Chinch Crashes the Badminton Press Conference + Other Thoughts

Francis Whittington celebrates being in 2nd place at Badminton. Photo via EN Instagram. Francis Whittington celebrates being in 2nd place at Badminton. Photo via EN Instagram.

The EN Chinchilla might have crashed the press conference this afternoon at Badminton Horse Trials, where Paul Tapner, Francis Whittington and Lucinda Fredericks spoke about their dressage tests, all of which scored in the 30s. Paul’s wonderful score is particularly exciting, partly because we called it in our preview of the event, but mostly because it’s a personal best for both the horse and rider.

Francis’ ride was equally exciting, as he improved on his score from last year with this horse by 15 points. There’s no secret to how he did it; as Francis said in the press conference, which you can watch below, he put his head down in the off season and committed to improving his riding and performance in this phase. And he showed just what he could do in a big way today. And he was also happy to oblige Chinch’s request for a photo. EN karma, anyone?


Lucinda Fredericks is no stranger to being at the top of the leaderboard in the dressage with Flying Finish, and she seemed confident about Giuseppe Della Chiesa’s challenging course. That said, all three riders said the dressage scores aren’t going to matter much when the dust settles on Saturday, and the track is definitely raising eyebrows and blood pressures with the riders. They asked for a proper four-star track here at Badminton, and they got it.

Now we wait to see how the weather will affect the going on Saturday, and if it continues to rain like it is now, we might see some modifications to the course. Though I wouldn’t count on that if I was a rider. It’s safe to say we’re in for a wild weekend here at Badminton. Be sure to follow along with all the action — and Chinch’s adventures — here on EN and our Instagram. And be sure to look for Chinch under Francis’ chair in the video; he also makes a special appearance at about the 7:50 mark in the video. Go eventing.

Badminton Horse Trials: [Website] [Times] [Scores]

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