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Badminton 2018

07-May-2018 11:04
in General
by Admin

Another Badminton comes to a climax and what an amazing win for Jonelle Price, with a real cross country performance coming out on top and that is fantastic to see.  I very much enjoyed being back at Badminton for the first time since 2015, but it was a bit of a shock to the system.  Fernhill Pimms has had his ups and downs but I thought it was a good risk, on a good day he is a very good horse.


We arrived on Tuesday and settled in well, and I was very pleased with Pimms dressage performance, he really did do some super work and although his mark was a bit off the pace he was very much in the hunt.  One rather stingy mark kept him out of the top few which was probably a good thing pressure wise.


The cross country course walked serious while nothing was too frightening there were a few questions where combinations didn’t quite line up, and that was my main concern as I felt horses would not aways see where they were going.  Huntsmans Close was my first concern as there was an extreme angle inviting a runout and roots on the log made the line a bit invisible.  The lake was a serious one but the distances were better this year with no tricky steps out.  The hidden pond was also a bit easier with a slightly more obvious line but with a tricky turn lots of people did actually end up going wrong there.  Vicarage V was always impressive but had had a bit of a facelift which really lessened the question and as we saw the fence caused much less trouble than normal.  The course was nearly 12 minutes long on pretty dead and testing ground so it was going to be a big question of stamina, and as we saw no one came home inside the time.  When I won Badminton on Tamarillo I had 17 time faults and was the second fastest time of the day, so it was not unusual, but there have been many years at Badminton where 20 or so comfortably do the time.


Sadly for me cross country day did not go to plan, and once he had a glance off at Huntmans Close there was no point carrying on as there are other things for him to aim at.


The show jumping was apparently much bigger and tougher than normal as well, with more emphasis being on the jumping phases than the dressage which is what the FEI wants. And clear rounds were few and far between.  However Jonelle carried it off and was one of four clears to take the landmark victory, apparently the first lady to win for 10 years and the first Kiwi for ages.


So it was a very exciting Badminton and we were blessed with some good weather which was a life changer.  Hugh Thomas and Jane Tuckwell as always must be congratulated on their top class job.  There were some great changes particularly including the tented village around the lake, and the set up was certainly humming on Saturday.





© 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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