: “That was a really tough course and you had to concentrate really from the beginning. The problem is there comes one really tough question after the next and if you had some bad little problem you had not an easy fence afterwards when you can bring the horse back in a positive feeling.
“It was very important to have every fence very correct, that you get a good rhythm and a positive feeling from there to the next fence. That was the most important thing and you have to feel the condition of the horse, that you’re not going too fast in the beginning that the horse has enough energy in the end to jump the big fences. It was a really tough course.
“I know him very well, and La Biosthetique Sam is a fantastic horse, he’s very clever and concentrates. He was a bit strong in the beginning and we are coming back after a few jumps in a very good rhythm and he trust me, I trust him. I think that the most important thing that you get a good partnership and you go a bit more brave and a bit more positive and that’s what you need in the cross country — that you know your horse, that works everything a bit easier.
Andrew Nicholson: “I thought walking it that it was quite a great course — the sort of course you had to sit on your back side and work. We’ve had quite a lot of courses at big events where the experienced horses and the experienced riders could glide around probably two-thirds of the course, whereas walking this one probably from the second fence onwards you had to work and be quite accurate with your distances.
“I think it’s a good thing when the riders are concentrating. I don’t know about the other two here but I felt like I had to concentrate on both my horses all the way round, and I felt like they were concentrating on each fence and not being a bit casual and just sort of lolling along. Maybe I’m just getting old but I did feel like I concentrated more.”
Lauren Kieffer: “We were a bit slow but at the same time it kind of seemed like a big deal to get a across the finish line today. She was super, she was really great. She kind of hung her leg in that pond, so I played safe and went the long route and that took a long time, but she was so super, she was great. … It’s something just to finish today. It’s hard not to be competitive but I guess it’s her first Badminton so we’ll go from there.
“(Landmark’s Monte Carlo) is a lot greener. He’s only 11-years-old, and he was actually super until he got a bit hung up in that pond and then he got the wind taken out of his sails. He began to find it a little harder than he expected. It was hard because there was nowhere to reward them; even where they were great they didn’t have the nicest jump so it was kind of hard for the greener horses to know they were doing it right. I’m still really proud of him, and it always helps to get a few jumps under your belt before going out on another.
“All the crowds screaming is pretty huge. It actually caught me by surprise on my first horse — leaving the start box they started screaming and I think he was like, ‘Whoa!’ It’s a huge atmosphere and the crowds are so thick all the way round. It’s pretty cool.”
Lynn Symansky: “He was quite frantic in the warm-up after the hold, so I went out a little subtle and he lost a shoe at fence 4. After that he just felt like he was sliding around. It wasn’t his smoothest round; he left a leg at the gate and I had to go around.
“At the water he kind of stalled in so I took a lot of options that I wasn’t necessarily planning on, but my goal at the end of the day was just about getting him home safe and having a sound horse to come back to. He’s a very fast horse but you can’t really make up the time because there aren’t a lot of long galloping stretches on this course.”
“The crowds were a factor with him too. Sometimes they hold him a little more and with everything right up against the ropes and off a turn I’d have to take an extra second and make sure he was focusing on the jump because he was quite distracted by the crowds even though he’s seen them several times.”