Ahead of the start of competition at Badminton this week, our friend Diarm Byrne of EquiRatings posited the following:
“Only twice since 2008 has a rider gotten more than one horse into the top ten after dressage (Mark Todd – 2014, Jock Paget – 2015). All things going to plan and it is very likely that Oliver Townend will have both of his mounts in the top ten on Friday evening. Ballaghmor Class very nearly broke the Badminton dressage record last year with his score of 20.8 and while it is unlikely to be quite that low again, a sub-25 test would not be a surprise. His other horse, Cillnabradden Evo scored 22.7 at Pau last year and started this season at Burnham Market with a 21.3. Come to think of it, a Townend one-two on Friday evening is not out of the question. Unlikely…but certainly possible.”
Well … Friday evening has come and gone and whaddaya know, Mr. Townend IS one-two going into cross country. Possible, indeed. Oliver’s first ride and the horse in pole position, Cillnabradden Evo, is the fourth to run Eric Winter cross country course today at 11:42 A.M. local time/ 6:42 A.M. EST, so we’ll know quite early on if Townend will be holding onto the same lead into the final day or not. Either way, it’s been an historic Badminton already and it will certainly be fascinating to see how it continues to play out!
National Holiday: Derby Day and Badminton XC Day! Here’s to safe and swift rides to all.
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