Sally Spickard
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Sally Spickard

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About Sally Spickard

Sally Spickard is a Korean adoptee living in San Diego, California. Sally joined the Eventing Nation team in 2013 and has subsequently written for Noelle Floyd, Heels Down Mag, and other publications both in and out of the equestrian world. Sally is an eventing fan through and through and enjoys telling the stories of riders who are not well-represented within equestrian media.

Latest Articles Written

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

Photo Courtesy of Nora Huynh-Watkins.

I was so excited to hear that Nora Huynh-Watkins was named as the Summer 2022 Ever So Sweet Scholarship recipient from Strides for Equality Equestrians. Since the Ever So Sweet Scholarship’s creation in 2020, two riders have benefitted from the education and exposure gained with help from the program. Honestly, it’s made me quite envious, but all of these riders have ambitions to help serve the greater equestrian community as they move forward and I think it’s so important to have opportunities like this available to open those pathways. After all, our sport is only as big as the number of people it reaches, and I have no doubt that the ESS graduates will go on to help grow our community!

To learn more about ESS and learn when you’ll be able to apply for a future round, please click here.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Tryon International Spring Three-Day Event (Mill Spring, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Galway Downs Spring H.T. (Temecula, Ca.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Hitching Post Farm H.T. (South Royalton, Vt.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. (Ocala, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Spokane Sport Horse Spring H.T. (Spokane, Wa.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, Tx.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Unionville May H.T. (Unionvilla, Pa.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

WindRidge Farm Spring H.T. (Mooresboro, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Winona H.T. (Hanoverton, Oh.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Major International Events

FEI Nations Cup CCIO4*-S/WEG Test Event (Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy): [Website] [Schedule] [Entries] [Scoring] [EN’s Coverage] [Live Stream]

Wednesday News & Reading

He did it! Dom Schramm completed a lifelong goal of finishing Badminton and he’s done just that with Bolytair B. ICYMI, Dom’s been blogging for The Chronicle during his time overseas, and his last installment is a reflection on the final phases of competition. Read it here.

We loved running into our buddies at Haygain at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event! If you visited the trade fair indoors, chances are you followed the delicious smell of steamed hay right to the Haygain booth. Read the recap of Haygain’s weekend in Kentucky here.

I really appreciated this candid reflection on Badminton from Pippa Funnell, who’s no stranger to success but experienced a down weekend this year at the British 5*. Pippa had the unfortunate luck of being held while her close friend, Nicola Wilson, was attended to after a bad fall, and the weekend never really got right in the end. We always idolize these top riders for their high moments, but Pippa’s candor here is even more valuable in my opinion.

Have a horse dealing with ulcers? Two keys that might be useful: forage and starch/sugar intake. Read more on this topic over on TheHorse.com.

Video Break

This definitely looks right up my alley: Frankie Thieriot-Stutes has teamed up with Will Faudree for the new H&C+ show “Frankie Feasts With”:

Tuesday Videos: Badminton in the Rearview

Horse show hangovers are a very real thing, and none quite so heavy as those that come after a big 5* — two, to be exact this year! We’re still on that Badminton high, and thankfully the production team at Badminton seem to feel the same way as they’ve served up video highlight reels from each day of competition.

If you want to relive the competition in full, you can still watch the replays from each phase on Badminton TV. A one-time fee of $25 will get you access to the programming for a whole year, and you’ll even have access to replays from 2018 and 2019 to boot.

Badminton definitely worked its way up toward the top of the bucket list for many of us this year, myself included, and it’s no wonder, with nearly 200,000 spectators on site throughout the weekend and plenty of good vibes to go around. We’re already ready for 2023!

Take a look back at our coverage from Badminton here.

Nicola Wilson Stable at Southmead Hospital Following Fall on Badminton Cross Country

Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin took an early spot in the top ten during dressage at Badminton. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

After suffering a crashing fall on cross country at Badminton Horse Trials on Saturday, British Equestrian has provided an update on the condition of reigning European Champion Nicola Wilson. Both Nicola as well as JL Dublin fell at fence 27, a corner following the MARS M; the fence was subsequently removed from the course.

British Equestrian released the following statement this morning:

Following her fall from JL Dublin at Badminton Horse Trials on Saturday 7th May, Nicola Wilson has had a comfortable night in hospital, and is conscious in a stable condition and awaiting further tests. She is receiving the best possible care from the team at Southmead Hospital.

Her husband, Alistair, and the rest of the family are very grateful for all of the messages of support and these are being shared with Nicola. ‘Dubs’ is in good form and will be making his way back to Yorkshire later today. We will bring you further updates as and when we can.

Badminton Social Recap: A Very Social Cross Country Day

From the perspective of someone who’s never been to Badminton, I’ll tell you my main takeaway: it looks like an absolute party. I think it’s heightened this year with the event not running since 2019 — horses are an integral part of culture here, and it shows. The food and drink set-up at Badminton looked incredible, and even once the last horse had jumped around throngs of people remained, drinks in hand and settled in to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Enjoy some scenes from the social event of the season — and some updates from riders as they settle in for a night of recovery after a hard, scrappy day of cross country riding!

Badminton Links: WebsiteEntriesLive Stream,EN’s Ultimate GuideThe Form GuideEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

The Big Bad Badminton Cross Country Live Update Thread

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

It’s time! One I got done grumbling at my alarm this morning (which was honestly quite a bit later than the 12:30 a.m. alarms for dressage days) it was time to get excited about Badminton cross country. The day looks to have dawned in perfect weather and we are all settled in for what is sure to be an excellent day of action.

I’ll be providing live updates here, but I strongly encourage you to pick up a Badminton TV pass to watch for yourself. No, they aren’t paying me to say that (I wish!), but I just appreciate the efforts made to put the live stream on. I know that not everyone can comfortable pay the $25 for the pass, but if you can manage it, it makes a difference. You can sign up here and you’ll receive access to the live stream plus on demand replays for a full year.

Refresh this page for updates if you can’t follow along live! Our first pair will be out on course at 11:30 a.m. BST / 6:30 a.m. EST / 3:30 a.m. PST. I’m thinking SAFE, clear and fast thoughts for all!

Course preview

CrossCountryApp course map

Start times

Badminton Links: WebsiteEntriesLive StreamLive ScoresRide TimesEN’s Ultimate GuideThe Form GuideCourse PreviewEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

12:16 p.m. EST: And that is a wrap on a very dramatic cross country day at Badminton. It’s a bit of a blur, so I’m probably going to scroll through my own live updates now! The full replay will be available on Badminton TV if you couldn’t watch live — check it out here. Tamie Smith is the top-placed American, in 15th after a clear cross country with time. The remainder of the top 10 has shuffled, except for Laura Collett and London 52 who will retain their lead. Live scores can be found here. Tilly will be along later with the full report, but in the meantime thank you for following along with our updates and Go Eventing.

12:15 p.m. EST: What a bummer — Kylie Roddy has to end her day early after it seems SRS Kan Do maybe lost a shoe or otherwise had some trouble just before the Vicarage V. He seems fine but a big bummer to end her ride, which was going fantastically to that point — the horse comes first though and she gives him a big pat.

12:12 p.m. EST: Well, if you were concerned at any point about what will happen once some of these top British horses step down, I don’t think there’s any reason for it. CHF Cooliser comes home 42 seconds over time but absolutely full of running after a brilliant run with Tom McEwen. She’s been around some tough tracks and showed her talent, but this confirms it: she’s a true competitor at the toughest event in the world. And just look at her gallop home:

GIF via Badminton TV.

12:09 p.m. EST: Tom channels his inner Kyle Carter and flaps his elbows at CHF Cooliser through the Solar Farm bounce, helping lift her shoulders with quick reaction to avoid the same trouble he ran into with Toledo de Kerser.

12:07 p.m. EST: Tom opts to go around for a long presentation to the final Nyetimber Corner. It didn’t look like the mare was going to see it in time with how bold she jumped in. Meanwhile we’re going to have a very strong finish from Davide Doel, whose horse looks full of run coming home. Just three seconds of time for this pair.

12:06 p.m. EST: CHF Cooliser is just keen as anything, I think she’s mostly said “just hang on up there” to Tom, though she’s survived a couple of overeager moments. Our final starter is Kylie Roddy and she’s on course and clear through the Huntsmans Close.

12:05 p.m. EST: David survives a very hairy moment at the LeMieux Leap and scraps his way through clear. Tom has a great ride with CHF Cooliser through the KBIS Brush Village and is now safely over the Footbridge, in the thick of the more intense portion of the course (as if there is a portion that ISN’T intense, to be fair).

12:03 p.m. EST: A bit of showmanship, which surprises no one with this one, from Oliver as he comes home clear inside the time with Ballaghmor Class:

GIF via Badminton TV.

12:02 p.m. EST: We’ve now got David Doel with Galileo Nieuwmoed as well as Tom McEwen with CHF Cooliser on course now. Bill Levett will not run Lates Quin, so we’ll just have one more: Kylie Roddy and SRS Kan Do, left to see.

12:00 p.m. EST: Oliver’s pushing Ballaghmor Class home and he’s going to be several seconds inside the time.

12:00 p.m. EST: A look at Ros finishing with Lordships Graffalo.

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:59 a.m. EST: Ah, man not the weekend for Pippa Funnell. She’s fallen from 2019 Burghley winner MGH Grafton Street RDA Fundraiser fence very early on, at fence 5.

11:58 a.m. EST: Oliver and Ballaghmor Class pop through the bounce at Solar Farm, which has ridden considerably better as the day has gone on and riders have talked/watched the stream.

11:56 a.m. EST: Oliver sets up for four in the MARS water with Ballaghmor Class. Ros Canter is going to bring Lordships Graffalo home clear inside the time — on his 5* debut, finishing with ears pricked! Wow what a superstar made today!

11:54 a.m. EST: Man, how great for William with two fantastic clear rounds today. It was just a few years ago William had his bad fall and suffered a severe head injury as a result. For awhile, William wasn’t sure he’d return to riding, nevermind at this level. Even this morning, he wasn’t sure — but we sure are glad he’s back and showing us all how to ride cross country.

11:52 a.m. EST: Lordships Graffalo is looking mature beyond his experience through the KBIS brushes. Oliver Townend is on course and clear through the Huntsmans Close.

11:51 a.m. EST: Little Fire is just getting a bit backed off as he progresses but William’s using his experience to inject some confidence back into the 13-year-old. Meanwhile, Padraig finishes to a roar from the crowd with HHS Noble Call.

11:49 a.m. EST: Little Fire stretches and shows his scope at the out of the KBIS Brush Village:

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:47 a.m. EST: Ros Canter returns now with her second ride, Lordships Graffalo who is in 10th currently after dressage. This is a 5* debut for this 10-year-old. Meanwhile, Harry Meade comes home about 28 seconds slow with Away Cruising.

11:45 a.m. EST: A look at William with his first ride, Oratorio:

11:44 a.m. EST: A few big heavy hitters to help close out the day here: William Fox-Pitt is away with Little Fire, and we’ll have Ballaghmor Class and three-time Kentucky winner Oliver Townend up soon as well.

A cool statistic on the great Classic Moet:

11:43 a.m. EST: A happy Selina Milnes finish their second 5* together and just Selina’s second since 2012.

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:40 a.m. EST: Such a gutting decision for Sarah, but I have so much respect for this:

11:39 a.m. EST: An update from Mollie Summerland who ended her day at the MARS water earlier on:

11:37 a.m. EST: Selina Milnes does a good job to set Iron back on his hind end ahead of the bounce at Solar Farm. Harry Meade schools through the Quarry at 4 with Away Cruising, and we’re also joined by Lauren Innes with Global Fision M.

11:35 a.m. EST: Emily will be absolutely kicking herself for the little blip in the water as she’s just come home clear from that point on and totally full of run still with Corvett. He’s a Badminton horse, girl!

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:32 a.m. EST: One of the better rides through the Nyetimber Corners for Tom Jackson and Capels Hollow Drift. Emily makes short work of the MARS M question.

11:30 a.m. EST: A nice finish for Jean Lou Bigot and a fresh-looking Utrillo du Halage. Meanwhile Emily and Corvett have a huge jump into MARS Sustainability Bay and can’t quite make it to the B element after Emily loses her stirrups.

11:29 a.m. EST: Emily Hamel has a great shot through the KBIS Brush Village as well as the Footbridge. Tom Jackson with Capels Hollow Drift navigates the Badminton Lake safely.

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:27 a.m. EST: Laura calls this course more like a 6*, which is definitely true! “If anything we thought it would ride tough and intense, and it certainly did do that. You just had nowhere to even think, you just got on to the next fence, on to the next fence. This whole Vicarage line happens so quickly and the horses have to be so trusting and so brave and just take everything on that’s in front of them. There’s no breather. It’s not just physically exhausting, it’s mentally exhausting as well and I definitely felt like London came to the Vicarage Vee and he definitely questioned my sanity!”

11:25 a.m. EST: Emily Hamel are on course and clear through the Huntsmans Close!

11:23 a.m. EST: “It’s a little bit of a blur at the moment,” Laura Collett, overnight leader, says. “But the horse was just absolutely phenomenal and he dug so deep. I have never ridden a cross country like that before and he’d never seen one like that before. It was relentless, there were no let up fences. It was definitely not the most stylish round but he was amazing, he just kept answering every question and was very brave.”

11:21 a.m. EST: Big finish feels for Ugo Provasi!

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:19 a.m. EST: Jean Lou Bigot and Utrillo du Halage are on course now and we’ll next see U.S. rider Emily Hamel and Corvett. Also Phillip Dutton says Z lost a shoe all the way back at fence 4 today, according to Ian Stark on commentary.

11:17 a.m. EST: Sammi Birch will now be restarted ahead of the Footbridge. She’s got to give Finduss PFB a bit of a tap on the back end of the Footbridge to get him switched back on. It’s a very tough mental challenge for a horse to be held, and they’ve got some tough questions to come.

11:14 a.m. EST: Yikes, a bit of a logistical mess at the hold as Sammi Birch moves off the lane to let Ugo Provasi through to the Footbridge. She looks pretty displeased at the turn of events, and now they’ll have to hold her a bit longer so she doesn’t overtake Ugo. Tough call for the stewards who likely didn’t need to hold Ugo but couldn’t restart Sammi in time.

11:11 a.m. EST: Sammi Birch and Finduss PFB are held just before the Footbridge while the crew makes repairs to the frangible pin.

11:08 a.m. EST: King of the Mill has a peek as he’s taking off at the Footbridge and breaks the back pin when he put his hind legs down. Then at the LeMieux Leap the pair comes to grief at the brush element. Luckily they’re on their feet and don’t look like they’ve been injured.

11:07 a.m. EST: An update from Dom Schramm, who went around clear with time earlier:

Well – we made it around! Thanks for all the awesome messages. Boly has pulled up absolutely perfect. I had a new bit…

Posted by Dominic Schramm on Saturday, May 7, 2022

11:05 a.m. EST: King of the Mill’s got an excellent ground eating gallop, showing off en route to the Badminton Lake:

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:04 a.m. EST: On course now are Arthur Chabert with Goldsmiths Imber, Richard Jones with Alfies Clover, and Alex Bragg with King of the Mill, all clear to this point.

11:03 a.m. EST: Tim Price is going to be into time penalties with Ringwood Sky Boy but is going to finish clear and looking still full of run. The two oldest horses here this weekend are Classic Moet, who went double clear earlier, and Ringwood Sky Boy, who are both 19 and look fitter coming home than many of their counterparts. Props to the program at Team Price!

11:00 a.m. EST: Love this update from Team Tamie Smith, posted by Bec Braitling:

10:59 a.m. EST: Just going to keep GIF-ing finish line reactions for the rest of the day, k thanks.

GIF via Badminton TV.

10:57 a.m. EST: Brilliant through the MARS Sustainability Bay for Tim and Ringwood Sky Boy.

10:54 a.m. EST: We’re joined now by Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy, who’ve won Burghley and done approximately 750 other 5* events in their storied career. Also on course are Nicky Hill with MGH Bingo Boy.

10:54 a.m. EST: Big feels for Cyrielle Lefevre who finishes clear with just a bit of time aboard Armanjo Serosah, riding for France:

GIF via Badminton TV.

10:51 a.m. EST: Wowwwww Joris Vanspringel just made an epic save after he nearly came to the same end as Cathal Daniels and Emily King did at the Seville Hay Feeder question. Nicely sat!

GIF via Badminton TV.

10:49 a.m. EST: My burning question here is can we have more ice cream trucks on the Kentucky cross country course? Badminton’s doing it right here.

GIF via Badminton TV.

10:46 a.m. EST: Now taking the course is Becky Heappey and DHI Babette K, coming forward on a score of 39.1 after dressage. She’s clear through the Quarry. Joris takes the red flag at the Nyetimber Corners but he’s clear through it and shouldn’t have a scoring issue.

10:45 a.m. EST: And back underway for Belgian rider Joris Vanspringel and Creator GS, who are now clear and clever through the MARS Sustainability Bay.

10:42 a.m. EST: The MIM clip at the Vicarage Vee does its job as Cedric Lyard’s horse just doesn’t quite read the question correctly. Cedric’s going to call it a day and will likely need to ice his knee tonight. They’re now going to hold the course just to reset the clip on the Vee.

GIF via Badminton TV.

10:41 a.m. EST: Tom is going to come home clear with Zanzibar, about 30 seconds over the time to finish his first 5* cross country.

10:38 a.m. EST: Cedric Lyard and Unum de’OR nearly have a pin at the Footbridge but I think they’ve gotten over it without incurring the 11 penalties.

10:36 a.m. EST: My live feed has gotten behind so I apologize if you’re watching live and following along with these updates, I’ll try to get up to speed but I’m a bit at the mercy of what I’m being shown. And we also are joined by Tom Carlile and Zanzibar Villa Rose Z.

10:33 a.m. EST: Another French rider, Arthur Duffort, has a big jump into Badminton Lake and has to scrap through the rest of the question, including a long route, with Toronto D’Aurois. We’re also joined by Clare Abbott and Jewelent, riding for Ireland.

10:32 a.m. EST: Gireg is having a great round as he comes to the final few fences. He’s going to go into time penalties as he heads for the main arena but will make it home clear it appears.

10:29 a.m. EST: Oh my gosh, what a bummer for Bubby Upton who just have a runout at the final fence. I think Cola is a bit tired for sure and lost concentration.

10:26 a.m. EST: A great shot through the Nyetimber Corners for Gireg, who now comes to the Vicarage Vee.

10:22 a.m. EST: French rider Gireg Le Coz had an excellent dressage test with Aisprit de La Loge, scoring a 26.7 a a jumping off point to start cross country. I’d love to see a competitive run here today.

10:20 a.m. EST: Bubby Upton has to ride strong to the Broken Bridge with Cola, and they just are a little unsteady but totally fine through it.

10:17 a.m. EST: Rosie Fry and True Blue Too are having a cracking round, full of run coming home. They’ll be a little over the time but what a ride!

10:15 a.m. EST: An elated Laura punches the air as she finishes with London 52 — she will keep her lead overnight.

GIF via Badminton TV.

10:14 a.m. EST: Next to see are Libby Seed with Heartbreaker Star Quality, who are making their 5* debut here this weekend. They have a lovely straight trip through the tricky Huntsmans Close.

10:12 a.m. EST: Laura looks like she’ll be well up on the clock as she comes home (remember they’ll have to confirm the final time with the hold) and comes home inside the time! I think the break might have done them well, London 52 was a bit backed off ahead of it and looked a little fresher coming home. I’ll be keen to see what she says after her ride!

10:11 a.m. EST: Rosie Fry and True Blue Too become the latest to have trouble at the KBIS Brush Village, which twists you around in an S curve and comes up quick. Laura safely navigates the Seville Hay Feeders and is getting closer to home. The Hay Feeders ride well if you’re able to sit up and balance, if the horse gets rangy and flat and unresponsive here you’re going to have a big problem.

10:10 a.m. EST: Well a blessing indeed as Mike finishes full of run with El Mundo! Just the one bummer of a problem at that MARS water for this pair but he’ll be pleased to have gotten it done. We’ll now see Laura and London 52 as they restart.

10:08 a.m. EST: So we’ll be going onto a restart shortly as we see the riders getting ready to go again. It’s always a question of whether or not a hold benefits a horse or not — I think for Mike it could be a blessing in the sense he got his wind back but also a curse since he was so close to home.

10:05 a.m. EST: Ok, happy to report Maxime’s horse is up and walking. Poor guy.

I have to say, and I know I’m not a designer or a 5* rider, but I’m not a huge fan of the violence we’re seeing on this course. I realize we’re going to have incidents, but I am not okay with the level of intensity with which some of these horses are crashing. I think we can do better than this as a sport, and we need to do better than this because those who do not participate in the sport are watching.

10:02 a.m. EST: So on the hold currently will be Mike Winter and El Mundo, Laura Collett and London 52 as well as Rosie Fry and True Blue Too.

9:59 a.m. EST: We’re now going to go on a hold as we’ve been told Maxime Livio’s horse is still down. We’ll keep you updated as we know more.

9:57 a.m. EST: London 52 is not quite looking as keen as he started, really backing off from the Vicarage Vee. But he’s clear through the Lightsource bp Solar Farm.

9:57 a.m. EST: London 52 nimbly makes the Nyetimber Corner despite not quite locking on to it.

9:55 a.m. EST: We haven’t seen a ton of Maxime, and now Vitorio du Montent just can’t quite make the final jump work on account of his lack of energy. He’s stayed down after falling but I hope he’s just getting a second to get his wind back. Don’t like to see that.

9:53 a.m. EST: Canadian pair Mike Winter and El Mundo are also on course and clear through the Footbridge but run into some trouble after a giant leap into the MARS Sustainability Bay that steers them past the B in the water.

9:52 a.m. EST: Whoaaaaa Laura Collett almost ends her day early with a caught knee at the Quarry. That’ll wake them up!

GIF via Badminton TV.

9:50 a.m. EST: If you’re still looking for the Badminton TV live stream, don’t forget you can pick it up here! It’s about $25 and is good for a whole year with access to replays from 2018 and 2019 as well. Trust me, my little updates don’t replace watching it live — and it is no small feat to put on a live stream, so they could use the support!

9:48 a.m. EST: Maxime’s horse just catches a hoof at the Broken Bridge and causes my heart to stop but they’re safely through. I tell you, that Bridge is riding fairly well but I think it’s also surprised quite a few as this wouldn’t be a question you’d commonly see (though I do hear there was one on the Grassroots Championship course here. Remind me never to do Grassroots in England).

9:45 a.m. EST: Dom is home clear! He’ll add about 44 time penalties but he should be just over the moon to tick off this bucket list, and Boly looks fairly fresh finishing thanks to saving some energy around the course. Susie Berry and John the Bull as well as Maxime Livio with Vitorio du Montet are also on course. Sarah Way withdrew Dassett Cooley Dun prior to cross country.

Way to go, Dom! GIF via Badminton TV.

9:44 a.m. EST: Dom and Bolytair B are nearly home, and honestly Dom is slow but it would’ve been his plan to go out and prioritize confidence and safety first. I think Dom will be thrilled with this round!

9:43 a.m. EST: Well it’s not the day for Karl and Fernhill Wishes, who just sort of quits at the C element of the KBIS Brush Village. Not the feeling you want and Karl does the horseman’s thing and calls it a day. A real bummer for this pair.

9:41 a.m. EST: Dom and Bolytair B get a little close to the second element of the bounce at the Solar Farm, good boy Boly! Here’s a lovely ride for this pair over the Footbridge earlier on:

GIF via Badminton TV.

9:40 a.m. EST: Dom is taking his time with Bolytair B who can be a bit of a dragon on cross country. They’re having a nice round but are not going to get clear of time penalties at this pace — but that’s ok!

9:39 a.m. EST: Ah, man! Karl and Fernhill Wishes run into trouble at the Huntsmans Close, Chocy just didn’t quite get his line to C and didn’t see the question well. They’re clear on second attempt. Dom is clear through the MARS Sustainability Bay.

9:38 a.m. EST: All clear at the Broken Bridge for Dom and Bolytair B.

9:36 a.m. ET: Also joining us is Canadian rider Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes, clear at the Quarry.

9:35 a.m. EST:DSP Cosma loses a shoe on landing from the first Clarence Court Egg Box and can’t make the second one work. They’ll end their day here, and DSP Cosma appears to be a little lame — hopefully just a sting. Dom Schramm is now on course and comes to the Badminton Lake.

9:32 a.m. EST: Yikes, Hazel Shannon and Willingapark Clifford just hesitate too much at the Broken Bridge and land in a heap on the other side. Luckily they seem ok, that could have been a bad one.

9:28 a.m. EST: Even Reve du Rouet has a bit of a look at the drop into the MARS Sustainability Bay. James Rushbrooke is absolutely over the moon to finish his very first Badminton/5* cross country!

That finishing feeling! GIF via Badminton TV.

9:24 a.m. EST: Ah, Wizzerd also halts in front of the water at MARS Sustainability Bay. He says no again on the second attempt and Matt will end his day here.

9:23 a.m. EST: Matt Flynn is showing as clear through fence 12 on the fence report. James Rushbrooke lives very dangerously at the bounce out of the BP Solar Farm. Matt now shows up on the feed clear through the KBIS Brush Village at 14.

9:22 a.m. EST: What a ride for Alice!! She’s only just over the time and she’s home clear! Such a great story for this one. You can read more about Alice and Topspin here.

9:20 a.m. EST: Alice Casburn and Topspin are very nearly home – this is a homebred horse that she’s produced herself. Also on course are James Rushbrooke with Milchem Eclipse, as well as American rider Matt Flynn with Wizzerd.

9:18 a.m. EST: Jonelle Price is coming home clear with Classic Moet and is well within the time, six seconds clear!! What a great partnership.

9:17 a.m. EST: Love a good finish shot — here’s one of Felicity Collins:

GIF via Badminton TV.

9:14 a.m. EST: Not a fan of the Seville Hay Feeders question, which pitches the horses downhill on a very forward, flat stride. When a horse has been galloping for 11 minutes at this point, I imagine it’s nearly impossible to pick them up for this question. Emily King and Valmy Biats also crash in similar fashion to Cathal Daniels and Barrichello. Emily’s foot got caught in the stirrup momentarily but thankfully they both appear to be ok right now.

9:10 a.m. EST: A really bold ride for Emily King so far. It’s crazy to think she’s just 25, she’s riding with so much skill and maturity.

9:09 a.m. EST: Next out will be 2018 Badminton winners Jonelle Price with Classic Moet — keep an eye on this pair to perhaps show us how to make the time. Fiona Cashel has finished with Creevagh Silver de Haar and looks thrilled.

9:07 a.m. EST: Felicity Collins has a really lovely ride through the KBIS Brush Village, never wavering from her line and keeping RSH Contend OR between her for this challenging S turn:

GIF via Badminton TV.

9:05 a.m. EST: Another competitive dressage score, Emily King and Valmy Biats bring forward a score of 28.5 to start with as she heads out to cross country. She’s clear through the HorseQuest Quarry at 4. Will Faudree is going to be home clear with 27 seconds of time!

9:03 a.m. EST: An update on Lillian, she’s listed with a Fall on Flat at fence 26, which leads to the MARS M. A big bummer for Lillian, we hope she’s only got bruised pride!

9:02 a.m. EST: Fiona has a bit of an issue at the final element of fence 14, the KBIS Brush Village and just ducks out to the left. She’s clear on the second attempt, while Will is clear through the MARS M at 27.

9:01 a.m. EST: Also on course are Felicity Collins with RSH Contend OR as well as Fiona Kashel with Creevagh Silver de Haar. Hector Payne is coming to the finish with Dynasty, I believe they’re clear so far just slow.

9:00 a.m. EST: A really nice ride for Will and Mama’s Magic Way over the coffin question, the LeMieux Leap at 18ABC.

8:58 a.m. EST: Kitty King and Vendreti Biats are home with about 20 seconds of time! Also, I’d like to start a petition for Piggy March to be in the commentary booth at all times!

8:56 a.m. EST: Hector Payne and Dynasty are clear through the MARS Sustainability Bay at 17.

8:56 a.m. EST: Now on course is our next American, Will Faudree with Mama’s Magic Way.

GIF via Badminton TV.

8:55 a.m. EST: Kitty King is really having a scrappy round, and Vendredi Biats is a very genuine horse who just keeps galloping and jumping. Meanwhile, Sofia Sjoborg has finished with DHI Mighty Dwight with a good bit of time.

8:53 a.m. EST: Piggy, now in the commentator box, says the course feels old-fashioned and plays on both rider and horse fitness as well as mental strength. “It felt like I was in a tumble dryer for 11 minutes!” she says.

8:51 a.m. EST: Whewwwww..Kitty King comes flying into the Badminton Lake and gets very very close to the B element in the water, but she uses her experience and they’re through it and now over the Ford Broken Bridge.

GIF via Badminton TV.

8:50 a.m. EST: Rats. Mollie and Charly have ground to a halt in front of the in to the MARS Sustainability Bay. After two there she’s put her hand up. A real bummer, but Charly was giving the jumps so much berth it could well have shaken his confidence a little.

8:49 a.m. EST: Christoph was evidently restarted and is now coming to the finish. Well over time but likely to be adjusted. Meanwhile, Charly is still giving these massive jumps plenty of room — hang on tight, Mollie!

8:47 a.m. EST: Big air for Charly Van Ter Heiden at the Badminton Lake but all good! Sofia Sjoborg and DHI Mighty Dwight are also on course and we catch up with them at the MARS Sustainability Bay. We are also joined by Kitty King and Vendreti Biats, who start the day in third place on a score of 24.8.

8:46 a.m. EST: Ok, it was the Nyetimber Corner at 20 for Tom, sorry!

8:44 a.m. EST: I think Christoph’s been held for fence rebuild from when Tom went through I believe the KBIS Brush Village. Apologies that I’m not doing a great job of being more specific, it’s hard to not have the fence report live and things are happening quickly!

8:43 a.m. EST: We’ve just been told on the live stream that Nicola Wilson is stable and has been transferred to the hospital for more evaluation. We’ll keep you further posted as we can.

Now joining us are Luhmühlen 2021 winners Mollie Summerland with Charly Van Ter Heiden.

8:42 a.m. EST: Hm, we appear to maybe be going on a hold…Christoph Wahler has just pulled up but I can’t tell if he did that or if he was held.

8:39 a.m. EST: Christoph Wahler and Carjatan S are now tackling the Badminton Lake. They’re the sole German pair here this weekend, coming forward on a dressage mark of 32.5.

8:38 a.m. EST: Helen Wilson comes in with a bit too much heat to the bounce at the Solar Farm and sadly will end her day here with My Ernie. Bummer!

8:36 a.m. EST: No! Ben Hobday just pops off over the right shoulder of Shadow Man after he just clips a leg on the first element leading to the MARS M. That’s one where you wish the fall rule was still in place, he could just pop back on if it was! Meanwhile, Helen Wilson has another problem at the MARS Sustainability Bay with a drive-by of the B element. Tom Rowland has a big jump into the big Lake but he stuck it and navigates his way through.

GIF via Badminton TV.

8:34 a.m. EST: Tom Rowland and Possible Mission are on course, and Helen Wilson with My Ernie are quickly through the KBIS Brush Village. My GIF maker is taking up a bit much CPU so I’m going to cool it on GIFs for awhile (plus it’s more fun to watch the live stream anyway — pick up your pass here.)

8:32 a.m. EST: A brilliant round for Arianna Schivo, clear with just about 15 or 18 seconds of time! Wonderful.

8:30 a.m. EST: Rats, Helen Wilson and My Ernie have an early drive-by at the final element of the HorseQuest Quarry where Oliver almost came to grief earlier today. Ben Hobday and Shadow Man are also on course and clear through the Badminton Lake.

8:28 a.m. EST: Sarah and Woodcourt Garrison miss the final corner at the Nyetimber Corners and have to pull around for the re-attempt. Italy’s Arianna Schivo and Quefira de L’Ormeau are now on course.

8:26 a.m. EST: Oh man, Cathal and Barrichello just completely chest the downhill Rolltop at fence 29, the Seville Hay Feeders. Quite a nasty fall but they are both immediately up and we’ll hope they’re no worse for the wear.

8:24 a.m. EST: Woodcourt Garrison just slips a bit on the way to the final brush of the KBIS Brush Village at 14, but he keeps his lock and makes the C happen. Whew!

8:23 a.m. EST: Gosh, I’m obsessing over this Just Kidding horse, who is a Thoroughbred sired by Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. Thoroughbreds for the win! He just motored right around and finished very strong.

GIF via Badminton TV.

8:21 a.m. EST: Now on course also is Sarah Ennis with Woodcourt Garrison. Cathal Daniels has made it through the Nyetimber Corners at 19.

8:20 a.m. EST: Amanda Pottinger pulls out to go long at the Nyetimber Corners — they’re separately numbered so this is fine, just time-consuming.

8:19 a.m. EST: Esib Power had a cracking round with Soladoun, coming home 16 seconds over time. So we’ve had just the two clears inside the time, with Oliver and Austin’s rounds.

8:18 a.m. EST:Amanda Pottinger is so quick through the MARS Sustainability Bay that you’d probably miss her if you blinked!

8:16 a.m. EST: Now we’re joined by Cathal Daniels and Barrichello, currently on a score of 32.7. Now we catch up with Ariel as she gets to the last fence about 20 seconds over. Nicely done! 8 time penalties to add for this pair.

8:16 a.m. EST: Amanda having a blast out there on Just Kidding, safely through the Badminton Lake and now the Clarence Court Egg Boxes right out of stride.

8:14 a.m. EST: Amanda Pottinger with the brilliant OTTB Just Kidding are now on course and through the Huntsmans Close. I’m also seeing that Sarah Way has withdrawn Dassett Cooley Way ahead of cross country. Haven’t seen Ariel in a moment, so will update when I do!

8:13 a.m. EST: Rose Nesbitt and EG Michaelangelo are still full of run as they finish their first Badminton — well done! Meanwhile, Oliver is now showing as un-eliminated — we’ll have more on this later, but there must have been some sort of video review.

8:11 a.m. EST: Ariel’s decently down on the clock as she tackles the MARS Sustainability Bay. Here’s a shot of her through the KBIS Brush Village:

GIF via Badminton TV.

8:10 a.m. EST: Esib Power and Soladoun are now on course, and Ariel navigates the Ford Broken Bridge safely.

8:08 a.m. EST: Rose Nesbitt and EG Michaelangelo had an early fly-by at the Huntsmans Close, but what a clever horse you can see learning as he goes. This is a debutant pair — I can’t imagine doing my first 5*, period, let alone doing it at Badminton. Meanwhile, Austin O’Connor brings home Colorado Blue clear inside the time!

8:07 a.m. EST: Now on course and clear through the Voltaire Design Huntsmans Close is our next American pair, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan.

8:05 a.m. EST: Tamie stops the clock 28 seconds over to add 11.2 time penalties to their dressage mark. This would’ve been the biggest track this horse has seen and what an achievement!

8:04 a.m. EST: Tamie is going to go well over the time, but she’s still clear as she heads for the main arena and the finish.

8:04 a.m. EST: Joining us on course are Austin O’Connor with his Tokyo partner, Colorado Blue, as well as Rose Nesbitt with RG Michaelangelo.

8:02 a.m. EST: Tamie has a strong ride at the Nyetimber Corners and is now safely through the Solar Farm at 24. Come on, Mai Baum!

Clever Tamie and Mai Baum at the Nyetimber Corners. GIF via Badminton TV.

8:00 a.m. EST: 10.8 time for Z, who’s pretty tired coming home but has another clear round under his belt. Tamie comes to the MARS Sustainability Bay.

7:59 a.m. EST: Bundy runs into trouble and retires after two stops at the Nyetimber Corners where Kirsty had her difficulty. Z is into the main arena!

7:58 a.m. EST: We now catch up with Phillip, who’s heading for home with Z. Z is looking a bit tired but he’s still galloping away from everything and hasn’t lost his jump. I apologize I’m not quicker with exact scores — my live fence report is not working at the moment!

7:58 a.m. EST: Tamie has a wonderful ride through the Badminton Lake — Lexus is looking really keen and rideable so far.

7:56 a.m. EST: Bummer! Lillian has fallen from LCC Barnaby….not quite sure which fence but maybe the MARS M? She looked almost able to save it but can’t quite hold on. Tamie is clear through the Huntsmans Close.

7:55 a.m. EST: Now on course and safely through the HorseQuest Quarry at 4 are Tamie Smith and Mai Baum.

7:54 a.m. EST: Phillip Dutton and Z are safely through the LeMieux Leap at 18.

7:53 a.m. EST: Lillian holds her line and gets LCC Barnaby through the Solar Farm at 24, nice ride! Bundy Philpott navigates the Huntsmans Close with Tresca NZPH.

7:51 a.m. EST: Oliver Townend is now listed as Eliminated on live scores. When he climbed over the out of the Quarry there were a lot of questions as to whether or not he’d made it over that fence, so this might be the reason. We now have Phillip Dutton and Z on course and at the Badminton Lake, fence 10. Piggy is home clear with 1 second of time aboard Vanir Kamira.

7:50 a.m. EST: Lillian Heard is safely over the Ford Broken Bridge — LCC Barnaby’s the first one to give that one a bit of a peak but they’re over it!

7:47 a.m. EST: Bill Levett is home clear with just some time aboard Lassban Diamond Lift. Piggy’s clear through the Vicarage Vee question at 23 and she’s now through the bounce at the Lightsource bp Solar Farm, fence 24.

7:46 a.m. EST: The Ford Broken Bridge has, as anticipated, ridden quite well today. Here’s a great shot from Piggy and Vanir Kamira:

GIF via Badminton TV.

7:45 a.m. EST: Our first U.S. rider is on course: Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby will be the American trailblazers.

7:42 a.m. EST: Now on course is Australia’s Bill Levett with his first right, Lassban Diamond Lift. 2019 winners Piggy March and Vanir Kamira are clear through the Huntsmans Close at 6.

7:39 a.m. EST: Bummer, Billy Walk On may have lost a bit of his confidence with this hairy moment at the 14, the KBIS Brush Village. He then grinds to a halt at the drop into the MARS Sustainability Bay at 17 and Pippa puts her hand up.

GIF via Badminton TV.

7:37 a.m. EST: Well, Oliver seems to have made the time coming home about 13 seconds inside the time. The hold may have benefitted this horse a bit, but we also know Oliver’s got a good clock running in his head.

7:36 a.m. EST: Pippa and Billy Walk On are clear through the Badminton Lake. The middle section of this course is fairly intense, with a lot of turning and twists. The time today is going to be really difficult to make with this in mind.

7:34 a.m. EST: A very nice ride through the bounce at the Solar Farm for Oliver and Swallow Springs — the horses will read this fine if they can have a moment to suss out the fact that there’s a bounce there and Tom’s ride will have informed the riders to use some caution here.

7:33 a.m. EST: Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On quietly pop the HorseQuest Quarry, while Oliver navigates the Nyetimber Corners at 20.

7:30 a.m. EST: Allstar B is looking keen after his break to catch wind, and they’re coming back into the main arena to finish. It’ll be a clear round, she definitely early on looked to be close to or on the time. We’ll see what her final time is.

7:29 a.m. EST: We’re back underway and will next see Pippa Funnell with her first ride, Billy Walk On.

7:24 a.m. EST: It looks like they’re taking the fence Nicola fell at off the course, so it’ll be just the MARS M and not the corner at fence 27 going forward. Oliver is back on Swallow Springs so I think we should be getting back underway shortly. I’m doing my best to have ears on the ground to find out a status on Nicola and will provide that as soon as I know more.

7:22 a.m. EST: While we’re on the hold, here are some remarks from William Fox-Pitt, who put in a cracking clear with just about seven seconds of time:

“I’m getting quite emotional. It was quite exciting. I was dreading it, of course, in my old age, thinking what the hell am I doing? Do I really want to be here today on Saturday morning, I’d like to be at home in my bed!”

“I was very lucky, he’s a lovely, classic horse and you’ve experienced now he’s done Badminton the last time around and many horses here haven’t, so he’s got that in his belt.”

7:10 a.m. EST: Regarding Nicola, both she and JL Dublin went down at the corner that comes after the MARS M. They looked to get there on just a slightly off stride and just seemed to slide over the top, causing the horse to fall and roll over. The horse was up right away, Nicola was not. That’s the only thing we know so far.

7:09 a.m. EST: Here’s a look at Ros Canter navigating the bounce at the Solar Farm, where Tom came to grief:

GIF via Badminton TV.

7:06 a.m. EST: Now Oliver will go onto a hold after the Lake. We’re on a hold for Nicola’s fall, which I apologize as I got the fence wrong — it happened at fence 27, the MARS M. We’ll keep you updated on Nicola as we know more. Oliver is off his horse walking it around.

7:05 a.m. EST: Ros Canter growls at Allstar B at the corner out of the Nyetimber Corners at 20 and gets the job done.

7:03 a.m. EST: Oliver survives a crazy save at the HorseQuest Quarry when Swallow Springs didn’t quite read the C element. They climb all over and almost go down but Oliver manages to keep his seat. We’re not on a hold at this point which is a good sign for Nicola..

6:59 a.m. EST: Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin have had a bad fall at the Lake. We’ll try to keep you updated.

6:58 a.m. EST: A brilliant clear round for William Fox-Pitt, who collects a bit of time but not much to go onto a 34.4 overnight. This will not be a bad score at the end of the day!

6:57 a.m. EST: Nicola Wilson is just about bang on the optimum time as she comes to the MARS Sustainability Bay at 17. Reigning World Champions Ros Canter and Allstar B safely navigate the Huntsmans Close.

6:55 a.m. EST: Honestly it looked like William might make the same blip as Tom did at the Solar Farm, but Oratorio manages the bounce stride. This will be informing the riders watching in the tent.

6:55 a.m. EST: Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin, reigning European Champions, are now on course and have made it to the Badminton Lake at 10. Man, the wind just went out of my sails a bit after that crash from Tom and Toledo! I’ll try to keep you updated on them, I’m hoping he’s been caught.

6:50 a.m. EST: *@&$*$#($*! Bless Toledo de Kerser, who just came in way too hot to the bounce at 24, the Lightsource bp Solar Farm. They both take a big tumble and Toledo runs off — hopefully he’s caught. Man what a shame. It was a brilliant round.

6:47 a.m. EST: William Fox-Pitt is now on course and safely navigates the HorseQuest Quarry with Oratorio. Tom McEwen takes a much more efficient line over the World Horse Welfare Lakeside table with running water on top of it.

GIF via Badminton TV.

6:46 a.m. EST: Joseph Murphy coaxes Cesar V into the water at 17, MARS Sustainability Bay. Tom has made it to the Lake at 10.

6:45 a.m. EST: “Wow…that was exceptional,” says Ian Stark as Tom navigates the Voltaire Design Huntsmans Close at 6 — this is another that gave us the weird vibes when looking at the line, but the first few riders have made a straight forward line look very doable.

6:44 a.m. EST: Toledo de Kerser makes the HorseQuest Quarry make like a gymnastic exercise as we’d anticipate with a horse of his experience level. It’s been really cool to watch this horse mature — he’s always been keen and genuine, but he’s gotten even smarter about knowing where he’s going.

6:42 a.m. EST: Now on course, Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser who were your early leaders all the way through yesterday and could still threaten to win with a clear round today.

6:42 a.m. EST: Padraig is then the farthest around the course, now at the same area where Kirsty has his trouble. He just hangs on to make that corner work and is through!

6:39 a.m. EST: Ah! Rats! Kirsty’s day sadly comes to an end at the corner at fence 20, the Nyetimber Corners. It’s a dip that puts you on the line to the corner at 20 — a tough approach that demands accuracy. Meanwhile, Joseph Murphy runs into a bit of trouble early on at the HorseQuest Quarry, as Cesar V just dips out to the left over the C element.

6:37 a.m. EST: Kirsty sees a strong shot over the corner leaving the lake earlier on — quite a turn coming after that if you find a big spot!

GIF via Badminton TV.

6:36 a.m. EST: On course and through the HorseQuest Quarry at 4 is Padraig McCarthy and Fallulah. Kirsty safely navigates the big Ford Broken Bridge easily — I think this will ride quite well today despite its imposing look.

6:33 a.m. EST: Kirsty makes fence 6ABC: Voltaire Design Huntsman’s Close look a lot simpler than the lines looked to be walking on the ground. Classic VI is really letting her ride him forward and turn him when needed. A nice trailblazing round for the riders to see back in the tent so far.

6:28 a.m. EST: Ian Stark, former designer here, comments that this might be Eric Winter’s finest track in his four years of designing Badminton. It’s intense, but the general feeling from the riders is that everything is jumpable and fair to the horses, which is the most important part of a designer’s job.

Our first to see will be Australia’s Kirsty Chabbert with Classic VI, coming forward in 37th on a score of 32.8. And we are underway!

Hear from Friday’s North American (and U.S.-based Aussie!) Riders at Badminton

Mike Winter and El Mundo. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mike Winter / El Mundo – 34.6 – 51st

On his dressage test today: “That would be my worst score at the level so I don’t know. I thought it was an alright test. He was a bit shy at the end by the judges in the end of those shoulder-ins. I’m happy with him. I’m happy with myself, maybe not totally happy with the score.”

His thoughts on the cross country course: “I’ve walked it twice. It’s probably what I was hoping for, but that doesn’t make it any less calming on the nerves. It probably suits him. It’s quite big and bold and maybe I can take advantage of his big stride and his scope and use that to my advantage. That’s plan A and if that goes to plan and I have good ability to maneuver him at pace and stuff, I think it could be a lot of fun.”

“If I can keep him looking down the down the rein looking for his fences. He’s honest when he gets there, and he’s scopey across the widths of the fences. I think what [course designer Eric Winter] is doing a bit is where he has you come off a short turn and he then tempts you to take away, but then it’s always a scopey thing to get into the line on a scopey stride when you land. So I think he’s just daring us to be brave off the turn, isn’t he?…I mean, he’s a lot of fun to ride, and he loves his job. So just let him do his job, and hopefully give him the best guidance I can.”

Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Karl Slezak / Fernhill Wishes – 37.8 – 68th

On his dressage test: “I was very happy with him. He felt energetic which is a hard thing for him — he’s usually a little on the lazy side, so I was thrilled. If anything, he got a little bit exuberant especially to the first change. Even in the half passes I thought ‘oh boy, he wants to change, he’s anticipating it’ which he doesn’t normally do. He’s usually relaxed and waiting for me, but no, I’m pleased. I was very happy.”

On the cross country course: “Looks great. I’m very excited about it. It looks all doable right now — we’ll see what it looks like when there’s a million people watching.”

On the decision to run Badminton as his spring 5*: “He is not a good galloper — he’s all about flatter ground. He loves the cold temperatures, so coming from Florida to here is perfect. I wanted that temperature change. And I trust him. How often would you have a horse that you can trust around jumps like this?”

Dom Schramm and Bolytair B. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Dom Schramm / Bolytair B – 39.0 – 75th

On his dressage test: “He’s such a big, powerful horse, Bolytair B. I’ve actually been thrilled with him. I thought we were about to go and smoke it, but soon as I went around the short side, he started getting a hand taller. When he gets like that, I was just trying to keep riding him not just abandon him and so I’m actually not that disappointed in that — of course I wanted a lower score and I know he’s capable of it, but at the same time you’ve got to ride the same horse you’re sitting on in the ring…Of course, I was hoping to beat my personal best but honestly, it’s an electric ring, and I’m just thrilled to be here to you know — it’s such a special experience.”

On the cross country: “That’s what we come here for, right? And it’s a big, powerful strong horse and he’s a good cross country horse. I’m honestly actually really happy with the course for a couple of reasons. Main reason is that all the hard jumps I wanted to be on the course are there — I didn’t want to come to Badminton and not jump the Vicarage Vee! So I’m kind of pleased about that. And the other thing I like about it is I think Eric has made it really straightforward what he wants. It’s hard lines, they’re big jumps, but there’s no tricky business. There’s no wondering what number of strides you’re going to get, you know, or know half distances. So I think if you’ve got a big brave horse and you execute well, it’s there to be jumped. And we’re going to have great conditions, so I think it’s going to be awesome.”

On his fundraising efforts to get to Badminton: “So you know, unfortunately, this can’t happen — I can’t foot the bill myself. So there’s the option to do a GoFundMe, which I never really was about, because it’s kind of felt like I was asking for a handout. I wanted to find a way to be able to recognize the people that that supported me, so I came up with this big cooler and people were able to buy a patch or an embroidery spot on the cooler. I have this big, beautiful cooler he wears that’s got a lot of people’s names on it that supported us to get us here.”

Emily Hamel and Corvett. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Emily Hamel / Corvett – 39.5 – 77th

On her dressage test: “I was just excited to be in the ring and I tried to take it all in and also ride well. He was feeling pretty fresh, but overall I’m pretty happy and excited for tomorrow.”

On her trip to Badminton and how it compares to the other 5* events she’s done: “It’s a whole different thing — this is a completely different atmosphere and it’s so many spectators and it just feels like such a big deal. The American events too feel pretty big, but it’s just different. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just different.

On tomorrow’s cross country: “He’s pretty bold and brave and everything seems jumpable, I just need to ride it well, and I think we’re going to have a good time.”

On her knee after having surgery four weeks ago: “It’s pretty good. I have tape on it right now. And I try to wear a brace and I’m not on.”

On fundraising to get here to Badminton: “I kind of made this plan like in the fall and I just decided that I had to figure out how to save money and make money to make this trip possible. So renting out my house, that was a big help — no mortgage for a year. And then I have a really good group of supporters and owners and friends, family that have done their little bits and every little bit adds up and that’s why I’m here.”

Badminton: [Website] [Cross Country Ride Times] [Live Scoring] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide] [EN’s Instagram] [EN’s Twitter]

Badminton Social Recap: Mostly Just Some Photos of That Broken Bridge…

If you go and look at the Badminton Horse Trials location tag this fine Friday afternoon, you’re going to see approximately 100 images of the Ford Broken Bridge that has everyone buzzing ahead of tomorrow’s cross country.

Of course, despite it’s imposing look it’s mostly a fence that’s intended to frighten the riders (and the fans, probably more than anyone!), but it should generally ride fairly well. It’s a cool throwback addition to the course that was built for the 2020 event prior to its cancellation — see more on how it was built below:

But, it still makes for a cool photo — we can’t wait to see some action shots tomorrow! Here’s a look at the rest of the social media chatter as dressage wraps up and we fully focus on the task that lies ahead.

Badminton: [Website] [Dressage Ride Times] [Live Scoring] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide] [EN’s Instagram] [EN’s Twitter]

Shannon’s Scenes from Friday at Badminton: Dogs, Dressage, and Dreams of Cross Country

We always enjoy a good look through the lens of our favorite photographers, and this weekend we’re lucky enough to be working with both Nico Morgan for our reports as well as Shannon Brinkman. Shannon arrived on the grounds yesterday and spent today planning her cross country shoots, but of course that involved a walkabout with her camera. Let’s go with her!

Badminton: [Website] [Dressage Ride Times] [Live Scoring] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide] [EN’s Instagram] [EN’s Twitter]

As Ride iQ would say, pat your horse! Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Laura Collett punches the air as her score comes in to lead Badminton. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Sassy Corvett didn’t much like the dressage today, but it’s okay because he’ll give the jumps extra room tomorrow to make up for it. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

It wouldn’t be a horse show without a dog or two hundred… Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

MARS is for dogs too, right? Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Karl Slezak catches up with Badminton Radio after his test with Fernhill Wishes. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Cross country walkers flocked to the buzzy Ford Broken Bridge that will likely ride just fine but is sure making us lose sleep, at least. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Just dreamy. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

How cool of a feeling it must be to ride into this historic arena. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Laura recounts her ride to the adoring media. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Entries for Pratoni del Vivaro’s WEG Test Event Go Live

Ingrid Klimke and Equistros Siena Just Do It. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The FEI World Championships will look a bit different this cycle as the disciplines have been split to two different destinations. Eventing and combined driving will have their championships hosted in Italy at Pratoni del Vivaro in September, while all other disciplines (show jumping, dressage, vaulting, para equestrian) will host their championships in Denmark in August.

Ahead of the World Championships, Pratoni del Vivaro is hosting a Nations Cup CCIO4*-S/test event next weekend (May 12-15) as an opportunity to test the venue for the upcoming Games. This event will also serve as the Italian Eventing Championship. Entries have just been published, and it’s quite a line-up that we’ll see. Tilly Berendt will be on the ground for us for this test event, so we’ll have the full scoop on the venue ahead of the Games coming your way very soon.

Featuring on the entry list are 12 federations, including a robust contingent from host country Italy. No Americans will compete, though Lauren Nicholson is listed on the entries with Landmark’s Monte Carlo. Lauren and her team considered the option of travel, but it’s a big trip for a 4*-S and the costs are high, so she’ll instead be traveling solo as an athlete observer for the U.S.

The full entry list, which is subject to change, can be viewed here.

Presumably we may not see all listed pairs actually make the trip down to Italy, but it nonetheless promises to be an exciting competition as well as a preview of what’s to come this fall. No doubt, the riders will be eager to get a taste as well — many will have competed here before but not all.

Stay tuned for much more news from Pratoni — and if you’re planning a trip, you can get the full details here. The FEI World Championships at Pratoni run from September 15-25, with the eventing running first from September 15-18.

Pratoni Test Event Links: [Website] [Entries] [Timetable]

Friday at Badminton: Dressage Day Two Live Updates

Will anyone overtake Tom McEwen’s 23.4 at the top of the leaderboard today? Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Welcome to day two at Badminton Horse Trials, presented by MARS Equestrian! We’ve got one more day of dressage action ahead of tomorrow’s exciting cross country test, and while we saw a lot of big stars yesterday we’ve still got plenty to come today that could (and will) shake up the leaderboard. Some notable times for Friday include:

9:38 a.m. BST / 4:38 a.m. EST: Dom Schramm (AUS) and Bolytair B 38.9

9:46 a.m. BST / 4:46 a.m. EST: Karl Slezak (CAN) and Fernhill Wishes 37.8

10:18 a.m. BST / 5:18 a.m. EST: Mike Winter (CAN) and El Mundo 35.6

10:26 a.m. BST / 5:26 a.m. EST: Laura Collett (GBR) and London 52 21.0

2:00 p.m. BST / 9:00 a.m. EST: Tim Price (NZL) and Ringwood Sky Boy 29.1

2:56 p.m. BST / 9:56 a.m. EST: Emily Hamel (USA) and Corvett 39.5

4:12 p.m. BST / 11:12 a.m. EST: William Fox-Pitt (GBR) and Little Fire 27.3

4:28 p.m. BST / 11:28 a.m. EST: Oliver Townend (GBR) and Ballaghmor Class 25.9

Refresh this page periodically for more updates as we get into day two of dressage! Thanks for following along with us.

Badminton: [Website] [Dressage Ride Times] [Live Scoring] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide] [EN’s Instagram] [EN’s Twitter]

12:17 p.m. EST: And that wraps us up for dressage! The top 10 remain relatively unchanged and as we look ahead to cross country we know it certainly will be anything but a dressage show. We wouldn’t want it any other way! Tilly will be along later with her report, and in the meantime you can review the big Badminton cross country track that awaits here. Start times haven’t yet been released but we’ll update you once they have — as of now I believe we’ll start cross country at 11:30 a.m. BST / 6:30 a.m. EST. Stay tuned for much more!

12:16 p.m. EST: A 29.4 puts Kylie right into the top 20 as we close out dressage.

The best moment to close the show! GIF via Badminton TV.

12:14 p.m. EST: Oh man, that was such a nice test to close us out. One of the more relaxed we’ve seen and some of the more consistent changes. Kylie looks absolutely thrilled: this has been a lifelong dream for her and she’s deservedly feeling some emotions as she exists. Now I’m crying.

12:10 p.m. EST: SRS Kan Do has a “can do” attitude as Kylie’s really able to ride him forward. He’s quite steady in the bridle for his trot work, a bit more inconsistent at the walk work but he’s maintaining his relaxation.

12:06 a.m. EST: A solid effort for this debutant horse, and Bill will take one trip around Eric Winter’s cross country tomorrow with the more experience Lassban Diamond Lift. Sometimes it’s useful to inform yourself for the second ride, other times it’s negligible if the two rides are night and day different. A 38.3 for this pair as we look ahead to our final pair in the dressage, British rider Kylie Roddy with SRS Kan Do. This pair was 11th at Pau last year and she’s got something in common with Emily Hamel as she just underwent elbow surgery a few weeks ago.

11:59 a.m. EST: Second last to go will be Australian Bill Levett with his second ride, Lates Quin. This is another 10-year-old — quite a few of those this year — making his first 5* start at Badminton.

11:58 a.m. EST: A 34.4 for CHF Cooliser, who had just a bit of trouble in her third change and lost a few other marks to inexperience, but we know she’s capable of going even lower — certainly a great one for Tom to hang his hat on as she gains more mileage at this level.

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:50 a.m. EST: A nice effort and big smiles from David, who earns 7s across the board for the Harmony collective mark and a 32.4 to go forward with. Next in will be Tom McEwen with his second ride, the 12-year-old Irish mare CHF Cooliser. This mare shares a sire with a ride of Liz Halliday-Sharp’s, Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer).

11:43 a.m. EST: Just a handful more to see before we wrap up this first phase of competition. David Doel, who you can read a cool story about here, brings forward Galileo Nieuwmoed.

11:41 a.m. EST: Really nice work from Pippa, who earned some of the better marks we’ve seen for her flying changes. She also earns two 9s for her final halt, and it’s a 26.1 to go into 11th for now.

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:37 a.m. EST: Now for another 5* winner, this time Pippa Funnell with 2019 Burghley winner MGH Grafton Street. They did a 22.8 on their way to that Burghley win and are starting off trending in the high 20s or so.

11:34 a.m. EST: A 25.9 and eighth place for Oliver — that’ll be one of the higher (lol) scores we’ve seen from this horse, but if we know anything about Oliver we know he’ll do just about anything he needs to to get his horses around clear and we should see him well up there, if not even moved up a spot or two, when the dust settles tomorrow.

11:33 a.m. EST: Well it’s not going to challenge Laura for the lead, but this should be a top 5 test I would think. Let’s see how the final marks come in.

11:32 a.m. EST: Oliver gets some pretty low marks for his reinback but then earns a 9 on his early canter work. At this point I don’t know that we’ll see him do enough for a second or third place, but he’s scoring a bit more towards the 8 range for his canter work now.

11:29 a.m. EST: Oliver will be riding for every millimeter today — in Tokyo he scored a 23.6 for Oliver and he would’ve been a bit crestfallen at that mark. He’s earned a 21.1 at this event before, in 2019. So far not trending quite that low but he can climb back down with some good canter marks.

11:27 a.m. EST: Here we go! The final member of the Tokyo team enters the arena and will be vying for that top spot on the board: Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. Oliver’s a self-taught dressage rider who frequently hits the top of the board and also owns the current 5* dressage score record, earned at this event in 2019 (19.7).

11:26 a.m. EST: A very nice debut for this 10-year-old, who also will only get stronger. They’ll go into the top 10 with 26.0 — lovely!

GIF via Badminton TV

11:19 a.m. EST: A 27.3 will be good for top 12 for William and Little Fire. It’s quite competitive this weekend, you could say! We’ll now move to another British champion, Ros Canter with her second ride, Lordships Graffalo. This is the first 5* for the 10-year-old British Sport Horse gelding. This horse has earned a 21 before, at 4* level, and could be good for a mid-20s today.

11:18 a.m. EST: The judges show a fair bit of disparity on William’s final halt and salute: a 6.5 from Seppo at H, a 10 from Christina at C and Anne-Marie gives a 7.

11:13 a.m. EST: Lovely trot work so far from William and Little Fire, and now just a gorgeous extended walk that is very nearly textbook.

Showing off the big trot. GIF via Badminton TV.

11:12 a.m. EST:: We’ll now see William Fox-Pitt with his second ride, Little Fire, who I always want to call Little Foot, so there’s that. This one has consistently trended down in three 5* starts — most recently he earned a 24.5 at Bicton’s 5* last year. William’s got the record for the most 5* wins on record, with 14 to his name — could he add another this weekend? The competition is tough but he’s rather well-mounted for a good crack at it.

11:11 a.m. EST: Well what a nice effort for this horse who should earn a pretty competitive score in his first 5* test. This pair also had an excellent fact-finding event at the very hilly Blair Castle last year, where they finished fifth — that should’ve given Nicola a good feeling that this might just be a Big B horse. They earn a 30.4, very respectable for this debut and good for the top 20 for right now. Just a little more time will really confirm the strength in that canter work, but it’s super exciting as Nicola was able to really put her leg on and ride — that bodes well for the future!

11:08 a.m. EST: Some really stellar walk work here from Erano M. Tom McEwen lost a few marks in his walk work with Toledo de Kerser, which gave Laura Collett the opportunity to make up for it with higher scores. This horse is also scoring well on its walk work and while it likely won’t challenge the top couple, it could go top 10 with a solid mid-20s, as long as the canter continues to trend in the same direction. And often with the more inexperienced horses, their greenness begins to show up in the canter and in particular in the four (four!!) flying changes in this test.

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:05 a.m. EST: Erano M is 13 this year and makes his 5* debut. He’s also a strong horse on the flat, so I think we could see a sub-30 here if he’s up to the technical challenge and doesn’t let the growing crowd rattle him. They’re gathered to see the final few riders and it’s getting intense in there!

11:00 a.m. EST: Padraig unleashes the beast for just a few strides down the long stride for the extended canter, and the horse doesn’t reallyyyy want to stretch down for the stretching circle. I think Padraig’ll be happy to have this done but he’s done a good job (as we would anticipate with a rider of his experience) to manage the powder keg and just ride for the points he could get. Next in will be reigning European Champion Nicola Wilson with her second ride, Erano M.

10:58 a.m. EST: Padraig has the unenviable task of riding a horse that tends to want to really shorten through its neck and throatlatch rather than seek the contact. It’s hard to make a horse like this look relaxed, even if they are more chilled out than they might appear.

10:55 a.m. EST: A 36.5, even a bit higher than we thought this might score, will drop Harry down further than he’d probably like to start. We’ll next see Padraig McCarthy with his second ride, HHS Noble Call. This pair was in the top 10 at the Bicton 5* last year.

10:53 a.m. EST: A bit jumbled for the final flying change and I think a higher score than what we’d likely otherwise see due to some tension, but perhaps a mid-30s to put them well within range to have a good climb if they jump around well tomorrow.

10:51 a.m. EST: A very nice halt from Away Cruising, earning at least one 9 but perhaps deserving a 10.

10:48 a.m. EST: Ah, just a couple of breaks into canter in the early trot work here. I need to stop saying that these horses are going to have good scores, I think it’s a jinx.

10:45 a.m. EST: And we’re back and ready for the final session of dressage! I don’t know about you, but I’ve really enjoyed watching the dressage. There’s something about the quality of riding at these big British 5* events that can’t be matched, and I’ve learned a lot. But, that being said I’m also itching to get a look at the cross country tomorrow, so let’s get right to it!

Harry Meade will bring the 15-year-old Irish gelding Away Cruising forward as the first to see here this afternoon. This horse has been around Badminton once and Burghley twice and came back to do Badminton again in 2019 but withdrew before cross country due to a reaction to an injection. This is one we could see slip below 30 to kick off what should be a thrilling final group of combinations.

10:29 a.m. EST: So Tim Price is our only sub-30 of this penultimate session, but I think it’s safe to say we’ll see at least a few coming in for this last session. Stay tuned for the grand finale that includes Harry Meade, William Fox-Pitt, Oliver Townend, Pippa Funnell, Tom McEwen, Nicola Wilson, and Ros Canter. I think we’ll see a few more additions to our top 5/top 10 before the day is over. Harry Meade and Away Cruising will get us back underway in about 20 minutes.

10:26 a.m. EST: Well it won’t be the memorable test Lauren might have been hoping for, but hey she’s through it and that matters! They’ll earn a 41.5 to go forward with, and Flipper is all of us going from dressage to cross country:

GIF via Badminton TV.

10:23 a.m. EST: “Flipper” just has a look at the cameraman as he comes down into his walk work, and Lauren gives him a “come on and pay attention” reminder. Horses, they’re just like toddlers, aren’t they?

10:20 a.m. EST: Our final rider before the last break is full-time accountant Lauren Innes, riding Global Fision M for New Zealand. Lauren’s actually just switched nationalities away from British to Kiwi, and she balances her work with producing “Flipper” up the levels. She’s had the horse since he was five, and he’s now 12. This is the first 5* for this pair, who is also capable of obtaining a sub-30 score having done so multiple times at the levels before. It may not happen in this debut test but the potential is certainly within them.

10:18 a.m. EST: Selina goes for it down the long side for the extended canter. She looks pleased with the effort here — this is a really nice type that should only improve with more time. He’s definitely capable of dipping into the 20s, and Selina earns 7.5 and 8 on her Harmony mark. I don’t think we’ll see that type of score here today but it’s far from a disappointing test. They earn a 31.6, a shade higher than their 30.1 at Pau but such is the way it goes and again: these horses are generally fitter than they need to be for Pau, so that has to factor in at least in part.

GIF via Badminton TV.

10:11 a.m. EST: Next in and penultimate before our final coffee break will be British rider Selina Milnes with Iron. This is a horse Selina’s produced herself, and they were eighth at Pau in 2021. Before that, the last time Selina competed at the 5* level was at Luhmühlen in 2012. And this is a horse that could do well to produce a 30 mark and go on to finish it or just add a handful of time. A proper test could even squeeze them into the 28-29 territory if the stars align.

10:10 a.m. EST: A 30.3 is a very strong debut for Capels Hollow Drift and not far off from the personal bests he’s done to this point in FEI competition. I think we’ll see this one consistently in the mid or low 20s as he continues to get strength and experience.

Capels Hollow Drift shows off his extended canter. GIF via Badminton TV.

10:10 a.m. EST: Gosh, what a nice young horse this is. He’s got some development left to fully confirm his changes, but wow for an 11-year-old doing his first 5* you can’t be upset with this effort, and we should see a nice score for this one just marred by a couple of green bobbles.

10:08 a.m. EST: A 10 hits the board from Seppo Leine at H for the Halt movement from Tom Jackson.

10:07 a.m. EST: Seems accurate.

10:05 a.m. EST: Next in will be British rider Tom Jackson with Capels Hollow Drift. This 11-year-old Irish horse makes his 5* debut this weekend and is just a lovely, big moving type to watch.

10:04 a.m. EST: A 39.5 isn’t quite the downward trend we always hope for as a horse gets more experience, but this is probably the most fractious I’ve seen this horse be, and he’s got the excuse of additional fitness for this very long cross country course that awaits.

“Seriously, but where are the jumps?” GIF via Badminton TV.

10:00 a.m. EST: Corvett argues with the upward transition to the canter after the reinback and has just been a little fussier in the mouth than the judges will like to see. A mid or low 30s score will make Emily happy as a starting point here; to this point she’s earned a 38.1 (Kentucky 2021) and a 38.6 (Maryland 2021) and I think we’re probably likely to see a similar score here as he seemed to get a bit more unraveled as he went. But Emily’s a tactful rider who does well to ride what she’s got. She came here to jump around!

9:56 a.m. EST: And here’s our final U.S. rider, Emily Hamel and Corvett who are just in off the waitlist not long ago. Emily also is still recovering from knee surgery but she’s got such a wonderful partnership with Corvett — who you won’t want to miss on the jumping days for his extravagant style — that it’ll help make up for any weaknesses she feels physically.

That big stadium entrance feeling. GIF via Badminton TV.

9:48 a.m. EST: Next to see will be French rider Jean Lou Bigot with his European Championships partner, Utrillo du Halage. Fun fact: Jean Lou is the 1993 European Champion, and he’s got a handful of Olympic and WEG appearances under his belt too. This horse has scored a 29 in the past so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we’ll see him step into the top 15 or 20, but he is looking fairly on the muscle today so far.

9:47 a.m. EST: Shadd’OC says cross country is this way byeeeeeeee:

GIF via Badminton TV.

9:38 a.m. EST: Sammi earns a 38.7 with Finduss PFB and looks quite pleased, it was a really nice test — I thought it might score a bit better, honestly. She shaves just a shade of a point off her 5* test at Bicton last year. Next in will be France’s Ugo Provasi, who survived being held at the first horse inspection with Shadd’OC. This is the first Badminton for Ugo and the first 5* for the horse, a 16-year-old French gelding.

9:30 a.m. EST: A 33.5 for Alex and King of the Mill, a bit higher than what we’ve seen this horse accomplish before but still not a bad score to be on should be jump clear inside the time tomorrow. Next in will be Australian rider Sammi Birch with Finduss PFB. Sammi’s got an incredible story, having battled breast cancer after a 2017 diagnosis while also balancing family life as a mother and riding at the upper levels. I think she’ll have a lot of fans cheering for her this weekend, deservedly so. Sammi also does pure show jumping with this horse, and while they won’t compete for the dressage lead they’ve got a good shot to jump clear tomorrow.

9:25 a.m. EST: King of the Mill is looking very strong and up. Perhaps another one who will benefit from the canter work (or not, sometimes the canter can set off the powder keg — but it’s at least preferable to walking!).

9:21 a.m. EST: Alfies Clover seemed to get grumpier about dressage as he went, but he’ll be pleased to wake up to cross country day tomorrow! Next to see will be Alex Bragg with King of the Mill, who comes forward for his third 5*.

9:16 a.m. EST: Now here’s another British rider and an experienced one with a shot at jumping up the board over the coming days: Richard Jones and Alfies Clover. Richard is local to the other British 5*, Burghley, and rides without his ring finger on one hand after losing it in a weird accident. He’s had to learn how to hold his reins and have control, but over the last few years he’s gotten it down pat and I don’t think you’d ever know the finger wasn’t there!

9:11 a.m. EST: Goldsmiths Imber is not a fan of walking (seems like a proper waste of time for a fit event horse, he says), but Arthur’s doing well to stay quiet and just ride for accuracy. The canter work might be good for this one to be able to take a breath. He’ll be glad to get on to tomorrow!

GIF via Badminton TV.

9:07 a.m. EST: Here we go now with France’s Arthur Chabbert — married to our trailblazer this weekend, Kirsty Chabbert — who makes his first start at Badminton with Goldsmiths Imber. He’s an amateur rider as well with a full-time job as a building site manager, which is always just so incredible. He and Kirsty also have a three-year-old son.

9:06 a.m. EST: 8, 8, 7 for Tim’s Harmony collective mark. That’ll put them onto a 29.1 — we’ve seen this pair do just a hair better in the past but it’s not a bad score to start on with a good cross country horse like this one. This is how competitive the marks are so far: this score will go into just the top 15.

GIF via Badminton TV.

9:05 a.m. EST: Tim and Ringwood Sky Boy are getting some better marks in their canter work, a 9 on one flying change. His stretch circle should also score fairly well as the horse is fairly eager to stretch both down and out.

9:03 a.m. EST: This event is sold out for the weekend, which means we’ll see a full capacity crowd tomorrow on cross country. You won’t want to miss the action, and you can still grab your Badminton TV pass for $25 here.

9:01 a.m. EST: “Ozzie” won’t be one to grab a 20 or 21 but he is competitive on the flat…plus, you know, he’s a pretty good jumper. He’s looking fit but settling into a rhythm. Tim knows this horse so well at this point that he can surely just think about make a movement happen, but there is a whole lot to do in this new 5* test. Most riders have given this test positive comments, despite its difficulty and intensity.

GIF via Badminton TV.

8:57 a.m. EST Welcome back! We’re going into the final afternoon sessions of Badminton dressage, and there are still quite a few big names to come that could yet shake up the leaderboard. We’ll see two more groups before wrapping dressage, and first it’ll be Tim Price with the very experienced Burghley winner, Ringwood Sky Boy. At 19, Ringwood Sky Boy is one of the oldest horses here; in fact, stablemate and Jonelle Price ride Classic Moet is the other oldest at the same age. Those Prices know how to keep their horses ticking along, I’d say!

7:28 a.m. EST: Nicky Hill earns a 35.8 for MGH Bingo Boy, and that brings us to our lunch break. Just two more sessions to see this afternoon; we’ll resume at 2:00 p.m. local time, 9 a.m. EST with New Zealand stalwarts Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy. Not much change to the top of the board today, but we’ll likely see a few more slide into that top 5 or top 10 this afternoon. Live scores can be found here.

7:21 a.m. EST: A 39.1 for Becky and DHI Babette K, and we’ve now just got one more to see before lunch. That will be Nicky Hill with MGH Bingo Boy, who’ve been around Burghley as well as Badminton and Pau and will be looking for a solid completion this weekend.

GIF via Badminton TV.

7:15 a.m. EST: Becky earns a 9 on her first halt from Christian Landolt at C, but some tension now works its way in as she moves into her trot work.

7:10 a.m. EST: Whoops, a little spook at the camera man for Armanjo Serosah, but they’re through and put in a nice steady test to score a 37.8. Just two more to see now before our lunch break, and our penultimate will be British rider Becky Heappey and DHI Babette K. This pair were top 10 at Luhmühlen in 2021, and they’ve also been around Burghley. This is another who’ll be looking to climb the board tomorrow.

7:07 a.m. EST: Joris scores a 35.3 and we’re now joined by another French rider, Cyrielle Lefevre and Armanjo Serosah, making their second 5* start this weekend after making it in off the waitlist.

7:01 a.m. EST: A 36.9 for Cedric Lyard and we now move to Belgian rider Joris Vanspringel with Creator GS, a 14-year-old Dutch horse formerly piloted with Korean rider Won-Jae Hong. This is the first 5* for Creator GS.

6:50 a.m. EST: Next up will be another French rider (apparently today is the French day, lots of them to see!) in Olympian Cedric Lyard with Unum de’Or. This is a 14-year-old Anglo Arab gelding who was top 10 at Pau last fall.

6:47 a.m. EST: Lots to learn watching these tests and listening to commentary. A good reminder to ride every movement and grab back the points you may have lost. A 32.8 for Tom with some great management of expectations during a test that showed some greenness. Tom’s a widely respected producer of horses and it’s really great to see him step up to this top level at long last.

GIF via Badminton TV.

6:40 a.m. EST: A 39.8 for Arthur won’t improve on their 5* best, but it’s going to be a jumping weekend not a dressage weekend — especially with the optimum time of 11 minutes, 44 seconds tomorrow. You’ll want a fit, blood horse tomorrow and Arthur looks to be sat on one. We’ll now have the long-awaited 5* debut of French rider Tom Carlile, who brings forward Zanzibar Villa Rose Z, another 10-year-old who’s been on Tom’s string for about four years.

6:32 a.m. EST: French will send another rider in next, this time in Arthur Duffort and Toronto D’Aurois. This horse has been around Pau and Burghley and will not be one to challenge the top of the leaderboard, so the focus will likely be on relaxation and presenting the horse in the best manner possible. He earned a 37 at Pau and a 39 at Burghley, so Arthur will be looking to shave a few marks off that bit if he can.

6:31 a.m. EST: Jewelent wouldn’t have the total strength he’ll develop as he continues with his education, but some really nice work and natural talent coming through here. At 10, this is a big ask for a horse! I think Clare will be happy with this test — the best is yet to come with this one. A 33.2 is quite respectable and will be a good score to work to finish on.

6:26 a.m. EST: A 26.7 for Gireg will go into the top 10 for now. Next we’ll see our next Irish rider, Clare Abbott with Jewelent. This pair were the best placed of the Irish at Europeans in 2021, and this horse has also done well in the Young Horse World Breeding Championships at Le Lion d’Angers. This is the first 5* for the 10-year-old Irish gelding by Valent.

6:25 a.m. EST: A 9 on the extended canter for Gireg and a really great test all together. Some of the best canter work and changes we’ve seen. Really nicely done. A 9, 8, and 8 on his final halt salute and I would imagine some strong marks for Harmony as well.

6:23 a.m. EST: A nice type, this one. He’s gotten 8s across the board on a flying change, definitely going to earn some good marks with this correct canter work.

GIF via Badminton TV.

6:19 a.m. EST: This is another pair that’s got the chops to get in under 30, though this 5* test will be the most technical test this horse has done save perhaps a practice run ahead of this event.

6:18 a.m. EST: Next in the ring will be France’s Gireg le Coz and Aisprit de La Loge, a 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding making his 5* debut this weekend.

6:16 a.m. EST: Nice work really playing to her horse’s strengths, which is, I think, an underrated skill. So often we get stuck drilling and trying to improve every movement, but as Lillian Heard noted yesterday, sometimes horses are the way they are. Maximizing the strengths they have can help you earn back points.

6:15 a.m. EST: Really nice stretching canter work for Bubby and Cola, they receive 7, 7.5 and 8 on that movement.

6:10 a.m. EST: And we’re ready to get back underway, now with Bubby Upton and Cola. Cola is 12 this year, and this is the first Badminton for both horse and rider. This pair has been together for some time and achieved much success as they’ve come up in the British young rider development system. They’re well within capability of going sub-30 today, so let’s see what they’ve got.

5:50 a.m. EST: Libby looks pleased with Heartbreaker Star Quality, earning a 33.4 to sit inside the top 30 for now. This brings us to our coffee break and we’ll resume in about 20 minutes with Bubby Upton and Cola.

GIF via Badminton TV.

5:42 a.m. EST: What a good boy True Blue Too seems to be, and a solid partner for Rosie. This horse is just 11 this year and looked a little impressed in the big ring but really did what he could to listen. A 36.5 for this pair. Just one more to see before our first break of the day, and it’ll be British rider Libby Seed with Heartbreaker Star Quality. Libby’s making her debut here and she’s a hero for the amateur riders: she’s medical sales executive, having graduated with a degree in Medical Sciences from Exeter while balancing her riding the whole way through.

5:37 a.m. EST: I’m going to make a prediction that we’ll have the three Tokyo team members for Great Britain at the top of the board after today — remember, we still have Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class to come. This is a horse well capable of earning a 21 to give Laura a run — he earned a 21.1 at Badminton in 2019 but was more in the mid-20s at his last two 5* runs.

5:36 a.m. EST: Well Rosie Fry now has the unenviable task of following Laura, making her debut with True Blue Too.

5:33 a.m. EST: Wow, what a test! A few marks lost in the stretching circle but plenty of 9s and 10s to give her a good run at the top of the board. Two 9s on the final halt and salute. 8.5, 8.5, 9 for collective harmony mark. A 21.0 to take the lead!!

GIF via Badminton TV.

5:31 a.m. EST: Another 10, this one for the canter after the reinback, from Anne-Marie Taylor at B.

5:31 a.m. EST: And another 10 on the halt, this time from Seppo Leine at H. She also receives 9 on the halt from the two other judges.

5:29 a.m. EST: Laura earns a 10 on her extended trot from Anne-Marie Taylor at B.

5:28 a.m. EST: If anyone is to challenge Tom McEwen’s 23.4, it might be this pair. They haven’t quite got the dressage record, but they did, until last weekend, hold the lowest finishing score record with a 21.3 at Pau.

5:26 a.m. EST: Big hug for El Mundo as he and Mike wrap up their test. They earn 7s on the final halt and salute. Next in will be another hotly anticipated test to see: Tokyo Olympians Laura Collett with London 52.

GIF via Badminton TV.

5:23 a.m. EST: Trending mid-30s or so for this test. El Mundo would be one to average in the 30s, though he did squeak under into the 20s at Bicton.

GIF via Badminton TV.

5:17 a.m. EST: Lots of good work in Sarah’s test with Dassett Cooley Dun, scoring a 37.0. Our next to see with be our second Canadian pair, Mike Winter with El Mundo. Mike is based in Britain as a part of Wayfarer Eventing with wife Emma. This is another late addition from the wait list. They tackled the Bicton 5* last year, ran into a spot of trouble there and rerouted to Pau in the fall. This is a horse we’ve really seen some nice results from as he’s been produced and Mike is also surely vying for the eyes of the Canadian selectors ahead of WEG in September.

5:15 a.m. EST: Dom and Karl have both debriefed on our Instagram story; they’re both pleased and no surprises in the test. Of course you always want to get your best score possible, but both riders are feeling positive moving forward — they came here to jump!

5:11 a.m. EST: Next in will be the diminutive Dassett Cooley Dun, piloted by Sarah Way looking for her first Badminton completion. Big fan of this little guy! Although I probably shouldn’t call him “little guy” to his face.

5:09 a.m. EST: Maxime scores a shade over 40 with Vitorio du Montet, not the strongest test surely but this is a horse you might peg to finish on his score, though the track here will be a different feel from his last 5* at Pau. But if there’s one thing we know, it’s not to count out a strong French rider on a French-bred horse.

GIF via Badminton TV.

5:02 a.m. EST: Next will be our first French rider of the day: Maxime Livio rides Vitorio du Montet, his partner for a top five finish at Pau in 2021.

5:01 a.m. EST: What a lovely test for Susie and John the Bull! Some really nice scores for this pair, and John the Bull looks like a real nice trier. A 28.8 for this pair to start on! Meanwhile Karl Slezak will take a score of 37.8 forward to tomorrow’s cross country.

4:58 a.m. EST: John the Bull gets some of the best marks we’ve seen in his walk work. Even a 9 on the medium walk!

4:55 a.m. EST: Next in will be Susie Berry for Ireland, riding John the Bull in her 5* debut. This horse was formerly campaigned by the always-popular Jonty Evans.

4:54 a.m. EST: Pats for Fernhill Wishes:

GIF via Badminton TV.

4:51 a.m. EST: Fernhill Wishes doesn’t find the flying changes to be the easiest, but he’s not lacking on effort. Honestly, this horse just looks like such a pleasure to ride — and Karl’s got a really lovely way of riding across the country. They had a freak fall at their 5* debut in Kentucky last year and went on to finish Maryland that fall. This weekend is a part of Karl’s quest to represent Canada this fall at World Championships. Good boy Chocy!

“The judge said more jump in the canter — like this?” — Fernhill Wishes. GIF via Badminton TV.

4:49 a.m. EST: Fernhill Wishes showing lots of relaxation in the walk work though he’s just a bit unsteady in the contact at the same time. Personally I feel like I’d rather have the relaxation — the contact can improve over time!

4:48 a.m. EST: Speaking of our Canadian friends here this weekend, the Canadian Eventing Team is taking over our Instagram page today! Follow us at @goeventing and watch our story for more.

4:46 a.m. EST: Next in will be another U.S.-based pair, this time for Canada in Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes. “Chocy” has a very workmanlike attitude in him and we should see some decent relaxation in this test. Put it this way: for Karl’s fundraising ahead of this trip, one item up for grabs was a lesson on Fernhill Wishes!

4:43 a.m. EST: I think Dom will be pleased to have gotten through that but I think there was a lot to like in that test! A 38.9 is a touch higher than what they’ve generally gotten at this level, but I’m betting Boly is about the fittest he’s ever been!

GIF via Badminton TV.

4:41 a.m. EST: A bit more excitement coming through in the canter work. He’ll lose a few marks here and in the walk.

4:39 a.m. EST: Some good scores coming in early on for Dom. He looks to have Boly really on the aids and listening through his excitement.

GIF via Badminton TV.

4:37 a.m. EST: And here’s our first American-based rider of the day: Australia’s Dom Schramm is looking for a good experience here at his first Badminton. Bolytair B has been looking stronger and fitter each day and I think Dom will be happy to get out on cross country, but their flatwork’s also come along so this should be a solid test.

4:35 a.m. EST: A steady test for DSP Cosma, who should hit the board around the mid-30s for a solid starting point. This is a horse Katrin’s had since he was a yearling — he’s 13 now.

4:30 a.m. EST: Our first to kick things off this morning are our sole Austrian entrants: Katrin Khoddan-Hazrati and DSP Cosma. This pair’s been to the European Championships together and makes their debut at Badminton this year (they’ve also gone around some of Burghley as well as completed Pau).

Thursday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Watch + Listen with Doug Payne and Quantum Leap at Kentucky

Helmet cam videos are some of the most useful, in my opinion. It’s really interesting to watch a ride, no matter what level, from the rider’s point of view. We’ve lucked out that the newly-crowned USEF 5* National Champion, Doug Payne, put on his mic for this recap of his ride around Kentucky with Quantum Leap.

Doug narrates his helmet cam with transparency, describing how he tries to look out for Quantum, who was doing his third 5*, as he traveled around Derek di Grazia’s cross country track. In 2021, Quantum Leap debuted at this level and Doug noticed him going “a bit numb” and tired about midway through. This informed Doug’s fitness plans for this spring and also gave him a benchmark to monitor as he went out this year. You can also hear Doug talking about his selection of lines (spoiler: he picks the fastest one, nine times out of ten) and how important it is to truly know your horse as you set out on a course that asks riders to use their instincts rather than their math skills.

It’s a fascinating watch, so spare a few minutes and turn your sound up! You can follow Doug on YouTube for more videos and updates throughout the year.

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Badminton Social Recap: One Dressage Day Down

Another busy day at Badminton is in the books as we inch closer to Saturday’s thrilling cross country test. But for now, it’s about keeping a lid on the energy and ekeing out the most relaxation one can accomplish with a 5*-fit event horse. Here’s a look at what’s been going on around the grounds through the lens of social media!

 

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Catching Up with the American Contingent after Badminton Day One

We’ve got an excellent contingent of American, Canadian and American-based Australian riders tackling Badminton this week, which means we’ve got plenty to catch up on after the majority of them rode their dressage tests today. It’s either a first time or a return for the first time in many years for these riders, so the palpable energy has been gratitude to be here — mixed with a bit of good-natured tolerance of the first bit of competition!

On Friday we’ll see the remainder of the North Americans ride as follows:

9:38 a.m. BST / 4:38 a.m. EST: Dom Schramm (AUS) and Bolytair B
9:46 a.m. BST / 4:46 a.m. EST: Karl Slezak (CAN) and Fernhill Wishes
10:18 a.m. BST / 5:18 a.m. EST: Mike Winter (CAN) and El Mundo
2:56 p.m. BST / 11:56 a.m. EST: Emily Hamel (USA) and Corvett

Mike Winter’s daughter Amelia, who runs the Team Canada Instagram page, will be doing a takeover of our @goeventing story tomorrow — be sure to follow along!

Now, let’s catch up with the U.S. riders who rode today as they passed through the mixed zone:

Tamie Smith pats Mai Baum after a solid and competitive test. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum 25.6 – 4th

On her dressage test today: “I was really pleased with him – he’s been on on fire all week and he was just really with me. He got a little bit overwhelmed by the crowd but held it together.”

“On grass you don’t get the same kind of pushing power you’d get in the arena, and he wouldn’t be experienced with that. He’s never made me nervous going into dressage before, and I yesterday I was slightly like, ‘oooh — this isn’t what I’m used to!’ But he’s never been this fit and ready to go, and I was really pleased with everything. He could have maybe gone a little bit more forward, but when I went to ask for that he broke to canter, so I just played it a little bit safe there.”

On her plan for Friday’s “day off”: “I’ll probably take him out for a little gallop and we’ll jump school, but [I’ll mostly be] walking the course and studying my lines to be prepared for Saturday.”

On the decision to bring Mai Baum to Badminton: “He did Kentucky last year and…I feel like he’s the best horse in the world. He’s just an unbelievable creature, so I want to be at the best event in the world with him. It’s not every day you have a horse to take to Badminton, and I feel like I do — so I could have played it safe and gone to Kentucky but, you know, neither one of us have 30 years ahead of us. So we’re ready!”

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Phillip Dutton and Z 33.2 – 24th

On his dressage test: “Well, I’m pleased with where we’re at because yesterday with the [Grassroots Championship] cross country going, he was all confused and was pretty wound up. And so that’s carried over a bit to today. I was just trying to sit there and keep him as quiet as I could, so it could have been a lot worse. In hindsight, I wish I found a better place to work him yesterday. But anyway, it’s all great experience, and we’re just so grateful to be here.”

On Z’s attitude and work ethic: “He’s a bit of a workaholic and loves to work. But he does overthink it a bit — at home he’s really quiet, but at the shows he can be a bit of a handful. But lately, he’s figured out in the dressage to be quiet, and then I don’t care so much if he gets wound up on the cross country day. That’s why it got a bit confusing for him yesterday, I think because he saw all the horses galloping around. He came out of the stall shaking in anticipation as he thought he was going cross country. So I’ve worked him a lot and spent some time trying to get through to him that he doesn’t need to worry about cross country yet.”

On the decision to bring Z to Badminton (Phillip has not competed here himself since 2003): “Obviously this is arguably the best event in the world and, I don’t know, I’m not getting any younger. So I’d like to experience it again. And this is the right horse for it, and all the owners decided to be a part of it as well.”

Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan 35.4 – 31st

On her test today: It’s not what I was hoping for. He’s been getting better and better in the dressage each time he’s run a five-star, so we’ve been sort of slowly creeping marks down, but dressage is just not his strength. He gets a little exuberant and quite tense. So this was not quite what I had hoped for. He got a 33 at Luhmühlen last year but, you know, he’s just been a lot more keyed up this week, really feeling the atmosphere.”

On the atmosphere at Badminton today: “My horses haven’t had a whole lot of opportunity to see crowds. You know, in the last couple years, there were no spectators at Luhmühlen and no spectators at Kentucky last year. So I mean, I did go to Aachen, but that’s later in the season, so they’ve been out a few times — so this is a lot. I mean, at least for mine, this is the first time he’s been in front of the crowds this year.”

On Eric Winter’s cross country course: “It looks really, really fantastic. It’s good to see it’s a different type of track than I’ve seen before, but I think it’ll suit my horse. Lots of big jumps and lots of galloping to do so I think it’ll be right up our alley. He’s got a massive stride and a huge jump and he just loves to run and take things on. So I think that this will be great for him. You know, last year was a bit of a learning year for both of us and that we went to Luhmühlen and then we went to Aachen and did sort of the twisty or more technical tracks just to gain mileage. But yes, I think this is back to old time, cross country roots of running and jumping. So I’m excited to get out there.”

Matt Flynn and Wizzerd. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Matt Flynn and Wizzerd 35.8 – 33rd

On his test: “You always wish there could be a bit better. So I guess that’s the biggest thing but I’m happy with him for today and there’s always room for strong improvement.”

On the cross country course: “Yes, that’s impressive. So that’s really something, and just the magnitude of the atmosphere and the decoration and it’s definitely not a dressage show. There’s a lot of work to do this week.

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby 37.8 – 39th

On her test today: “This is not his phase, I will admit. I went in there and thought, ‘oh’, like he got that feeling like he was going to absolutely blow a top. But he was really good. I’ve never felt him that tense and still ride that sort of okay in the test. So I mean, I know everybody’s got their own standard for what they’re looking for here. I brought a jumping horse, not a dressage one, and I’m happy with him. He’s a good horse and the dressage is hard for him. He’s really long, so it’s made him nervous because it’s physically hard for him. But I’ve been riding this horse for ten years, and this is actually my tenth five-star, so I know him really well. I know not to get my hopes up about this phase — and that’s why I bring him here, so that we can hopefully climb our way up.”

“When they’re 16, they are who they are, and if I come in here thinking I’m going to lay it down on the flat — that’s not fair to him. I’ve got to accept him for who he is. Now I do expect him to lay it down in the jumping, so we’re going to go out there with some expectation.”

Her thoughts on the cross country: “I don’t know what to think. It’s big! You need a horse that turns really well, that’s my takeaway. And you really need to know where you’re going. I think people who have never been here before, like myself, have a bit of a disadvantage. So I’m going to walk it like seven times if I can stand it! I found Burghley super confusing when I first went there. This is less confusing — you sort of do the cross country courses like a big circle around the property. It’s flat, you can see all your points of reference.”

On the decision to come here to Badminton: “By the end, I’ll be thinking this is the most fun thing I’ve ever done but for now I’m like, ‘what was I thinking coming here, I should have gone to Kentucky!’….This horse has afforded me the luxury of going to big events. He’s taken me to Burghley, taken me to Kentucky. He’s taken me all over the place. And like, I was like, you know what? I better go [to Badminton] just so I can figure it out with the horse I know really well. And a horse I know it doesn’t matter if the jumps are the biggest things you’ve ever seen. He doesn’t care about that.”

Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way 39.0 – 41st

On Mama’s Magic Way’s dressage test: “He stayed rideable-ish in there. I was getting run off with everywhere, but he’s so talented. It’s just getting his mind in the right spot. We wish we could just do our dressage at home and then just send videos in for them to judge! I was hoping they would start doing that with COVID. My EquiRatings would have gone way up! But it’s not a dressage competition — Saturday is the big test. The score is disappointing, but I was happy that we didn’t have any complete blowout meltdowns.”

On the decision to bring Mama’s Magic Way here: “I did Badminton 17 years ago. It was the last year it was long format, and I’ve always wanted to come back. And although I’ve had horses at the five-star level in the past 17 years, it always never kind of fit in and this year, you know, Jennifer Mosing who owns him said let’s go to Badminton, so here we are.”

On returning to Badminton for the first time since the great Antigua: “It’s fun to be back. I was 23 when I was here last and now I’m 40 — Antigua is the horse that gave me a career, and I did my first Badminton on him, my first Burghley on him, my first Pan American team, my first World Equestrian Games. So that horse was so many firsts, and I unfortunately lost him last year at the age of 34. He looked a million bucks ’til the day he died.”

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Millbrook Horse Trials Announces Cancellation of August Event

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby. Photo by Abby Powell.

A popular fixture on the Area I calendar and perennially among the first late-summer Advanced offerings each year, Millbrook Horse Trials will sadly vacate its August 4-7 dates this year, the event announced on Wednesday.

The event posted the following statement:

“With great regret, the Board of Millbrook Horse Trials (“MHT”) announces the cancellation of this year’s event, which was scheduled to be held August 4-7 in Millbrook, N.Y. This will be a disappointment to many, especially in our own community of Millbrook. As the only Area I eventing competition that offers all levels, from local beginners to the very top international competitors, MHT is an important summer fixture for competitors and spectators.

Despite the effects of the Pandemic, last year’s event was particularly vibrant and well attended and we were expecting to expand on that this year. Unfortunately, however, we have not been able to come to a mutually acceptable agreement with one of the landowners on whom we rely to host the competition.

“The USEA has committed to assist Millbrook to make sure that this incredibly important event continues into the future,” said United States Eventing Association President Max Corcoran who grew up in USEA Area I. “We will work with the organizers of Millbrook to solve this and make sure that the event is viable.”

The Board of the Millbrook Horse Trials is grateful for the support we receive from sponsors, volunteers, officials, and many others each year. We are committed and hopeful that the Horse Trials will return to the eventing calendar for 2023.”

This is a developing story, and we’ll continue to provide updates on this news as they become available.

Badminton Dressage Day One Live Updates: Party Pants On

Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Good morning and welcome to the first day of Badminton Horse Trials, presented by MARS Equestrian! It’s going to be a wonderful day of dressage competition as we’ll see the first half of the 83-combination field today in front of the judging panel of Christian Landolt, Anne-Marie Taylor, and Seppo Laine.

You can view full ride times here. We’ll see some notable rides today to get things going in full swing, and we’ll also see a good bit of our North American representatives today. Here are some notable times:

11.18 a.m. BST/6.16 a.m. EST – Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby 37.8

11.26 a.m. BST/6.26 a.m. EST – Phillip Dutton and Z 33.2

11.42 a.m. BST/6.42 a.m. EST – Tamie Smith and Mai Baum 25.6

12.06 p.m. BST/7.06 a.m. EST – Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan 35.4

3.48 p.m. BST/10.48 a.m. EST – Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way 39.0

4.44 p.m. BST/11.44 a.m. EST – Matt Flynn and Wizzerd 35.8

Refresh this page frequently for updates from day one, and don’t forget you can also tune in live or on demand yourself by picking up the Badminton TV pass. It’s just $20 or £19.95 and is good for an entire year from the day of purchase, so you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on all the action yourself.

Thanks for following along with us!

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12:07 p.m. EST: A really nice test from Hazel, who often dips under 30 or at least obtains a low 30s mark for the most part. That wraps up dressage for day one, and it’ll still be Tom McEwen who leads the way on his score of 23.4. The top 10 are quite competitive and we’ve still got plenty of heavy hitters yet to come tomorrow, so expect this board to look different tomorrow. Tilly will be along with her report later, and I’m wrapping up the quotes from the U.S. riders for a round-up to come so stay tuned for much more from Badminton. Thanks for following along with me this early morning! You can catch up on full scores here and see ride times for Friday here.

12:04 p.m. EST: Willingapark Clifford is another older horse, 17 this year, and he’s showing that experience in his workmanlike manner in the ring today.

GIF via Badminton TV.

12:01 p.m. EST: And we’ll wrap up day one with another 5* winner, Australia’s Hazel Shannon with her Adelaide winner Willingapark Clifford. They’ve won the Australian 5* three times and also competed at Kentucky in 2019. Hazel’s based with Kevin McNab in England these days as she looks to make a bid for the Aussies’ high performance squad.

12:00 p.m. EST: A 34.4 for Reve du Rouet, who says we actually got his age wrong and he’s 8, not 18.

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:52 a.m. EST: Next up we’ll see Sarah Bullimore, coming off a weekend in Kentucky with Corouet, riding her longtime partner Reve du Rouet. Reve du Rouet is among the more experienced horses in the field; he’s making his 17th start at the 5* level here this weekend. Fun fact: this horse did his very first 5* at Kentucky back in 2014, where he finished 13th.

11:49 a.m. EST: Well some tension is going to hold this pair back from earning a PB here today, but they’ll bee keen to move on the jumping phases. Wizzerd shows off some fancy footwork to make the first flying change happen and hops his way through the second. The changes on the diagonal score a bit stronger. Our final Americans of the day will take a score of 35.8 into cross country. Just two more to see before the end of the first day of dressage!

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:43 a.m. EST: Next in for the Americans will be Matt Flynn and Wizzerd. Matt’s spent a good bit of time in Europe over the last year, rerouting to Montelibretti and Pratoni in Italy after an unfortunate parting of ways at Boekelo. This is a horse who I think we’re just waiting to see have his day; Matt’s a supremely empathetic and quiet rider and the horse just screams traditional event horse in his type and way of going. I’d love to see them squeeze out a low-30s or even a high-20s score today.

11:38 a.m. EST: Big fan of James’ quiet hands and Milchem Eclipse’s obedient way of going. They aren’t earning the highest marks from the judges, but consistency is the picture here as they go into the walk work.

11:33 a.m. EST: Big smiles from Alice as she finishes her test, which was quite solid and should make her happy as a starting point. We’ve just got a few more to see today, and it’ll be British rider James Rushbrooke next in to make his debut with Milchem Eclipse. This is another one we won’t see challenging the leaders, but they’ll be good for a solid mid-30s mark if they can put all the pieces together.

11:28 a.m. EST: Next we’ll see Alice Casburn and Topspin — at just 20 years old Alice is our youngest rider this weekend, and her partner is a homebred. It’s quite a cool story, according to Tilly’s notes in our Form Guide, as Alice’s mother Caroline actually competed at this level with Topspin’s grandsire as well as dam. Alice and Topspin have only had international experience since 2018, but they’ve got a strong record as they head into their Badminton debut. This won’t be a pair to challenge the leaderboard on the flat, but you can anticipate a solid low-to-mid-30s mark for them to work off of.

11:27 a.m. EST: I tell you, we’re getting enough 7s and 7.5s on this test that we may yet see Classic Moet squeak in with fairly strong score here — especially when you consider the fact she’s a good bet to finish on whatever she starts with. Tension in the canter work will keep them from challenging their best score, but a 31.4 is a great starting point to work from!

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:19 a.m. EST: 2018 Badminton winners Classic Moet and Jonelle Price, who also competed at Kentucky with McClaren last weekend, will now do their test. This wouldn’t be the strongest phase for “Molly” but we already know she’s an all-out cross country machine who eats big tracks for breakfast. Classic Moet has earned a sub-30 score before, in fact a 27.6 was the score she started on in 2018, but she’s more likely to go low-to-mid-30s in this phase.

11:18 a.m. EST: A really lovely test for Emily, who receives a 9 on her final halt and salute. A 28.5 puts her into equal tenth with Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On — once more showing the absolute depth competing here at Badminton this weekend. All scores in the top 10 are sub-30.

11:14 a.m. EST: A strong, accurate shoulder-in early on for Emily and Valmy Biats. She’s trending with 7s and 7.5s for a lot of these movements.

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:11 a.m. EST: We’ll now see Emily King, who this weekend rides Valmy Biats, in his first start at the 5* level. This is a French-bred horse that’s quite capable on the flat, and he’s partnered with a very talented dressage rider in Emily.

11:10 a.m. EST: Felicity really goes for it in her extended canter and while the flying changes wouldn’t be this horse’s strongest suit she still earned some strong marks for some of her movements. They earn a 32.7, just under one point higher than their Bicton score but still considerably lower than their first attempt at this level, a 37.8 at Pau in 2019.

GIF via Badminton TV.

11:04 a.m. EST: A little bit of sass from Creevagh Silver de Haar keeps this pair from scoring overly competitively, but they’ll take a solid score of 35.5 into cross country. It won’t be a shabby score to have if they can jump around clear. Next in will be Felicity Collins with RSH Contend OR, the horse she’s produced herself and has found multiple successes in the junior ranks with. They were top-10 at the Bicton 5* last year, where they earned a 31.9 on the flat.

10:57 a.m. EST: Next in are Fiona Kashel and Creevagh Silver de Haar, a pair making their 5* debut at Badminton this weekend.

10:55 a.m. EST: Will and Mama’s Magic Way score a 39.0, a little higher than what we’re used to seeing here but there’s still a lot to do and Mason’s one who could certainly jump a fast clear on Saturday. I’m loving the team spirit among the North American (and honorary North American, Mr. Schramm) contingent this week:

Tamie Smith gives Will a post-ride pep talk. GIF via Badminton TV.

10:53 a.m. EST: Will is doing well to manage the tension here, having to ride conservatively but still asking for what he can in the canter work. I apologize for not having any GIFs of this ride, my live stream is freezing a bit so the quality isn’t great at the moment.

10:50 a.m. EST: This is the first time Will’s competed at Badminton since 2005, when he finished 22nd with the great Antigua. He was a bit sudden in his first halt, but he’s beginning to ride through a little more as we go into the lateral work. “Mason” is looking fit to run on Saturday!

10:47 a.m. EST: We’ll next see our penultimate U.S. pair for today, Will Faudree with Jennifer Mosing/Sterling Silver Stables’ Mama’s Magic Way. This is a horse Will knows quite well at this point, and he’s poised to have a cracking weekend after two solid 5* completions in America. Hector earns a 33.9 which he should be properly pleased with!

10:45 a.m. EST: The changes have gotten stronger as we go for this pair, but a bit of tension otherwise showing up throughout. I’d probably put them into the mid-high 30s which is about what their average has been in international competition.

10:40 a.m. EST: We’re back underway with Hector Payne and Dynasty. Hector is a former rider for William Fox-Pitt and has inherited much of William’s trademark quietness in the saddle as a result. This is the third 5* for Dynasty, and Hector will be looking to improve on a 28th place at Pau in 2020. A 34.4 was their mark at Pau, so we’ll see if they shave a few points off today.

10:20 a.m. EST: We now go into our final coffee break of the day and will resume at 3:40 BST / 10:40 EST with Hector Payne and Dynasty. Will Faudree will also be in the final group at 10:48 a.m. EST, as will Matt Flynn with Wizzerd at 11:44 a.m. EST.

K, so it’s time for the fun stuff now, right? — Vendredi Biats, probably. GIF via Badminton TV.

10:18 a.m. EST: Two 9s on the final halt and salute for Kitty King, who absolutely delivered a beautiful test with Vendredi Biats. This should be one to perhaps challenge that top 5 position on the board! And it does: a 24.8 puts them ahead of Mollie and into second, inching closer to Tom McEwen’s score of 23.4.

GIF via Badminton TV.

10:11 a.m. EST: Now we’ll see one more before a short break, and that’ll be Kitty King with Vendredi Biats, who first debuted at this level at Badminton in 2019. This is another pair more than capable of a competitive score in the 20s.

10:10 a.m. EST: A 25.1 and 8s across the board for the collective Harmony mark. That’s good enough to put Mollie into second ahead of Tamie Smith, I’ll eat my words now!

10:09 a.m. EST: This test should score pretty nicely — it won’t challenge Tom or Tamie but she should go top 10 with a mid-high 20s mark.

10:08 a.m. EST: Really nice changes on this horse, again some of the better changes we’ve seen today. He’s one that stays consistently uphill in the bridle and responds properly to Mollie’s leg by coming up into his withers.

10:06 a.m. EST: This is a lovely, workmanlike horse that also has fantastic gaits that are accentuated by his ability to relax. He’s earned 7.5s across the board for his extended work, some of the better walk work we’ve seen thus far.

A look at Charly Van Ter Heiden’s reinback. GIF via Badminton TV.

10:04 a.m. EST: Next up are the very exciting Luhmühlen winners, Mollie Summerland and Charly Van Ter Heiden. You may remember this pair as the star of Tilly’s Luhmühlen Tour Diaries, which have since been nominated for an American Horse Publications Equine Media Award.

10:03 a.m. EST: Sofia earns a 10 on her halt before the reinback and ends up with a 29.6 to go into the top 10. Nicely done!

9:58 a.m. EST: We’ll now see Sweden’s Sofia Sjoborg with DHI Mighty Dwight, who will look to build on their 5* debut at Pau in 2021 this weekend.

9:53 a.m. EST: Lots to like here, despite some tension in the canter and walk work but this pair came here to jump. They should be about mid-pack for now and will look to climb from there.

9:52 a.m. EST: The first changes come a bit undone for Carjatan; Christoph actually came to a half after his second to regroup. He’s not quite getting the brilliant marks his trot work was getting, but he’ll make up some ground with some solid marks on his extended canter and his stretching circle.

9:50 a.m. EST: Quite a few 8s and 9s earned in the trot work for Christoph and Carjatan S, who’s a very big, expressive mover with plenty of suspension. I’m a big fan of Christoph’s style here, allowing the horse to take the contact up and forward rather than pulling him down to meet the hand. He’s lost a few marks on the walk work, earning as low as a 2 for his medium walk from Anne-Marie Taylor at B, but he’ll likely be able to climb back with some quality canter work.

9:45 a.m. EST: Tom was really able to ride Possible Mission into the bridle, earning some good marks despite some bobbles. A 34.2 will fit right about in line with this pair’s averages. Next in will be Christoph Wahler, our sole German rider this weekend, with Carjatan S. This pair were runners-up at Luhmühlen in 2021 and are one to watch as a potential spoiler to be on that podium if they’re able to jump clear and fast.

9:39 a.m. EST: A great effort from Helen and My Ernie, and now we’ll see Tom Rowland with Possible Mission come down centerline.

9:32 a.m. EST: Next to see and a very warm welcome back to this level for Helen Wilson, who rides the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding My Ernie for his first start at the 5* level.

9:29 a.m. EST: Once again, the flying changes are holding a score back from being more competitive but a lot to like about this test from Ben. I think this one will be really fun to watch on Saturday — he just looks like he’s ready to devour a big, open track like what awaits. A 30.7 puts them into the top 10 for now.

Shadow Man says “lemme at ’em!!”. GIF via Badminton TV.

9:25 a.m. EST: One of Ben’s claims to fame as a rider is his penchant for Clydesdale crosses, but this week he’s partnered with the Belgian Warmblood that’s a bit leaner than some of his past partners. This is a horse that’s spent a good part of the season thus far in the show jumping ring, and he’s definitely capable of squeezing into the 20s in this phase of competition.

9:22 a.m. EST: Arianna scores a 37.4 to go even with Sarah and Woodcourt Garrison, keeping about in line if maybe a shade higher than her average at this level. This pair knows each other like the back of hand and hoof and should be fun to watch on Saturday. Next in will be Ben Hobday with Shadow Man, another horse making his debut at the level this weekend.

GIF via Badminton TV.

9:16 a.m. EST: Sarah and Woodcourt Garrison score a 37.4, which trends in line with their averages in international competition. Next to see will be Italian combination Arianna Schivo and Quefira de l’Ormeau, who competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio as well as the 2018 World Equestrian Games in North Carolina and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo together.

9:13 a.m. EST: Woodcourt Garrison doesn’t quite want to let the neck go and stretch down in the canter circle, losing a few marks. And quite a spread on the marks for the final halt: a 7.5 from Seppo Laine at H and a 5.0 from Anne-Marie Taylor at B.

9:11 a.m. EST: This is another thing I really appreciate about the new collective mark for Harmony. You’ll remember there have been collective marks in the past for rider position and horse gaits, which caused a lot of favor toward the bigger-moving horses when a horse that isn’t fancy couldn’t be rewarded as well for obedience. The Harmony collective mark is intended to emphasize a proper relationship between horse and rider, meaning even a rider on a less flashy horse can make up ground on the Mai Baums of the world with good communication with its rider.

9:10 a.m. EST: Sarah’s really come in going for it, asking Woodcourt Garrison for a big, forward step. Alex Bragg, joining John Kyle in the booth, says this test does favor the big movers while also testing accuracy. The best tests we’ve seen are those that are asking for the bigger step without losing balance, and Sarah’s accomplishing this so far. It wouldn’t be the fanciest horse in the field, but he’s listening well as we go into the walk work.

9:06 a.m. EST: A 32.7 puts Cathal into 12th at the moment. Next we’ll see another horse making his 5* debut, Sarah Ennis’ Woodcourt Garrison. And though this may be the technical 5* debut for this horse, he’s not short on experience: he’s been around the European Championships as well as the Olympics in Tokyo with Sarah, representing Ireland.

9:03 a.m. EST: A very type-y British-bred horse, this Barrichello, who is 13 this year. He’s gotten some good marks but Cathal’s riding through a bit of tension and trying to coax as much relaxation and throughness as he can. That work pays off as the gelding stretches down and forward to the bridle on the stretching circle. They won’t quite challenge the leaders with this bit — the changes in particular need some development — but it’s a solid first effort on this very technical 5* test B.

8:56 a.m. EST: Welcome back! I’m feeling much more bright-eyed after a caffeine infusion during the break and ready to tackle the afternoon session of rides at Badminton. We’ve still got two more U.S. riders to see this afternoon — Will Faudree (Mama’s Magic Way) and Matt Flynn (Wizzerd). They’ll come forward later, but first it’s Ireland’s Cathal Daniels who will ride Barrichello, a horse making his 5* debut this weekend.

7:30 a.m. EST: And that’s all to see as we go into a lunch break! We’ll be back in this live updates thread at 9 a.m. EST with Cathal Daniels and Barrichello the first to see after the break. Here’s a look at your top 10 after the morning session — live scores can be found here.

7:30 a.m. EST: Amanda’s 25.9 will be good enough for top 5 heading into the lunch break! What a cool little horse — showing us all that the OTTB CAN do dressage!

GIF via Badminton TV.

7:29 a.m. EST: I hope Amanda’s quite pleased with this test, what a trier this horse is! She looks absolutely thrilled and even earns a 9 on her final halt and salute. Well done!

7:25 a.m. EST: Just for fun, here’s Fusaichi Pegasus winning the 2000 Kentucky Derby:

7:23 a.m. EST: Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding will be the next to see. A fun fact: Just Kidding is a racebred horse by the American Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. I also now feel supremely old as Just Kidding is 16 and I can vividly remember watching Fusaichi Pegasus during his racing years.

7:21 a.m. EST: Some really nice work for Esib and Soladoun, who worked through a bit of tension to produce some great moments. She looks pleased with big pats for the 15-year-old Thoroughbred who should absolutely relish the cross country on Saturday.

GIF via Badminton TV.

7:16 a.m. EST: I know my live updates are just absolutely RIVETING, but you definitely want to snag a Badminton TV pass to watch live and on-demand all weekend. The stream has been working wonderfully this morning, and the commentary from John Kyle and his various guests is always a treat; I know I learn a lot each time I listen. You can purchase your pass for the weekend here.

7:13 a.m. EST: A 35.4 will be the starting mark for Ariel and Leamore Master Plan, who is looking raring to go and attack that Eric Winter track on Saturday. We’ll next see Ireland’s Esib Power with Soladoun, returning to this level for the first time since 2018.

Pats for “Simon” from Erik Duvander after Ariel’s test. GIF via Badminton TV.

7:11 a.m. EST: Ariel’s lost some marks in her walk work and flying changes; Leamore Master Plan is a bit busy in the mouth and listening well but just not giving us tons of expression as she rides through any tension she feels. Again, this is one we should anticipate gaining ground as we get into the jumping phases. Riding is very much an art of riding the horse on the day, and Ariel would be one of the more empathetic riders we see here in the U.S.

7:07 a.m. EST: Ariel has been around the world already with Leamore Master Plan, having done three 5* events that include a third place at Pau and a 10th at Burghley. Dressage wouldn’t be their absolute favorite phase, but they’re absolutely capable of slotting in under the 30 marker.

Leamore Master Plan stretches into the early extended trot. GIF via Badminton TV.

7:05 a.m. EST: A 33.3 will put Rose and EG Michaelangelo into 13th early on, very respectable for their first attempt at this level! This pair has nary a cross country penalty on their international record.

Quite obsessed with the very kissable snip on EG Michaelangelo’s nose. GIF via Badminton TV.

7:05 a.m. EST: Rose will lose a few points here in the flying changes, but honestly this has been a great test especially for a debut in the big stadium. The atmosphere didn’t seem to bother this pair. We’ll next see another American pair, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan.

7:00 a.m. EST: Rose is a product of Pony Club, and she’s been building this partnership with the 11-year-old EG Michaelangelo since the Irish gelding by Chellthago Z was five. This is a pair who’s consistently trended in the low-to-mid-30s in this phase and look to be on their way to at least keeping in with that pattern, if not improving it, today.

6:56 a.m. EST: Those changes will have held this pair back from a superbly competitive mark, but again this will be a pair looking to gain some ground come Saturday. They’ll take a 35.9 into the next phase of competition. Next up will be Britain’s Rose Nesbitt with EG Michaelangelo, making their 5* debut.

6:54 a.m. EST: Austin gets a bell during his canter work to signify and error of course. He’s having to work hard to coax these changes out of Colarado Blue, who bless him is definitely more of a jumping horse than a dressage horse.

6:53 a.m. EST: Here we are with some scores: Phillip scores a 33.2 with Z, and Lillian earns a 37.8 for 12th and 14th, respectively. These are both horses who will make up ground in the jumping phases.

6:50 a.m. EST: I’m still not seeing a score for Lillian or Phillip, but I’ll keep you updated! We’ll now move on to Irish Olympian Austin O’Connor with Colorado Blue. This horse got the call up for Tokyo and went on to finish individually in the top 15. His barn name is “Salty” and I was truthfully hoping there was a fun story there, but Austin says it’s just the name he came to the stables with and it stuck.

6:48 a.m. EST: The stretching canter circle is the lowest scored movement for Tamie and Mai Baum, earning a couple 6.5s. But it’s a very strong test, one we’ve come to anticipate here. A 25.6 will go into second — hey, it’s not the record maybe some were hoping for but Tamie isn’t here to win the dressage. She’s here to do much more than that, and she’s put herself into a good position to be competitive.

GIF via Badminton TV.

6:47 a.m. EST: Lots of 9s now coming in, for the halt, rein-back and now some of the canter work.

GIF via Badminton TV.

6:45 a.m. EST: Tamie’s scoring a bit stronger in her walk work than current leader Tom McEwen was with Toledo de Kerser.

6:43 a.m. EST: Ah, Mai Baum just breaks into canter for a step in his first half-pass to the left after scoring 9s on his early movements.

6:42 a.m. EST: Oliver Townend set the 5* score record with Cillnabradden Evo in 2019 at this event, scoring a 19.7. This horse could be one to beat this record.

6:41 a.m. EST: A 33.7 for Bundy and Tresca NZPH. We will next see one of the more hotly anticipated pairs this weekend: Americans Tamie Smith and Mai Baum.

6:37 a.m. EST: A score update! Piggy March goes into equal second on a 25.7, tied with Oliver and Swallow Springs. No score yet for Lillian or Phillip.

6:35 a.m. EST: Angela Tucker shares a memory of competing Phillip’s horse, True Blue Girdwood, around an Open Intermediate when Phillip came over to base with her one year. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting on some score updates and we are next seeing New Zealand’s Bundy Philpott and Tresca NZPH. This is Bundy’s first Badminton since 2007.

6:31 a.m. EST: Phillip will lose a few marks on loss of connection here in the canter, but this would be one of the more forward and flowing tests this horse has done and he gets a big pat at his final halt. I don’t think this will be the top score we’ve seen from this pair but they’ll certainly be doing their best to finish on whatever mark they start on.

GIF via Badminton TV.

6:29 a.m. EST: Not quite square or immobile in the halt, followed by some tension in the reinback. Now into the canter work, and we’ll see if we can pick up some more marks here. Phillip’s worked hard with this horse over the years, particularly on his flying changes.

6:27 a.m. EST: Z is one you can anticipate going into a sub-30 mark if Phillip can keep him focused and relaxed, which he seems to be accomplishing so far. A little trip in his left 8-meter circle into the shoulder-in, but he’s looking quite loose over his topline if perhaps a touch unsteady in the bridle.

6:26 a.m. EST: The score page appears to be down at the moment, so we’re still waiting on Piggy’s scores and will update you as soon as possible. We now move into our next U.S. rider, Phillip Dutton and his Tokyo partner, Z.

6:23 a.m. EST: Angela Tucker says she gets the feeling LCC Barnaby is a cross country machine, and she’d be correct: he’s one you’ll want to watch come Saturday!

LCC Barnaby works through his flying change. GIF via Badminton TV.

6:22 a.m. EST: Lillian’s riding conservatively here; LCC Barnaby is a workmanlike guy who wants to do the right thing and stay connected.

6:18 a.m. EST: This is a first visit to Badminton for this pair, who won’t threaten the leaders on the first day but who can certainly lay down a textbook cross country ride. Lillian is a very popular coach here in the U.S., and her efficient way of going on cross country is something to watch and pick up a few tips from.

6:17 a.m. EST: Always love to have a judge’s perspective in the commentary box, and Angela Tucker now joins John Kyle in the booth. Piggy looks pleased with the efforts of her big mare, and we now get to our very first American rider: Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby.

6:10 a.m. EST: And welcome back, we’re now getting underway with our second session and it’s Piggy March coming forward with Vanir Kamira, who won Badminton’s last run in 2019.

5:48 a.m. EST: A break in the extended trot and some other small mistakes will keep this test from being the most competitive, but he looks pleased nonetheless — he’ll go into 10th on a 33.6. We’ll now move into a 20 minute break and will see 2019 Badminton winners Piggy March and Vanir Kamira next at 6:10 a.m. EST. Live scores can be found here, and here’s a look at the early top five:

5:41 a.m. EST: A 28.5 is good for early fifth place, not quite the lowest we’ve seen from Billy Walk On, who is 13 this year, but we’ll also see Pippa back tomorrow with 2019 Burghley winner MGH Grafton Street. Next up before our first coffee break of the day will be Australia’s Bill Levett with Lassban Diamond Lift, who finished 15th at Badminton in 2019. Fun fact, Lassban Diamond Lift’s barn name is Sparkles so, that’s fun.

5:39 a.m. EST: Our third 10 of the day comes out for Pippa’s final halt and salute, this time from Christina Landoldt!

5:34 a.m. EST: Next we’ll see Rolex Grand Slam winner Pippa Funnell with one of my absolute favorite horses, Billy Walk On. This horse was second at the pop-up Bicton 5* last year and will be looking to finish strongly this weekend after withdrawing during the last go in 2019.

5:33 a.m. EST: A 25.7, which bests the 27.8 earned at this event in 2019 by Swallow Springs with Andrew Nicholson. We’re just a handful in and already quite bunched at the top of the leaderboard!

5:31 a.m. EST: A 7, 8, and 9 for Oliver on his final halt and salute, who looks pleased with this effort from the 14-year-old Irish horse by Chillout.

GIF via Badminton TV.

5:26 a.m. EST: Swallow Springs would be one you’d look for a sub-30 score (honestly, I feel like a sub-30 will be more the norm this weekend than not), and Oliver’s trending in the upper 20s/low 30s at the moment as we go into the canter work. You also remember that this is a relatively new partnership, so surely the best is even yet to come as they continue to solidify.

5:24 a.m. EST: Ros waits for her score, which will feature one 10 from Seppo Leine: it’s a 26.4 and good to sneak ahead of Nicola Wilson into second. We’ll now see Oliver Townend with his first ride, former Andrew Nicholson ride Swallow Springs. This is the first 5* for this partnership.

5:21 a.m. EST: TBH, I’m mostly envious of Ros’ skill gathering the double reins up after the stretching circle at the canter. A severely underrated skill.

5:19 a.m. EST: Ros rides for a strong extended canter, which comes quite early in this 5* test B, so you’d better have your horse on the aids and straight right away.

GIF via Badminton TV.

5:17 a.m. EST: Told you this field is the strongest we’ve seen in recent history: we now move from the European Champion to the World Champion, Ros Canter and Allstar B, winners of the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon.

5:15 a.m. EST: Nicole will be pleased with this first 5* test for her partner, who scored a 20.9 at Europeans in Avenches last year, but a few points left on the board will keep them away from repeating that. Not to worry, though — they still earn a 26.6 to be quite competitive, a very strong score particularly for a debut.

5:14 a.m. EST: Very impressed with the strong crowd gathered for this first morning dressage session – I think it’s safe to say the fans are happy to have Badminton back!

5:08 a.m. EST: William, a 14-time 5* winner, earns a 31.4 with Oratorio to go into early second place. We’ll see him return tomorrow with Little Fire. Without that early error, he would’ve notched in just below the 30 mark. We’ll next see Nicola Wilson with the first of two rides, the 5* debutant and reigning European Champion JL Dublin.

5:06 a.m. EST: A touch quiet for William and Oratorio, which is causing their scores to trend a bit lower than what we’ve seen this horse earn before. His personal best at the 5* level is a 27, earned at the pop-up 5* at Bicton in 2021.

5:04 a.m. EST: Pats from a happy Tom after earning a personal best with Toledo de Kerser:

GIF via Badminton TV.

5:01 a.m. EST: Joseph Murphy scores a 31.5 with Cesar V, and we’ll now see William Fox-Pitt with the first of his two rides, Oratorio. Harry Meade has helped prep William’s horses this spring after he took a tumble earlier in the spring that kept him out of the saddle. Oratorio has jumped clear around Badminton in the past. And a bummer early on as he’s picked up an error in his test, turning the wrong way after the initial centerline. That’ll be two penalty points added.

4:59 a.m. EST: Tom will likely want a few points back in his walk work and the first flying change, but we also saw a healthy number of 8s and 9s coming in and fully anticipate a top score: a 23.4 is the provisional, which would be a personal best for Tom at this level.

4:58 a.m. EST: We’ve got a 10, ladies and gents! A 10 on the extended canter from judge at H Seppo Laine.

4:57 a.m. EST: Toledo de Kerser wouldn’t be one you’d peg to have tension in the ring and while he’s looking a bit more tense in the walk he’ll be able to make up some points in the canter work.

4:55 a.m. EST: Already a couple of 9s on the board for the first few movements.

4:53 a.m. EST: Padraig goes into the very early lead with a 31.7 aboard Fallulah. Now we’ll see one of the first heavy hitters in Tokyo partners Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser. This will be one you can fairly expect to go into the 20s and could easily also be one you could see at the top of the board come Sunday.

4:47 a.m. EST: Now we’ll move on to our first Irish pair, Joseph Murphy and Cesar V. Joseph is fresh from Kentucky, where he competed Calmaro in the 5* and finished in the top 10. Cesar V is 14 this year and makes his 5* debut at Badminton this weekend.

4:45 a.m. EST: You can find live scores at this link. Kirsty’s is the first to hit the board: a 32.8 that will be a strong score to be on if they can jump clear on Saturday.

4:42 a.m. EST: A really nice job managing the excitement for Padraig, who brought Fallulah to her 5* debut at Pau in 2021.

4:36 a.m. EST: A really nice test to get us started from Kirsty. John Kyle mentions that Christian Landholdt spent some time watching the 5* test ridden in Kentucky to help himself prepare for judging this weekend. Pretty cool! Next to see will be Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy and Fallulah.

4:32 a.m. EST: Classic VI gets a bit wonky in the reinback and hits the rail, but we’re safely into the canter work and Kirsty’s doing a wonderful job of keeping the mare’s focus on her. Nice changes — a bit of anticipation but she’s being obedient.

4:29 a.m. EST: And we are underway with the first to see, Kirsty Chabert and the 13-year-old British Sport Horse, Classic VI.

Vote for the Winner of the 2022 World Equestrian Brands Kentucky Top Dog

It’s time to choose the winner of our 2022 World Equestrian Brands Kentucky Top Dog contest! We enjoyed all of your submissions this year and have narrowed the field down to the following finalists. Cast your vote below by Friday, May 6 at 5 p.m. EST and we’ll announce the winner in this post and in News & Notes over the weekend!

The winner will receive eternal EN karma as well as an Equilibrium Therapy Massage Mitt from World Equestrian Brands — pretty envy-worthy, if you ask us! Take a look at the finalists below and vote in the poll at the bottom of this post. Best of luck to all!

Bennie, submitted by Jordan C.

 

Zella, submitted by Ashley.

 

Arthur, submitted by Kailey D.

 

Nessarose and Tozer. Submitted by Jordan F.

 

Flynn, submitted by The Wayward Wiener.

 

Oti, submitted by Helen K.

 

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

Screenshot via Sara Kozumplik on Facebook.

You know you’ve done something right when an eventing legend seeks you out to give you a compliment. Sara Kozumplik had the ride of the day through the very trick Park Question fence on the Lexington 4*-S cross country course this past weekend with Rubens d’Ysieux. The coffin combination did a number on the competitors, causing problems for almost half of them, but Sara and Rubens delivered. This prompted World Champion and Olympic medallist Lucinda Green to reach out to Sara — we’ll call that a career highlight!

Badminton: Website, Entries, Live Stream, Dressage Start Times, EN’s Ultimate Guide, EN’s Entry Form Guide Course Preview, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview

Catalpa Corner May Madness H.T. (Iowa City, Ia.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

The Event at Skyline (Mt. Pleasant, Ut.): [Website] [Ride Times / Scores] [Volunteer]

Miami Valley H.T. at Twin Towers (Yellow Springs, Oh.): [Website] [Ride Times / Scores] [Volunteer]

Poplar Place May H.T. (Thomson, Ga.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Photography Sign-up] [Volunteer] [Scores]

Waredaca H.T. (Gaithersburg, Md.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Photographer] [Scores] [Volunteer]

Wednesday News & Reading

Want to stay in the loop with Badminton Horse Trials? We’re sending our Daily Digest each evening this week with the latest news, information and stories from Badminton. It’s free to sign up + there are opportunities to win items from our new #goeventing merchandise line each day! Sign up here.

You can also join the Eventing Nation league in your Equiratings Eventing Manager app — pick your team and play against your fellow eventing nerds, what could be more fun?? EN merch to the league winner when the dust settles! Download the app here — our league code is EQYLJD.

Many of the horses running Badminton are powered by Haygain Steamed Hay. Yours can be, too! Enter to win an Haygain HG One High Temperature Steamer in person at Haygain’s booths at both events, or online at this link.

Healing humans with horses is the mission of the STAND Foundation. This really insightful interview at The STAND Foundation in Washington, DC demonstrates the intrinsic benefits of time spent with horses. The STAND (Strengthening Thoughts and Nurturing Dreams) Foundation provides provide opportunities where individuals gain knowledge, skills and confidence through wellness workshops, horsemanship and horseback riding — you can learn more about them here. Click here to watch the interview!

“In an unusual training regimen for Kentucky Derby contenders, Crown Pride canters perfect 20-meter circles behind the chute at Churchill Downs. He is composed, quiet and focused. Minutes later when he enters the track, he flips a switch internally and becomes an intense Thoroughbred pulling for his head to run faster.” Ahead of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby, read up on one of the more interesting storylines that will be lining up come Saturday to Run for the Roses.

What’s it like to be a vet at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event? Vet student Jackie Guezille, who is currently attending Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, got a behind-the-scenes look as a part of the accepted group of students who would be shadowing attending vets during the event. Read all about her experiences here.

Fleeceworks Royal is on the road to recovery after undergoing surgery to repair a pastern injury sustained on cross country at Kentucky. The latest update shared by Tamie Smith shows Fleeceworks Royal walking in her recovery stall — once she’s able, she’ll return home to California to continue her rest and recuperation.

Just two weeks until we get our first sneak peek at the venue for this fall’s FEI World Championships for Eventing, to be held in Italy at Pratoni del Vivaro. The venue will host a test event for WEG later this month, and we’ll have eyes on the ground to bring you all the must-know information. Read the latest from Italy here.

Wednesday Video Break

I’m always appreciative of Elisa Wallace’s helmet cam videos — here’s one from her Kentucky trip with Let It Be Lee. Be sure to watch all the way through to the end; Elisa didn’t have the end she wanted to with Lee, who lost some confidence after losing his front shoes and wound up eliminated on refusals. But, as Elisa says, you don’t know until you try and now she has more information to move forward with. It’s an interesting watch, and I’m sure we’ll share this on its own at some point but I thought it worth sticking in!

Badminton’s Back! How to Watch Worldwide

Piggy French and Vanir Kamira win Badminton 2019. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

In all of the spectacle that is Kentucky, and considering the fact that Badminton was cancelled in 2020 and 2021, it’s almost a shock to remember that we have not one but two 5* events in the span of two weeks once again in 2022. As we roll straight into our coverage of Badminton, where Tilly Berendt is our eyes on the ground, we’re pleased to see that the event will also be bringing back its robust live stream coverage for viewers worldwide.

This year’s Badminton Horse Trials, presented by MARS Equestrian, will be streamed live on the event’s in-house Badminton TV, which is available for both live and on demand viewing. The Badminton TV pass costs $25 and gives viewers access not only to the full live stream but also to archived content including 2018 and 2019 replays. The pass is good for one year from the date of purchase, so you’ll be able to go back and rewatch anything you’d like once the event is over!

Badminton TV will be the provider for both jogs (Wednesday and Sunday), as well as interviews with top riders each day, special features and the full prize-giving ceremony on Sunday. For those of you in the UK, the final top 10’s show jumping will be shown live on BBC 2 and the BBC website iPlayer.

You can click here for instructions on viewing Badminton TV on your various devices.

We’ll update this post with the streaming schedule, but for now here is the FEI schedule for this week (note: all times are listed in BST — 5 hours ahead of EST):

To view more and purchase your pass here. You can also click here to stay in the loop with our Daily Digest, which will be sent out each evening beginning Tuesday, May 3 with the latest updates and links to EN’s coverage.

Badminton: Website, Entries, Live Stream, Dressage Start Times, EN’s Ultimate Guide, EN’s Entry Form Guide Course Preview, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Michael Jung Sets CCI5* Record with Lowest-Ever Finishing Score at Kentucky

Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

We knew it would come down to the last phase, but we also knew if Michael Jung came in and took hold early it would be nearly impossible to shake him off of it. Most storylines can’t be predicted, and even the ones that perhaps have some elements of predictability generally throw in a few curve balls along the way to fruition. But as the dust begins to settle on the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian, it’s Germany’s Michael Jung who stands atop the podium for the record fourth time, this time partnered with Sabine and Klaus Fischer, Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff and DOKR fischerChipmunk FRH (Contendro I – Havanna), cementing his win with a flawless show jumping to finish on the lowest-ever 5* finishing score in history: a 20.1.

He didn’t exactly have boulders of pressure weighing on his shoulders — not that it would’ve necessarily made a difference, he’s entered Rolex Stadium just millimeters ahead of second place before — as some untimely rails from Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF would lower the U.S. pair down and out of the running to win. Thus, Michael cantered down the ramp and into a packed stadium with over ten penalty points to spare, his next closest competitor Great Britain’s rising golden girl, Yasmin Ingham, who had just two seconds of time to finish on 31.7 and solidify no worse than third after her round. She moved into second on the podium following Boyd’s rails.

But pressure or no pressure, for Michael this weekend has been about the relationship with his horse. And when the relationship becomes the priority, success — in its many forms — usually follows.

Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH. Photo by Abby Powell.

To that end, Michael sets a handful of records this weekend: he earns the lowest ever 5* finishing score with his astounding 20.1 (British Olympian Laura Collett held the previous record, winning Pau in 2020 on a score of 21.3. Michael also now holds the title of the most Kentucky 5* wins — a record he had previously at least tied by winning three times (William Fox-Pitt, Oliver Townend, and Kim Severson have also won thrice). He also, because he might as well kill a whole bunch of birds with one stone, achieves the largest ever margin of victory at Kentucky — an 11.6 penalty point difference between first and second place. To boot, he’s also tied with New Zealand’s Mark Todd for second-highest number of 5* wins, this being his 11th. Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt holds the top spot in terms of 5* wins with 14 (and counting) to his name.

Michael’s partnership with “Chip”, who is 14 this year, has been one he’s been building since he first acquired the ride in 2019 from compatriot and Tokyo individual gold medalist, Julia Krajewski. When you think about it, three years is not an enormous amount of time to build the partnership and trust that’s needed to compete for gold medals and 5* wins, especially when you’re a rider who would typically prefer to make your mark on horses from their younger years on.

“It takes a little time in the beginning, but we had a super connection from the beginning,” Michael said. “For the top spot, you have to build a very good partnership you have to trust each other. You have to know many many little informations from how is the reaction there and how you have to prepare [for the fences], how you have to prepare the dressage, and how is the horse on the traveling and everything. And it takes a while for a better connection. But I think from last year we get a very good partnership. I just have to know on the five-star level how to ride him on a long course, on a tough course, how much time he needs on some fences to prepare him.”

The pressure of coming in with a win on the line was good practice for the upcoming FEI World Championships for Eventing in Italy, happening mid-September. We’re accustomed to seeing Michael in or close to the lead after dressage — in fact, he would’ve won that individual gold had it not been for an ill-timed frangible pin at a corner in Tokyo that fell several strides after he and Chipmunk had cleared it — but this would be new territory for Chipmunk. Could he deliver on the final day, proving not only his mettle but also his focus and maturity in front of a packed house?

Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH. Photo by Shelby Allen.

“I had a really great feeling in the warmup that makes you feel a little more relaxed,” Michael said. “But still the pressure was on, and that was a test for the WEG. I tried to stay really concentrate and focused, but this horse is amazing.”

Michael has been pleased with his partner, who has stepped up beautifully into the role of his top event horse after the retirement of La Biosthetique Sam and fischerRocana FST. “It was just to enjoy every phase of this competition,” he explained. “How strong he can gallop with all the hills, jumping really straight and not looking left or right. Today he jumped like a real show jumping horse, very strong and scopey and powerful. And this is a great feeling for the rider.”

Michael also maintains a small string of show jumping horses, and this off-season Chipmunk accompanied the string, as Michael’s event horses often do, on some show jumping tours. In three FEI show jumping starts at the 1.25m and 1.30m designations, he’d not had a pole down. This extra practice not only gives the rider additional information for the final phase of eventing, but builds confidence in the horse as show jumping courses are generally much more technical than eventing show jumping tracks.

With Pratoni approaching quicker than most, including myself, realize, it’s time to make a real push for results that will lead to selection. The Germans aren’t exactly lean on talent this year, but Michael’s certainly done much to stamp his ticket to Italy this fall (honestly, as if we ever had doubts). And hey, the extra Land Rover lease never hurts anything.

Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir. Photo by Shelby Allen.

I think it’s safe to say that Great Britain’s Yasmin Ingham collected more than a few adoring fans this week on her first trip to compete at Kentucky. Bringing forward the stunning French gelding, Banzai du Loir (Nouma D’auzay – Gerboise du Coche), this would be the weekend she’d go for the competitive finish — after all, she’s got some major British depth to compete with for a spot on a senior team (she’s already won just about all there is to win in the British junior pipeline). She’s got her eye not only on Pratoni this fall, but also on Paris in 2024 — and this 11-year-old gelding might just be the one to eventually stamp her ticket.

Banzai du Loir has some show jumping depth in his breeding: his sire Gerboise du Coche show jumped to the 1.55m level. “Banzai” is also about 66% blood, giving him a good combination of power and stamina. Both of those elements were showcased this weekend with two nearly flawless jumping rounds — Yasmin collected just some time both yesterday and today in the show jumping. “I didn’t even feel him get close to touching a pole,” she remarked after her ride.

You’d be hard-pressed to find Yasmin without a smile mapping her face. The nearly 25-year-old from the tiny (think 13 miles wide) Isle of Man in the Irish Sea has immensely enjoyed her weekend in the Bluegrass State — and it’s now made even sweeter by a second place finish and a seat next to Michael in the final press conference.

Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir. Photo by Abby Powell.

“If someone told me I’d be coming here and I’d be in second place to Michael…it’s a dream come true,” Yasmin remarked.

Yasmin told us that she felt the packed-in crowd at Rolex Stadium did her a bit of good, giving Banzai a push of energy and pizazz to give them a boost. “He was a little bit tired after yesterday’s cross country, so I think it did him good to have a bit of clapping and cheering and I could just feel him really rise to the occasion. I think he’s made for the big stage and I’m just so lucky that it’s me that gets to ride him.”

But she certainly wasn’t free of nerves, in fact she admits she hasn’t eaten much these last few days! “Every time I look at something I would usually like, like a donut, I’d want to be sick so I’m so glad I can actually eat something now!”

Yasmin’s been here with her parents, Lesley and Steve Ingham, as well as a whole support crew that includes one of Banzai du Loir’s owners, Janette Chin. The community on the Isle of Man is small — we’re fairly certain the entire population was glued to the H&C+ livestream during her rides! — and the efforts to get here are nothing short of monumental. In a word, I think Yasmin’s current state, once things begin to settle in, would be gratitude.

Almost as monumental, Yasmin also takes home the win in EN’s annual Golden Chinch Jog Awards, taking home a new pair of Fairfax & Favor ankle boots for the occasion (honestly, we think that’s why she came here, right?).

Quantum Leap’s entourage look on. Photo by Abby Powell.

For the second year in a row, we’re treated to an American-bred USEF CCI5* National Champion and winner of the USET Foundation Pinnacle Cup and the Roger Haller Perpetual Trophy, this year earned by Doug Payne with the U.S.-bred Holsteiner gelding Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol – Report to Sloopy). The now 11-year-old gelding was purchased by the Paynes as a weanling, part of the Paynes’ strategy to establish their own pipeline of top level eventers and show jumpers. In fact, they’ve bought four horses from Didi, so Quantum was really the opening of that pipeline that’s fed horses into Doug and Jess’ program ever since. Quantum Leap was bred by Elizabeth “Didi” Callahan of Cool Na Grena Sporthorses and is out of the full Thoroughbred mare, Report to Sloopy.

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap. Photo by Shelby Allen.

“Baby Quantum” is not such a baby anymore, and he’s come a long way from the gangly youngster with legs going every which way. This horse just debuted at the 5* level in 2021 at this event, where Doug said he learned a lot about what he would need in terms of fitness as he matured. He retuned to the level in sharp form last fall at the Maryland 5 Star, finishing seventh and confirming himself as a competitive 5* horse for Doug. This weekend he adds just a few seconds of time to his overall mark, which was enough to eke him ahead of fourth-placed Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF.

“It’s a privilege to ride these horses, but there are so many people who make that happen,” Doug said. “It’s probably going to sink in in a few days, but it’s a lifetime of work.”

This achievement comes at a particularly poignant time, as Doug announced yesterday that his veteran partner, the old soul Vandiver, will be stepping down from competition at this level. While he’ll tick around a few Prelims with #supergroom Courtney Carson, it’s certainly the end of an era for a partnership that has spanned nearly ten years at at least the Advanced level.

Family photo time for the new USEF National 5* Champion! Photo by Abby Powell.

So, what a time for Quantum to step up into the spotlight, on the weekend when his stablemate is stepping down. And hey — it’s proof that these events are anything but a dressage show: Quantum Leap began the weekend in 25th, climbed to equal fifth after cross country and finished on the podium.

“This has been a tough day, actually,” Doug reflected. “You’re driven every day to get better and improve, but with Vandiver stepping down, it’s incredibly exciting to have another one stepping up to fill his shoes. The future is bright and I want to think of it as a starting point more than anything.”

Boyd Martin high-fives a fan in the victory lap. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF didn’t have the epic performance the crowd was hoping for, lowering two rails — the front rail of the out element of the triple heading down the diagonal of the arena, as well as the second to last fence — and adding 1.2 time penalties to drop into fourth position on a score of 38.5. Boyd remained pragmatic in yesterday’s press conference, knowing he’d go out to give it his all but acknowledging that all the stars align on the day a rider wins a 5*. At 15, Tsetserleg has looked strong in the early parts of this season and while performances will need to be competitive to book a ticket to Italy this fall, we certainly can’t write off the little black Trakehner who could as a contender for the U.S. come WEG time.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Shelby Allen.

It’s been since 2014 that we’ve seen Buck Davidson placed in the top five at Kentucky — too long, if you ask us! Buck’s had to be patient with the 15-year-old Holsteiner, Carlevo (Caresino – Ramatuelle), who has improved in each 5* completion but who has also struggled here and there with his cross country in particular.

Carlevo isn’t the quickest-footed horse in Buck’s stable, but he’s got a genuine try and wants to do the right thing, Buck says. Some struggles with brush fences came to a head last fall at Maryland when the two had a crashing fall — “that one hurt a lot,” he recalled — and he spent some time this winter building up the gelding, who is owned by Katherine O’Brien, and his confidence. Buck learned that a stronger ride to brush fences helped give the horse more confidence and boost over the fences, and that knowledge and the trust they’ve continued to build paid off in a big way with a clear cross country yesterday. Carlevo would also be one to lower a rail or two, but Buck navigated Steve Stephens’ track with determination, just coming home a little too slow to be able to retain his third place position and secure the USEF National Championship.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Abby Powell.

Last year, Carlevo was 17th at Kentucky, which was a progression from 20th in his debut in 2018. Buck, always the competitor, wasn’t satisfied with just a completion last year, and this year he gets his due and proves Carlevo’s mettle as a competitive 5* horse. It’s probably the superstitions, let’s be honest — Buck’s one of the more superstitious riders in the field. Aside from his traditional lucky red socks, Buck changes breeches for each ride (“I have really good sponsors,” he laughed after he shared this bit) and pays attention to what he’s got on him when he has successful rides so he can replicate it next time. Whatever works, Buck — we’re glad to have you up there again!

Meghan O’Donoghue’s crew cheer her on. Photo by Abby Powell.

Bits & Bobs

Steve Stephens returned as show jumping course designer for the second year, bringing his experience around the world designing as well as advising U.S. show jumping teams to build his challenge for the riders this weekend. As is typically expected at this event, the track was testing and influential: six of the 30 finishers put in clear rounds inside the time. There was not a single “bogey” fence, but rather rails flew all around the course; the penultimate fence at 12 proved to be the most complicated, coming down nine times.

Will Coleman and Dondante. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Several pairs were able to climb up the board thanks to clear jumping rounds, including Will Coleman and Dondante (26th after dressage to seventh overall), Phillip Dutton and the off-track Thoroughbred Sea of Clouds (31st after dressage to 10th overall), Meghan O’Donoghue and another ex-racer, Palm Crescent (37th after dressage to 11th overall), and Hannah Sue Burnett with Harbour Pilot (24th after dressage to 13th overall).

Joseph Murphy and Calmaro. Photo by Shelby Allen.

This was the second 5* for the 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding, Calmaro (Carpalano – Elster W), who showed his inexperience while also maturing as the weekend went on under Irish Olympian Joseph Murphy’s tutelage. The gray gelding owned by Claire and Charley Mayne, Annette O’Callaghan and Joseph finished with two clear jumping rounds which would be good enough for ninth place after starting the weekend in 17th. In his 5* debut last year, Calmaro was 14th at Pau. Despite losing a shoe in the show jumping this afternoon, he managed a clear round inside the time — in fact the quickest of the day in a time of 76 seconds. This is a horse originally campaigned by Laura Collett, and he’s only been in Joseph’s program since 2020.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot. Photo by Abby Powell.

Hannah Sue Burnett reflected on the lengthy career of her longtime partner, Harbour Pilot. “William” certainly went through some, er, rideability growing pains in his younger years, but Hannah Sue and her husband, show jumper Matthias Hollberg, have taken to calling the 19-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Cruising “Benjamin Button” as he’s continued to get better with time. They move up from 24th after dressage into 13th with just one rail and time penalties added. Hannah Sue says she’s not sure what will be next for Harbour Pilot, telling us her priority is that he retires sound — whenever that may be.

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Colleen Rutledge lowered one rail and dropped into 15th overall after starting the weekend in second on Thursday, but you wouldn’t see any disappointment on her face. Covert Rights, the fan favorite quarter Clydesdale, has historically struggled in the show jumping, but today Colleen said she finally felt him using and understanding his body better than ever.

“He gave me absolutely everything,” Colleen said. “He was phenomenal on cross country. He went in (to show jumping) and this is hard for him and he jumped it fantastic.”

Colleen credits a new fitness regimen using Aquatred for how well Covert Rights went this weekend, and says it added to his fitness yesterday. “He feels so much stronger and so much more cognizant about where his body parts are.”

Colleen and “CR” were held at this morning’s horse inspection (“I needed to run fast enough that he could show that he was fine,” she said), and she was also held at length on cross country yesterday when Ashlynn Meuchel and Emporium fell at the Head of the Lake, but Colleen’s keeping it all in perspective.

Colleen and her husband, Brian’s, daughter Ciana underwent a kidney transplant earlier this year. While Ciana was hospitalized, Colleen spent her time in the hospital with her daughter. We’re pleased to report that the transplant has taken well and Ciana was able to come home and was even at Kentucky this weekend.

“Honestly, maybe that’s why we’ve had such a great weekend so far,” Colleen said yesterday following cross country. “I haven’t been able to overdo and overthink things. It’s been all about perspective and doing what’s important.”

Alex McLeod and Newmarket Jack. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Our highest placed rookie this weekend was full-time vet Alex MacLeod with her own Irish Sport Horse gelding, Newmarket Jack. Alex had to fight through her show jumping round after losing her stirrup in the treble, and to be honest she’d like to have that round back.

“I’m honestly a little disappointed in myself,” Alex said. “But it feels amazing to finish and he’s such a horse to have jumped that course for me. I’m really proud of him — next time we’ll be better!”

But to look back at this pair’s progression, there’s much to be proud of. After all, when Alex was first getting to know Jack as a four-year-old, he was “feral” to the point where Phillip Dutton told her she shouldn’t jump him while they sorted out their communication. Now, they’ve become a 5* pair, all while balancing vet school, then internships, and moving across the country from Pennsylvania to California. We will call that a win, Alex, and we hope you do too.

Booli Selmayr and Millfield Lancando. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Nearly all of our other rookies also finished the weekend and are now confirmed 5* pairs: Millfield Lancando and Booli Selmayr added just one rail and time on cross country and show jumping to their dressage mark to finish 25th, Lexington native Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie 135 (a half-brother to fischerChipmunk, sharing a sire in Contendro I) added two rails today to finish 28th, and Lexi Scovil with Chico’s Man VDF Z added one rail and some time to finish 29th. Marc Grandia and Campari FFF sadly ended their weekend early with some refusals on course yesterday, but we know they’ll be back to fight another day.

A congratulatory handshake from Pippa to Michael. Photo by Abby Powell.

We, as always, appreciate you following along with us all weekend long. Kentucky is our biggest and busiest event of each season — the days are long, the words and stories are endless, but the end is always the same: we’re grateful to have this sport and we’re thankful that all horses and riders are safe after a dramatic weekend.

Lastly, there is an enormous number of people who are needed in order for these events to run. From the officials and organizers, to the emergency crews, volunteers, course decorators, and sponsors, it’s a true community effort and we couldn’t be more appreciative.

We hope you have enjoyed the #BestWeekendAllYear as much as we have. Thank you for waiting while our team hustled to the airport and onto our various first flights home — we certainly hope these incredible stories were worth the wait. We’ll have more content coming your way this week and it’s just two days until we head straight into Badminton, where a strong American contingent is set to compete and our international dream team led by Tilly Berendt will bring you all of the up to the minute updates from England.

Sharon White cheers for Dan Kreitl earlier today in the 4*-S (and models our new #goeventing hats spectacularly while she’s at it). Photo by Shelby Allen.

Until then, I’m off to have a cocktail and a sleep in the sky. Pat your horse, cheer for your buddies, make good decisions and as ever, Go Eventing.

Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (KY): Website, CCI5* Ride Times, CC4*-S Ride Times, Live Scoring, Live Stream (North America), Live Stream (Outside of North America) Tickets, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

 

Appreciating Those Who Saved Kentucky in 2021

Michael Jung and fisherChipmunk FRH. Photo by Shelby Allen.

As we finish out a weekend that’s felt, dare I say, “normal” here at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on 2021.

It almost feels like eons ago at this point, but the event nearly did not run at all in 2021 due to concerns over funding after it was decided there would be no spectators allowed if the event did go forward. But thanks to the dogged determination of Dorothy Crowell, Sara Kozumplik, and Lynn Symansky, a massive fundraising effort supported not only by large donations but also by the dollars and cents of an equally massive grassroots contingent was pulled off to eventually raise enough money to save the 2021 event.

2021 was a special year from the perspective of those who attended — it was eerie to be in a mostly empty Horse Park, but the event was intimate, well-run, and the relief at being here was palpable from all present. And this would never have happened were it not for the efforts of the thousands who donated.

This weekend, the larger sponsors who helped support the event last year were given VIP treatment in the Hospitality Tent, but we wanted to also take a moment to thank the fans who pitched in, too. Here’s a note from Sara Kozumplik:

“This post is to say thank you, the grassroots that made 2021 happen because that also made this year happen,” Sara said.

And we couldn’t agree more: THANK YOU for helping to make the #BestWeekendAllYear happen once more. Eventing is a community and a family, and we’re proud to be a part of it.

Go Eventing.

A Masterclass by Michael: Influential Kentucky Cross Country Shakes the Board, fischerChipmunk Rises to the Occasion

Michael Jung and fisherChipmunk FRH. Photo by Shelby Allen.

As we stood at the edge of the vet box chatting with Pippa Funnell, the last rider of the day to see on the 5* cross country, she grinned at the media still gathered about. “That was a bit of a masterclass, wasn’t it?” she said, referring to Michael Jung’s commanding round earlier in the day that will see him remain in the lead overnight. It’s no small compliment coming from the first rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam and who most recently won the 2019 Burghley Horse Trials.

A masterclass is what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from the three-time Kentucky winner, Michael Jung. He was last here in 2018, where he finished second (he’d won the previous three years, don’t worry), and this weekend he returns with a new partner in Sabine and Klaus Fischer, Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff and DOKR’s fischerChipmunk FRH. Despite the fact that this would, technically speaking, be the first 5* of the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Contendro I, he’s not exactly light on experience: he’s been around a World Equestrian Games course in 2018 with former jockey Julia Krajewski as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with Michael, where he finished eighth individually.

Michael says he very much enjoyed the ride today, which easily stopped the clock with 11 seconds in hand as the quickest of the day. This is a partnership he’s had since 2019, and Michael says he learned a lot about both his horse and their partnership today.

Michael Jung and fisherChipmunk FRH. Photo by Shelby Allen.

“He needs sometimes good preparation because sometimes he’s he’s too powerful,” Michael explained. “So I have to collect him slow down and have him really concentrate on some jumps. But I had a great ride and I’m I’m gives me a lot of a lot of good experience good, good support for the next for the next competition.”

It helps, of course, to be in a system as consistently successful as Michael’s — surely there are some tried and true methods in place there. But at the root of it remains the goal to build mutual trust. “I feel very safe and I think we have a very good partnership now.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow, if Michael and fischerChipmunk are clear in the show jumping, it will be the all time lowest 5* finishing score of all time. This would take the title away from Great Britain’s Laura Collett, who won Pau in 2020 on a score of 21.3. Michael will be seeking his 11th 5* win, which would equal Mark Todd’s record.

fischerChipmunk is historically a fairly consistent show jumper and has spent some time this past winter in the show jumping ring as Michael often does when not out eventing. Chipmunk did tip one rail in Tokyo during the individual jumping round, but this could theoretically be written off as traditional events only have one jumping round.

It was a day of redemption for Boyd Martin, who “went past this big dent in the ground where I crashed last year” (he and Tsetserleg TSF fell just a few fences from home last year in what Boyd calls a lapse in focus as he relaxed a bit too far from home) on his way home to a double clear eight seconds inside the optimum time of 11 minutes 4 seconds.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Shelby Allen.

“I feel like if I think something and he understands it,” Boyd said of “Thomas”, the 15-year-old Trakehner gelding by the Kentucky-winning stallion Windfall II. “I just eased up a bit last time mentally and I just said to myself ‘ok, keep riding every step until you cross that finishing line’.”

Tsetserleg is a U.S.-bred horse, produced in Missouri by Tim and Cheryl Holekamp of New Spring Farm — you may recognize the name as supporters of the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Lion d’Angers Grant, which was founded along with Tseterleg’s owners, Christine and Thomas Turner of Indian Creek Farm. This has been the first Trakehner Boyd’s partnered with, and the fact that he’d been able to see the great Windfall competing with Darren Chiacchia when he first came to America makes this partnership that much more special.

“To be quite honest, he’s probably not the fanciest horse…but he’s got a he’s got a heart of gold and you know, his best attribute is how hard he tries and he cross country — he just will do everything he can to please me.”

“I really wanted to stay focused all the way to the finish because, as we know, with five-star eventing and Derek DiGrazia’s courses there’s tough jumps all the way around,” Boyd continued. “And especially as the horses get tired, it changes so I’m thrilled to have him, grateful for the owners, the Turner family, and we’ve got a few more Windfall babies in work now so there might be a reincarnation of Thomas coming along in the future.”

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Boyd got a taste of the 5* win last fall when he took home the top honors in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star with the Anglo-European mare On Cue, and he’s keen to give Thomas his due with another tomorrow. He’ll have his work cut out for him: Thomas wouldn’t statistically be the strongest show jumper in the field, and Michael has two rails in hand, but Boyd’s done a lot of work with Peter Wylde in the past few months that should have Thomas tuned up for the final phase of competition. “It’s a weird drug, you know,” Boyd told NBC’s Donna Brothers after his ride. “You win it, you’re on a high for a couple days or a week and then you start to get this hunger to do it again. To repeat that again and again, it takes a lot of focus, a lot of hard work, a top horse and all the stars have got to align. So who knows when the next one will come along, but I’ll be trying my heart out to do it again.”

Sitting in third after her first Kentucky cross country is Great Britain’s Yasmin Ingham, the youngest rider in the field this year at the age of 24. Yasmin delivered a golden clear round aboard Banzai du Loir with just seven seconds of time and moved up a spot from fourth onto the podium overnight. It’s a family trip for Yasmin, who has her whole support crew including her parents.

Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The French Banzai du Loir (Nouma d’Auzay x Gerboise du Cochet) is owned by Jeanette Chinn and Sue Davies makes his 5* debut this weekend, but you wouldn’t necessarily have known it from watching them today. “I was delighted with my horse in his first time at the level,” Yasmin said. “He just was brilliant at all the combinations. The coffin came up quite early on in the course, and he did just go a little bit green, but once he got that behind him, he just powered on. He’s just an incredible horse to ride, and so much size and speed and he really does have all of what it takes to be a top event horse.”

Yasmin’s not exactly unaccustomed to the pressure that comes with competing for a title — she’s won just about every medal there is to be won as a pony and junior rider. She’s also won the national eight- and nine-year-old titles at the 4*-S level and also won the hefty 4*-L at Blenheim last September with this horse. This would be her first really competitive finish at the 5* level should she finish it out tomorrow, and it’s reasonable to think she’ll finish no worse than where she is now: Banzai du Loir’s only had one rail at the 4* level to this point.

Banzai du Loir was sourced by Rachel Wakefield of Uptown Eventing, and Yasmin began her partnership with him in 2019. “We’ve sort of just not rushed anything,” she said. “He’s such a young, special horse that we think it’s good to take it slow and educate them properly and it’s always confidence first with him.”

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Buck Davidson wasn’t sat on the quickest horse in the field today with Katherine O’Brien’s Carlevo (Caresino – Ramatuelle), but despite 25 seconds of time he’ll remain in a competitive fourth position ahead of tomorrow’s show jumping on a score of 37.4. This pair had a crashing fall at the Maryland 5 Star last fall, and it’s a quirk about brush fences that Buck says has plagued the 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Eurocommerce Caresino as he’s stepped up to this level (he was 17th in his debut at Kentucky in 2021).

“Sometimes out of something bad, some good things come,” Buck said. “He’s never jumped that well all the way around and I think I’m better off at the brushes to keep coming and give him more room, which sort of hurt me at the [Head of the Lake] a little bit. I feel like in the past I’ve kind of shut him off a little bit and I was debating whether or not I was going to jump that corner in the water anyway. When you shorten his step, he doesn’t jump very well.”

Buck, on our course walk with Ride iQ yesterday, mentioned that he’s a rider who trusts his feet more than his eyes, meaning he intends to ride the horse he’s on, not the step he walks on the course. This philosophy proved to be useful today as he put some of his newfound knowledge about Carlevo to work. “That’s Derek job, to put things out there for us to solve them,” Buck explained. “I was really proud of my little horse and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Tied for fifth ahead of show jumping tomorrow are Doug Payne and Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol – Report to Sloopy) as well as Sydney Elliott with Carol and Arden Stephens’ QC Diamantaire (Diarado – Lantana), who will each take a score of 38.4 forward.

This is the third 5* for Quantum Leap, who was bred in the U.S. by Elizabeth Callahan of Cool Na Grena Sporthorses. “He was crazy genuine,” Doug said, noting that in 2021 at the now-11-year-old Zweibrücker gelding lost a bit of fitness after the Hollow, which eventually led to a 20. Now, Doug says, “I barely have to touch him, he’s more fit, stronger and made everything feel easier.” Quantum Leap was also in the top 10 at the Maryland 5 Star last fall and stands in strong position to be the one of, if not the, top-placed U.S. horse on the board tomorrow.

Sydney Elliott has had a partnership with Carol and Arden Stephens for over a decade, ever since Arden came to her as a 12-year-old to learn the ropes of eventing and pursue her goals. That has turned into a fruitful relationship that now involves sourcing horses from Belgium’s Kai Steffen Meier and Lara de Liedekerke-Meier, including both Sydney’s first 5* horse, Cisko A as well as the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding.

Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire. Photo by Shelby Allen.

“I was a little concerned he’d go out there like he did last year, when he was over-jumping everything,” Sydney said. “But he came out like he finished last year. He wasn’t over-jumping, he was on a mission from start to finish so I could hang on to some of those seconds better than last year and even when he was tired, he still kept his form.”

Sydney stayed in Europe for three months after completing Aachen and Boekelo with Team USA, and she says the trip did her and “Q” a lot of good in terms of experience and maturity. “He had never seen a crowd until Boekelo and there was a little bit of a crowd at Aachen and that did actually terrify him quite a bit,” she explained. “And a few weeks later we went to Holland and the moment he stepped on that ground he was confident and I could tell that he had definitely grown up. It was extremely educational for both of us.”

Derek di Grazia’s track was challenging in a “very Derek” type of way: while the fences, to these riders’ eyes at least, may not have walked the biggest in the world, where Derek really tests the riders is with terrain and lines. Even the galloping lanes were intentionally roped and decorations strategically placed to keep riders on their toes and free of “gimmes” in terms of lines. We saw this effect scattered throughout the field as the course yielded 56% clear jumping rate, with just three riders (Michael Jung, Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton) securing rounds with no jump or time penalties. This is a lower average than recent years, but higher than 2017’s 46% clear rate, according to EquiRatings.

Four pairs retired on course: Leslie Law (Voltaire de Tre), Lauren Nicholson (Landmark’s Monte Carlo), Will Faudree (PFun), and Tamie Smith (Fleeceworks Royal).

 

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We are relieved to report that both Fleeceworks Royal, who pulled up apparently lame after fence 11, as well as Ashlynn Meuchel’s Emporium, who had a scary fall at the Head of the Lake and was subsequently entangled in some tack and unable to get up, have both been reported to be up and resting at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute this evening. As much love as we have for this sport, the well-being of the horses who put their most genuine efforts on the line for us each and every day is always paramount, and we are very happy to have good news this evening after a worrying day. Thank you to the responders and veterinary units who helped ensure these horses were taken care of in the safest manner possible in trying conditions.

At the time of publication, no other injuries to horses or riders have been reported after today’s cross country.

Fence 7, the Park Question, was incidentally the most influential combination on the 5* course; its 4*S counterpart was also the most influential earlier in the day. The 5* Park Question garnered six refusals — two at each element — and the single element that caused the most trouble was the B element of the final water (23B), where three riders came to grief.

Sarah Bullimore and Corouet. Photo by Abby Powell.

Great Britain’s Sarah Bullimore, second after dressage with the little and quirky Corouet, was having a cracking round but sadly had trouble at the Mighty Moguls combination a few from home. Sarah was understandably disappointed, but Corouet’s efforts around a testing endurance track today showed the U.S. fans exactly how much talent resides in that diminutive body.

Our highest-placed rookie pair after cross country is Alex MacLeod and Newmarket Jack, who added 11.2 time penalties and answered all the tough questions to sit in 20th place on a score of 52.1.

Dan Kreitl and Carmango. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Dan Kreitl In Command of Lexington CCI4*-S

I’m not sure Dan Kreitl imagined he’d be leading a competitive Lexington 4*-S, but after turning in the sole double clear of the day he finds himself atop the leaderboard with Kay Dixon’s Carmango (Chirivell – Taramanga). Carmango is nine this year, and he’s been with Dan since his earliest eventing days but only began his FEI eventing career last year. This wasn’t necessarily done on purpose, but rather Dan has taken his time producing the horse and prioritized national competition. This meant going back to gain international qualifiers last year, which brings he and “Fritz” to this point: just their fourth 4*S together.

“It was only his third four-star, and same for me — we just moved up to the level this year,” Dan said after his ride. “It didn’t go exactly as I planned everywhere, but he’s an athletic horse and super honest, he does his job the best he can. It was probably the most fun cross country course I’ve ever had.”

As for making the optimum time, Dan came out of the start box with a plan in mind to at least get close. “I came out of the startbox with my foot on the gas and that was my plan, to try to get ahead and I could slow down at the end,” he explained. “I didn’t get ahead, so I just kept on kicking. He’s a fast horse and on the straightaways and galloping fences I didn’t slow down much, I just tried find them right out of stride and keep an efficient, smooth ride going.”

Dan is one who balances many demands on his attention and time: he’s from Indiana but has trained for many years with West Virginia-based Sharon White. His wife, Alyssa, is battling a rare form of cancer, and the couple also have two children. Dan also runs a real estate company — it’s safe to say he’s got a few things on his mind at any given time. But for Dan, the horses have always been his outlet when life is difficult, and his longtime relationship with the wonderful Kay Dixon has empowered him to not only do right by his horses but further his own education and development as a rider.

Second and third in the CCI4*S are Liz Halliday-Sharp with The Monster Partnership’s Cooley Quicksilver, who is bound for Luhmühlen in June on a score of 29.7, followed by Phillip Dutton with Caroline Moran’s Quasi Cool on a score of 37.4. Dressage leaders Doug Payne and Catherine Winter’s Starr Witness sadly came to grief at the very influential Park Question — the coffin complex caught out seven riders and ended their days while also causing a total of 20 refusals — causing Doug to hit the turf. Luckily he was uninjured and able to compete his other 4* horse, Camarillo, as well as his 5* horses and his show jumper this evening (busy guy).

We’ll get back underway tomorrow with the 4*S horse inspection bright and early at 7:30 a.m, followed by the 5* horse inspection. Show jumping begins at 11 a.m. EST with the 4*S, followed by the 5* at 3:45 p.m.

Thank you as always for following along with us — and for being patient with me while I write entirely too many words about this sport we all love entirely too much — and we’ll look forward to closing out the show with you tomorrow.

Go Eventing.

Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (KY): Website, Live ScoringLive Stream (North America)Live Stream (Outside of North America) TicketsEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Saturday Links from World Equestrian Brands

Boyd Martin, Tsetserleg TSF, and supergroom Steph Simpson. Photo by Abby Powell.

Though the riders are the ones who dominate the headlines, we want to give a shout to the teams working behind the scenes and nearly around the clock to keep the horses happy, healthy, and performing at their best. Grooms are among the heroes of our sport, and we appreciate each and every one! If you want to read more about #supergroom Steph Simpson, click here — and click here to catch up on the rest of our #supergroom series. Plus, stay tuned for a very special edition to come soon!

Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (KY): WebsiteEN’s Ultimate Guide, CCI5* EntriesCCI4*-S Entries, 5* Ride Times, 4*-S Ride TimesLive ScoringLive Stream (North America)Live Stream (Outside of North America) TicketsEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Ram Tap H.T. (CA): Website, Scoring

Stable View Spring H.T. (SC): WebsiteScoring

University of New Hampshire Spring H.T. (NH): Website

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring H.T. (VA): WebsiteScoring

Horse Park of New Jersey Spring H.T. (NJ): Website, Scoring

Saturday Links

There are still some opportunities to win prizes this weekend! First off, enter our Kentucky Top Dog contest for a chance to win an Equilibrium Massage Mitt from World Equestrian Brands — you can find out more on how to enter here. Plus: Spotted at the Hound & Hare Booth Selfie Contest: Tag us in a selfie on Instagram taken at the Hound & Hare booth (#17 in Sponsor Row), where our buddies from Fairfax & Favor will be hanging out all weekend long. As long as your post is publicly visible and tags @goeventing and @fairfaxandfavor, you’ll be entered to win a Mini Windsor bag!

Booli Selmayr is Riding at Kentucky with a Dear Friend in Her Heart

A Pony Called Quest Pays It Forward

Preparation, Application and Removal: How to Master Your Braiding Skills

How Much Fat Do Horses Need to Eat?

Catch Up on Kentucky Highlights from USEF Network

Saturday Video

This is pretty cool: a look and listen in on one of Boyd Martin’s lessons with Silva Martin and Erik Duvander:

Your Ultimate Guide to the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by MARS Equestrian

Welcome to the actual best time of the year: Kentucky week! With Kentucky this week and the hotly anticipated return of Badminton next week, it’s time to buckle up for two absolutely epic weeks of eventing. We know it’s the age of information overload, so we’ve made all things Kentucky as easy to find as possible in our Ultimate Guide. Keep this page bookmarked all weekend as we’ll update it daily with the latest updates and content.

You can also stay up-to-date with all of the daily Kentucky news by signing up for our free Kentucky Daily Digest email here. We’ll send a new edition out first thing each morning to catch you up to speed if you’ve got a life and aren’t going to be glued to the internet all week long.

Click any of the links below to jump to that section:
Schedule
The Competition
What’s At Stake
The Line-up
The Officials
How to Watch
Social Media
EN’s Coverage
What’s Happening
Contests & Sponsor Promos

EN’s coverage of the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products, with additional support from Zoetis, World Equestrian Brands, Horseware, Haygain, and Fairfax & Favor.

THE COMPETITION:

The prestigious CCI5* is back at its best after running behind closed doors in 2021, and will be the first Rolex Grand Slam leg of 2022. The new, tough CCI4*-S, which earned the nickname of “5*-Short” or “4* Olympics” in 2021, also returns for a second year, and the Rolex Stadium will once again host the Kentucky Invitational CSI3* show jumping put on by Split Rock Jumping Tour. Doug Payne’s signed himself up to be the busiest rider of the week, it seems, with two horses in the CCI5*, one horse in the CCI4*-S and another in the CSI3* show jumping. Aside from our lone eventer, there is a star-studded 38-strong entry list for the Kentucky Invitational — click here (click on a “Results” box to view the entries) to follow the schedule and results.

The dressage tests used will be FEI CCI5* B and FEI CCI4* B.

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WHAT’S AT STAKE:

There’s plenty on the line for competitors in either class, not least that $25,000 prize pot in the CCI4*-S and the $375,000 prize pot in the CCI5*.

There’s also a battle for FEI World Rankings points: Jonelle Price, who currently sits second in the rankings, has a serious opportunity here to topple Oliver Townend from the top spot, as he won’t be here to defend his title. Finally, competitors across both classes will be looking to impress their respective selectors, as all eyes are on this September’s FEI World Championships in Pratoni, Italy.

As always, there’s additionally the ongoing U.S. winner drought here at Kentucky. Though the U.S. 5* winner drought was broken by Boyd Martin at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star last fall, it’s still been 14 years since the last American winner (Phillip Dutton and Connaught won in 2008) of the Kentucky Three-Day Event. Boyd, for his part, came tantalizingly close last year with eventual Maryland winner On Cue, finishing second to Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. There’s certainly a handful of serious threats to the top of the podium on this year’s entry list, but the threat of a strong international contingent that includes Michael Jung looms large as it always does.

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THE LINE-UP:

Eight countries are represented across the two classes. We’ve got 48 entries in the CCI4*-S and 50 in the CCI5*, at the time of publication.

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THE OFFICIALS:

The CCI5* ground jury will be made up of president Nick Burton (GBR) and members Christian Steiner (AUT) and Gretchen Butts (USA), while the CCI4*-S competitors will be working hard to impress president Peter Grey (CAN) and members Beatrice di Grazia (USA) and Charlotte Skinner-Robson (USA).

Great Britain’s Philip Surl will act as Technical Delegate for the five-star, with the USA’s Andrew Temkin taking the role for the CCI4*-S. Both cross-country courses are designed by Derek di Grazia, and both show jumping courses in the Rolex stadium will be designed by Steve Stephens.

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[Times are listed in local time, which is EST.]

Wednesday, April 27:

  • 1.00 p.m. – Cross-Country Course Open to Public
  • 3.00 p.m. – CCI5* First Horse Inspection— High Hope Inspection Lane
  • 3:30–6:00 p.m. – Competitor Arena Familiarization — Rolex Stadium

Thursday, April 28:

  • 7:30 a.m. – CCI4*-S Dressage Test Ride — Rolex Stadium
  • 8:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. – CCI4*-S Dressage — Rolex Stadium
  • 12:30 a.m. – CCI5*-L Dressage Test Ride — Rolex Stadium
  • 1.00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. – CCI5*-L Dressage — Rolex Stadium
  • 6:30–9.00 p.m. – Charity Event — Kentucky Horse Park Big Barn

Friday, April 29:

  • 8.00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. – CCI4*-S Dressage — Rolex Stadium
  • 11.00 a.m. – Kentucky Invitational CSI3* Jog
  • 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – CCI5*-L Dressage — Rolex Stadium
  • Noon–1.00 p.m. – Champions Live! — Walnut Ring
  • 1:30–3:30 p.m. – Demonstrations and Exhibitions — Walnut Ring
  • 1:30–2:30 p.m.  Para-Show Jumping— Walnut Ring
  • 2:30–3:30 p.m. – Retired Racehorse Project— Walnut Ring
  • 7.00 p.m. – Kentucky Invitational CSI3* $37 ,000 Welcome Speed Cup 1.45m — Rolex Stadium

Saturday, April 30:

  • 9.00 –11:15 a.m. – CCI4*-S Cross-Country Test
  • 12:50–4:45 p.m. – CCI5*-L Cross-Country Test
  • 2:30–4:30 p.m. – Demonstrations and Exhibitions — Walnut Ring
  • 2:30–3:30 p.m. – Para-Show Jumping — Walnut Ring
  • 3:30–4:30 p.m. – Retired Racehorse Project — Walnut Ring
  • 5:30 p.m. – Para-Show Jumping Demonstration — Rolex Stadium
  • 5:30 p.m. – Kentucky Invitational CSI3* Opening Ceremonies — Rolex Stadium
  • 6 p.m. – $225,000 Kentucky Invitational CSI3* 1.60m — Rolex Stadium

Sunday, May 1: 

  • 7:30 a.m. – CCI4*-S and CCI5*-L Horse Inspection — High Hope Inspection Lane
  • 10:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremony and Presentation of Officials and Flags — Rolex Stadium
  • 11.00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – CCI4*-S Jumping Test; reverse order of placing — Rolex Stadium
  • 2:30 p.m. – CCI5*-L Jumping Test first group; reverse order of placing — Rolex Stadium
  • 3:45 p.m. – CCI5*-L Jumping Test second group; reverse order of placing; awards immediately after — Rolex Stadium
  • 4:45 p.m. Presentation of the Awards — Rolex Stadium

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HOW TO FOLLOW:

If you’re in North America, you’ll be able to watch Kentucky in its entirety via USEF Network. The stream will be provided free if you’re watching live, and $12.95 to watch both live and on demand if you sign up for a USEF Network subscription at 50% off using code LRK3DE22.

For followers in any other country, you’ll need a subscription to Horse&Country or, if you don’t fancy being locked into a membership, you’ll be able to buy an event pass for £9.99, which will give you access to the entirety of the competition.

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SOCIAL MEDIA:

Hashtags: #bestweekendallyear, #lrk3de, #rolexgrandslamofeventing, #landroverkentucky, #kentuckythreeday

Accounts: Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, FEI EventingUS Equestrian, USEF Eventing and US Eventing.

Don’t forget to follow EN, too – we’ll be bringing you all the insanity in the middle you could possibly need, with lots of bonus content on the ‘gram! Want to know the juiciest stats throughout the competition?

Make sure you follow EquiRatings, and to see life at Kentucky through a photographer’s lens, give Shannon Brinkman a follow, plus check out our round-up of social media posts from foreign entrants.

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#LRK3DE Links: Website, CCI5* Entries, CCI4*-S Entries, Live Scoring, Live Stream, Tickets, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

We’ll keep this section updated all through the week as new stories are added.

SUNDAY MAY 1
Michael Jung Sets CCI5* Record with Lowest-Ever Finishing Score at Kentucky
LRK3DE Social Media Recap: Sunday Feelz Are Realz
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver Capture Lexington 4*-S Title
The Last Hurrah: The LRK3DE 5* Show Jumping Live Update Thread
Updates on Emporium, Fleeceworks Royal
Doug Payne Announces Vandiver’s Retirement
Appreciating Those Who Saved Kentucky in 2021
Five Held, Two Spun in Kentucky Final Horse Inspection

SATURDAY APRIL 30
A Masterclass by Michael: Influential Kentucky Cross Country Shakes the Board, fischerChipmunk Rises to the Occasion
Five-Star Feels: Cross Country Photo Gallery
LRK3DE Social Recap: Dancing Shoes On
3, 2, 1…Go! LRK3DE CCI4*-S Cross Country Live Updates

FRIDAY APRIL 29
A 5* Personal Best + Second Lowest Kentucky Score Takes Control After Dressage
LRK3DE Day Two: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Live Updates Thread
Doug Payne and Starr Witness Take Lexington 4*-S Lead
Classically Derek: Preview the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky 5* Cross Country Course
LRK3DE Social Recap: Kentucky is for Dog Lovers

THURSDAY, APRIL 28
Ladies Rule on Day One in Kentucky: Tamie Smith Leads 5*, Liz Halliday-Sharp Leads 4*-S
LRK3DE Dressage Day One: The Juicy Great Big Live Updates Thread
Own a Piece of LRK3DE Action Thanks to This Charity Auction
Three Cheers for Virtual Tailgaiting: How to Watch LRK3DE, Wherever You Are
LRK3DE Social Recap: Sashay Away; Shantay, You Stay

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27
Welcome Back to Kentucky: 45 5* Horses Accepted in Sunny First Horse Inspection
It’s No Gymkhana Game: Take a Sneak Peek at the Kentucky Cross Country Courses
Kentucky 5* At-A-Glance: Meet the 5* Horses
The Bluegrass Showdown Begins: Team EN Picks Their Winners for Kentucky

THE ESSENTIALS:
A Hero for All Comers: The Ultimate Form Guide to the Horses and Riders of the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky CCI5*

Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Draw Order: Buck Davidson to Lead Off

PRE-EVENT COVERAGE:
Tuesday at Kentucky: The Calm Before
LRK3DE Social Media Recap: ‘Twas the Night Before Kentucky…
A Hero for All Comers: The Ultimate Form Guide to the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event
LRK3DE At-A-Glance: Meet the 5* Riders
Three Cheers for Virtual Tailgating: How to Watch LRK3DE Wherever You Are
LRK3DE Social Media Recap: The Final Countdown
Monday Video: How the Riders Really Feel About the Head of the Lake

Kentucky Social Media Round-Up: And They’re Off!

Kentucky Entry Update: Latest Withdrawals Ahead of Next Week

#WaybackWednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Head Back in Time to Vintage Rolex

Maryland 5 Star Winner, USEF National Champion On Cue to Miss Kentucky

Monday Video: What LRK3DE Job Would You Most Want to Try?

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Top Eventers Switch Sports (Sort Of)

Sign Up Early for EN + Ride iQ’s Exclusive Land Rover Kentucky Course Walk

What’s Your Favorite Kentucky Memory?

2022 Land Rover Kentucky Entry Preview: Two Grand Slam Winners Headline 57-Strong 5* List

LRK3DE Announces Official Scavenger Hunt

ROOKIE PROFILES:

Booli Selmayr and Millfield Lancando

Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie 135

Alex MacLeod and Newmarket Jack

Marc Grandia and Campari FFF

Lexi Scovil and Chico’s Man VDF Z

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THE HAPPENINGS: 

First and foremost, we’re excessively amped for our cross country course walk led by Kyle Carter and Buck Davidson, in partnership with Ride iQ. We’ll be heading out from the first water beginning 30 minutes after the final horse on Friday afternoon — you can also pre-register here for updates on this event sent to your phone and email.

We’re also thrilled to be launching some exclusive EN merch this week in partnership with Dapplebay. Don’t worry, we’ll also be launching an online store after Badminton so if you’re not attending in person this week you’ll be able to cure your FOMO very soon! If you are on site, you can shop sticker packs, hats, and tote bags designed in collaboration with Ride IQ at the Dapplebay booth (#137 indoors at the Trade Fair) while supplies last!

Autograph Signings: This is by no means a comprehensive list — we’ll add to it as we find more, but you can always send them to us on Instagram via DM or email [email protected] so we don’t miss it!

Woods Baughman
World Equestrian Brands (booth 213 in Trade Fair): Friday at 11:00 a.m.

Will Coleman:
Haygain (booth 100 in Trade Fair): Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Phillip Dutton:
Triple Crown (booth 152 in Trade Fair): Friday at 1:00 p.m.

Jessica Phoenix
Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (booth #238): Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Tamie Smith:
Haygain (booth 100 in Trade Fair): Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Nutrena Feed (booth 14 in Sponsor Row): Friday at 2 p.m.

Sharon White:
World Equestrian Brands (booth 213 in Trade Fair): Friday at 11:00 a.m.

SeraKūl is hosting a launch party at the Griffin Gate Hotel on Thursday, 4/28 from 5-7 p.m. EST in the Junior Ballroom. Attendees can RSVP here and get autographs from Tamie Smith and Phillip Dutton while they’re there!

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We’re always grateful for the support of our sponsors who help us make coverage of epic proportions at these events possible. Below you’ll find a list of events, promotions/deals, and contests you can dive into all week long with our sponsors:

CONTESTS:

Land Rover Kentucky Top Dog Photo Contest: It’s the return of the ever-popular Kentucky Top Dog contest, and we’re expecting this year’s pooches to really nail it! This year we’re teaming back up with World Equestrian Brands to offer the winner a to-die-for Equilibrium Massage Mitt. Click here to learn how to enter!

Annual Kentucky Pick ‘Em and Win Contest: Also returning this year is our annual Pick ‘Em & Win contest — all you have to do is submit your predicted winner and their finishing score for tie-breaking purposes here and you’ll be entered to win a pair of Ice-Vibe boots from our pals at Horseware! Click here to enter! [ENTRIES CLOSED]

Daily Digest Drawings: If you’re signed up for our #ICYMI email and/or our Kentucky Daily Digest newsletter, you’re automatically entered to win prizes such as EN merch, sponsor swag, and more! We’ll also post trivia bits in the newsletter for extra chances to win — if you aren’t signed, best to do so here!

Spotted at the Hound & Hare Booth Selfie Contest: Tag us in a selfie on Instagram taken at the Hound & Hare booth (#17 in Sponsor Row), where our buddies from Fairfax & Favor will be hanging out all weekend long. As long as your post is publicly visible and tags @goeventing and @fairfaxandfavor, you’ll be entered to win a Mini Windsor bag!

EquiRatings Kentucky Eventing Manager: You’re given $10 million (theoretically, sadly) to pick the strongest four-pair team to win Kentucky in this addicting EquiRatings game. Download the EquiRatings Eventing Manager app here to be the first in the marketplace once this event opens.

SPONSOR DEALS:
You can plan your shopping visits using this interactive Sponsor Row and Trade Fair map.

Kentucky Performance Products (booth #193 in Trade Fair): Receive 20% off plus free shipping when you place an order at the KPP booth, plus you can enter to win a year’s supply of the very popular Summer Games Electrolyte + pick up some swag while you’re at it.

Zoetis Equine (all over the Horse Park!): This year Zoetis Equine returns as a major sponsor in a big way. You’re likely to see Zoetis and its signature orange all over the Horse Park, including an upgraded experience for veterinarians on site and sponsorship of the schooling area including an area for owners and riders to mingle. You’ll also be able to enter to win a prize of grand proportions using some of the life-sized orange horses you’ll see around the Horse Park. You can follow Zoetis Equine on Instagram here to stay in the loop for what’s happening and when!

World Equestrian Brands:

  • Spend a minimum of $250 and get 20% off your purchase (storewide, except: saddles, Like New/Outlet items, and EQ Therapy products)
  • Also, get 25% off EQ Therapy products (excludes accessories/replacement items)
  • Promotion starts 4/28 and ends at end of day 5/1 (midnight for online sales)

Haygain (follow the delicious smell of steamed hay to booth #100 in the Trade Fair): Check out the full line-up of Haygain Way products: High Temperature Hay Steamers, the Forager Slow Feeder and ComfortStall flooring. You can also:

  • Sign up to win a Hay Steamer (for you remote watchers, click here to enter)
  • Attend an Ask a Vet Q&A (which will also be streamed on Haygain’s Instagram) Wren Burnley, DVM Friday at 11:30 a.m.
  • Attend an autograph signing with Will Coleman and Tamie Smith Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
  • Tune in on the Haygain Instagram page for a takeover with Liz Halliday-Sharp on Sunday

Fairfax & Favor (booth #17 in Sponsor Row at Hound & Hare): Stop by the Hound & Hare booth not only to try on your new absolute stunners of boots, but also for fun happenings such as:

  • Enter to win a gorgeous boot and helmet bag set from the 1912 Collection
  • Enter to win a UVEX Perfexxion II helmet signed by Liz Halliday-Sharp
  • Get an autograph from sponsored rider Lauren Nicholson (time and date TBA)
  • Tag us in a selfie at the Hound & Hare booth or with Lauren Nicholson any time this weekend, and you’ll automatically be entered to win a Mini Windsor bag!

Achieve Equine (booth #207 in Trade Fair): Achieve Equine will have FLAIR® Strips, VIP Equestrian™ Impact Protection Pads and Iconic Equestrian™ 2-in-1™ Saddle Pads available at the booth.

If you visit the Achieve Equine booth and fill out a comment card, you can enter to win an bundle prize pack that includes 2 Six Packs of FLAIR Strips, 1 VIP Pad, and 1 Iconic Equestrian 2-in-1 Pad. Winner will be selected by random drawing Sunday afternoon. Need not be present to win.

Achieve is also offering awards for competitors this year: The FLAIR Protect and Perform™ Award is awarded to the highest placed horse and rider combination that wore a FLAIR® Strip in both the Cross Country and Show Jumping phases of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. One FLAIR Protect and Perform Award will be awarded to a 5* competitor and one FLAIR Protect and Perform Award will be awarded to a 4* competitor.

Legends Equine Feed (booth #15 in Sponsor Row): TBA

SmartPak: (booth #39 in Sponsor Row): TBA

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