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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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!
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.
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).