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Badminton 2022

09-May-2022 12:15
in General
by Admin

Apologies for the zero communication, the comms setup at Badminton was an embarrassment, we could hardly get the mobile phones to work, let alone do updates!


So for me Badminton 2022 was pretty decent, both horses got there in very good form and I was full of optimism.  It was fantastic to be back again and we all got in the groove surprisingly easily.  I am very lucky to have done Kentucky and Pau since Badminton 2019 but lots of people weren’t, so probably for me it all came as a little bit less of a shock. 


This year Jackie and Georgia were at the helm, both horses trotted up very well.  Life was quite complicated as we were determined to keep the two apart.  They are best mates and did not need to know that the other one was there, miraculously we achieved that all week. 


Oratorio was first for me into the Dressage on Thursday morning and apart from starting off going the wrong way I was really pleased with his test.  He went every bit as well as I could have hoped and did nothing wrong, and ended up on a 31.4.  Tracey Robinson had helped me in the warm up which was excellent and we came away perhaps thinking that I could have been a bit more attacking. 


Little Fire was lively to say the least, so I was quite anxious about the dressage, I needn’t have been as he did a really pleasing test.  Annoyingly his halt and reign back showed a bit of tension, but he was otherwise spot on and deserved every bit of his 27.3.


The cross country was looking very large but not overly technical, there were a few decent rider frighteners but not too many tricky related distances.  Personally, one thing I felt was that there were a lot of hand brake left hand turns, which I was hoping would go well as turning left is always better than right!  I set off on Oratorio, really determined to be on my minute markers and having a very positive approach to the track, and I could not have been happier with the outcome.  He totally flew around and looked at nothing, coming home with 2 time faults.  Oratorio is a quick horse so I was frustrated to be a bit slow but I suppose he does sometimes takes a bit longer to collect at combinations. 


It had been bone dry but the course ground was riding really well, of course it was still firm ground but the organisers had done an amazing job taking the sting out with a lot more watering than we have seen there in the past.   It was certainly not jarring.  We were obviously all thrilled with Oratorio, and at the time I thought it would be rather nice not to have to go around again as the course was proving quite a challenge. 


Little Fire was still on crazy form in the warm-up, and the only way I could get him relaxed at all was to get off him, but I do think he had run part of his race pre-start blocks.  I was thrilled with how he went.  He looked at nothing but once or twice I had to kick a bit more than usual which was a surprise and he came home with 6 time faults which was a pity.  I have to say how delighted I was with both horses to have coped with such a serious challenge so well.  They had moved up into a very satisfying 9th and 10th place.


They came out of the cross country looking good and trotted up well, and I was very optimistic for the show jumping.  It was great to have Ros Morgan there for some help. Oratorio warmed up excellently but got quite excited and gobby in the ring and had 8 penalties.  It was then on to Little Fire who jumped so well until he had two of the last four down.  So show jumping day was a bit frustrating but I was thrilled with both horses to finish 13th and 14th, to have two more Badminton completions and to have rewarded my team at home for their incredibly hard work during a not very ideal preparation with concussion time out, etc.  I am very grateful of course to Harry Meade for helping get the horses ready, as without the runs at Cirencester and Thoresby they would not have been at Badminton at all. 






© 2013 William Fox-Pitt. Photos copyright of William Murray in partnership with Fox-Pitt Eventing. With contributions from Kit Houghton, Fiona Scott-Maxwell, Julia Shearwood, Gavin Hudspith, Ian Loveland & Adam Fanthorpe.

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