The day started on a sad note when Harry Meade withdrew Away Cruising and we were to miss seeing speed queen Jonelle Price following Classic Moet’s withdrawal earlier in the week. But once the disappointments were banked, it was time for the main event of the day.
We loved seeing all the smiles and hugs as riders galloped home to their support teams and were sad to see some popular combinations including Kitty King and Vendredi Biats and Emily King and Dargun eliminated on course and retirements from Tina Cook and Star Witness, Izzy Taylor and Springpower, Sir Mark Todd and NZB Campino, Tim Price and Bango, Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On although all thankfully in one piece.
Stand out rounds for us came from Millie Dumas and Artistiek, who may not have got the time but exciting times are ahead for this combination and Laura Collett and Mr Bass, who we loved watching ride with such confidence. Seeing William Fox-Pitt attack Eric Winter’s course, not once, but twice was a goosebump moment and it was clear all the team were over the moon to witness the legend being back at the top of his game.
Without doubt, it wouldn’t be Badminton without Ben Hobday and this year his partner in crime was the striking Harelaw Wizard and, with Mulry’s hooves to fill (is that even possible?), they looked like were loving every second with Willberry no doubt backseat driving and a delighted Emma Hobday there to welcome them home.
The day ended with a fantastic leaderboard and as we all know, nothing is set in stone until the last horse has jumped on Sunday. We wish everyone an exciting finale to the greatest show on earth.
- Oliver Townend & Ballaghmore Class 21.5
- Piggy French & Vanir Kamira 26.8
- Christopher Burton & Graf Liberty 27.7
- Andrew Nicholson & Swallow Springs 27.8
- Christopher Burton & Cooley Lands 28.1
Full results available here
PHOTO GALLERY (click to enlarge)
Photo credit ⓒ William Carey Photography / The Gaitpost. All rights reserved