Lauren Kieffer and Veronica Finish 17th at Badminton

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer and Team Rebecca’s Veronica have now completed the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, and she’s already looking forward to returning again. They added one rail and two time penalties in show jumping today to finish 17th on 73.2.

“It’s quite the experience to be at Badminton, it’s certainly what I expected it to be — big, bad and hard,” Lauren said. “It’s nice to have it under our belt and we just want to come back again.”

After smashing their personal best in the dressage phase with a score of 38, good enough for 5th overall, Lauren played it somewhat safe on the cross country Saturday, realising that the attrition on the course and a non-complete in Rio last summer meant it was important for her both professionally, and personally, to complete this weekend.

They finished the cross country with no jumping penalties and 29.2 time to lie 17th overnight. Sunday afternoon in the show jumping they had a slightly uncharacteristic rail down.

“She was actually quite fresh after cross country and the crowds certainly get them a little wound up, but she was really good. It’s hard not to be disappointed about the rail from a competitive side but at the same time I think it’s her first rail at a four-star since 2014 so I can’t be too upset. Badminton is absolutely one of those bucket list events so to have finished in the top 20 is great.”

Lauren is planning on spending the summer in England again this year with a group of her elite horses and will be based at Mike and Emma Winter’s yard in Gloucestershire.

“I’m so so lucky. I’ve got a great group of horses right now. Veronica’s the seasoned campaigner but I’ve got the four other younger horses that have stepped up to four- and three-star level so it’s really exciting. Luckily my owners are super supportive and support coming over here; it’s a good opportunity with this group to get a lot of competitive milage over here, especially looking towards the WEG.”

Congratulations to Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. We’ve got used to seeing you in front of that Mitsubishi wrapping, and we look forward to seeing it much more often.

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