Slobber (But No Rain!) in the Air at Badminton First Horse Inspection

Seventy-seven CCI4* horses were presented before the Badminton ground jury and all 77 passed muster, including four North American pairs, on this dazzlingly bright British spring day.

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Libby Head (USA) and Sir Rockstar. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Boyd Martin and Cracker Jack (USA). Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Boyd Martin (USA) and Cracker Jack. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee (CAN). Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Kathryn Robinson (CAN) and Let It Bee. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

One of whom unleashed a bit of “magic spray” in the spotlight, much to his rider’s slightly belated amusement.

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Buck Davidson (USA) and The Apprentice. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Buck Davidson (USA) and The Apprentice. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Buck Davidson (USA) and The Apprentice. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Three horses were held but all passed upon reinspection: Jonelle Price’s mount Classic Moet (NZL), Tom Crisp’s mount Cooleys Luxury (GBR) and Simon Grieve’s mount Cornacrew (GBR).

Of course, all eyes were on last weekend’s Rolex champion Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW. A win here at Badminton would give Michael the Rolex Grand Slam title.

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Michael Jung and La Biothetique Sam FBW (GER). Photo by Leslie Wylie.

What’s appropriate dress for the first weekend of May here in England? From fur capes to flannel shirts to sundresses and heels, anything went today.

Lucy Jackson Bosun (NZL). Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Lucy Jackson (NZL) and Bosun. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Paul Tapner (AUS) and Vanir Kamira. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Paul Tapner (AUS) and Vanir Kamira. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

A few pairs we thought looked especially sharp:

England has had a soggy spring and while the ground is still, to quote today’s announcer, a bit “juicy,” the sun seems to be helping out with some last minute mopping up of the place. The weather today was glorious and much appreciated by the spectators who turned out in droves to watch the jog.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

A particularly big cheer went up from the crowd when Ben Hobday took the strip in acknowledgement of his hard-won return to the level after a battle with cancer. Looking fly, Ben!

Ben Hobday (GBR) and Mulrys Error. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Ben Hobday (GBR) and Mulrys Error. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Dressage begins tomorrow with a test ride at 9:10 followed by the first dressage ride, Oliver Townend and Armada, at 9:30 a.m. local time.

Go Eventing.

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