Two of the favourites and the New Zealand riders and their beautiful horses all passed the first nail-biting test at the Badminton Horse Trials by flying through the trot up.
Unfortunately for Caroline Powell, she had to make the heartbreaking decision to withdraw Onwards & Upwards just hours before departure from her home. She posted on her Facebook page; “I just had to make that nightmare call to Badminton Horse Trials to withdraw Flash [aka Onwards & Upwards]. A simple exercise has ended our Badminton dream this year. A huge thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to try and make it happen… Good luck everyone and will be slightly green watching.”
So it is now up to the kiwi lads and they were all passed by the ground jury of Martin Plewa, Anne-Mette Binder and Christina Klingsor.
Qwanza was positively bursting with enthusiasm for the job, taking all Andrew’s energy to keep her on track. Let’s hope she settles down for the dressage! Qwanza is on early on Thursday morning, being the first of Andrew’s rides (9.30pm NZ time). He also has Nereo who is being picked by many in our Facebook competition to be in the top three.
Sir Mark had two horses to present and no worries with either, except Leonidas nearly foot tripped the boss on the way up the runway. Sir Mark and Leo are second to go at 8:30pm (NZT) which is not the ideal starting place but we are hoping that the judges will be up to giving early good marks. Sir Mark and NZB Campino will be doing their dressage test on Friday afternoon.
Dan Jocelyn also rides his dressage on Thursday morning, 10.18pm (NZT) with Dassett Cool Touch. He will be followed by Jesse Campbell on Kaapachino at 11:06 (NZT) who also passed the trot up with flying colours this morning (photo from that hopefully still coming).
Bear Necessity was beautifully turned out – as always – as was Blyth! Bear and Blyth do their test on Friday morning.
Tim Price has withdrawn Bango, and his hopes are now pinned on Xavier Faer, who looked just the part at the trot up. They will be the last kiwi combination to go, riding their test late on Friday afternoon when the judges traditionally give the best marks!
One of the combinations who are being picked as potentially being able to beat Michael Jung and La Sam is Astier Nicolas and Piaf De B’Neville so French hearts were fluttering when he was sent to the hold box. He was accepted after being presented again, thankfully.
The other horse to be held but then passed after their second presentation was Grand Manoeuvre and Laura Collett.
Australian Paul Tapner loves to get his finery on, and his efforts this year earned him best dressed male. Danielle Dunn, a first-timer at the event, won the female section.
— Badm1nton H Trials (@bhorsetrials) May 3, 2017
If you would like to see the whole trot up, Badminton has put it on you-tube after the promised livestream had some technical difficulties. Here’s the link. Let’s hope the live stream works for the competition days! Otherwise FEI TV will be showing it and there is also Badminton Radio which you can find on the Badminton website along with start lists and ride times.
The riders have headed out to check out the course, designed for the first time by Eric Winter. We already have a reaction from Blyth via Twitter!