Badminton’s five-star is great and all, but it’s the BE90 and BE100 Grassroots competition that always makes me wish I’d snuck my horse in on my media accreditation. It’s a seriously bold and properly technical test of the levels — and frankly, as someone who’s probably going to spend the rest of my life having a jolly time right around the mid-levels, that’s such a welcome sight to see, and such a brilliant preparation and education for those horses and riders who want to go on to the next big thing. (And some of them go all the way to the big thing: this year, Solo, the mount of Hollie Swain in the CCI5*, is our notable Grassroots-to-Big-Class role model, and we’ve also seen partnerships such as David Britnell and Continuity graduate from one to the next.
In this video, the star of the show is everyone’s favourite horse of the weekend: 20-year-old Dales-cross Star X, who was piloted around the BE90 (US Novice) by Morven Ritchie. Those flying feathers! That brave, bold jump! We’re in love.