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