Tara is based in East Sussex and keeps her horse Muchwood Comanche (Buddy) in Lingfield, Surrey at Brook Staples. This is her first time competing in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup and she is very excited to be going. The pair will be tackling the Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE90 competition this year.
Tara and Buddy have been a partnership since December 2016 when she bought him. He is a 15.1hh ten year old gelding and his favourite party trick is undoing the zips on everyone’s coats and trying to take hats off people’s heads. Tara also mentions that she has to get straight on him when she gets him out of the lorry at an event as he’s not very good at standing still and can get quite excited when he sees the cross country jumps.
Tara’s training has been going very well so far and the pair have been having lots of lessons and both Buddy’s dressage and show jumping have improved over the winter. They’ve been to the gallops and are getting ready for their first cross country schooling of the year before their first event of the season.
Tara is looking forward to taking part in the guided course walks as she feels it will be a great experience to walk the course with top event riders. She is also looking forward to competing at such a prestigious venue. This year Tara will be joined by many family and friends who will be coming to watch and support the pair, as well as Buddy’s old owner.
Kate lives in the New Forest in Hampshire and have competed in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup once before, with Hollyhatch Highflyer (Blue). Last year the pair placed eighth in the BE90, which Kate was over the moon with. This year they will again be tackling the Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE90 competition.
Blue was bred by Kate and is a New Forest x Thoroughbred, she is ten years old and the pair have a really good, solid partnership. Kate feels very proud to have bred and produced Blue herself and getting to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup was her aim when she first backed her.
Blue is generally a very placid and very well mannered horse but can be very spooky at the most random things, she has a thing about flower pots around the dressage arenas. Last year Kate took makeshift flower pots with her to put in her stable at the Mitsubishi Motors Cup and although she wasn’t worried about the ones in her stable she thought the ones around the arena were terrifying and Kate spent the whole test trying to keep her on the track.
Blue’s training has been going well and she had a bit of a holiday at the end of last season and came back into work in December last year, where she had some fun hacking out with Kate’s children and their ponies. The hard work started in January; Kate felt their flatwork had become a bit rusty but after a few lessons it’s now back to standard.
“I have been doing lots of training; grid work, cross country schooling and show jumping. We have competed at British Dressage, completing our first Elementary test which went really well. I also competed in various Arena Eventing and combined training events, so I think we are on schedule for our fitness and preparation for the season ahead.”
Kate comments that she enjoyed the Mitsubishi Motors Cup last year and found everyone really friendly and welcoming.
“I am so looking forward to going around the cross country course again. It is such a great feeling when the starter steward lets you go and to think you’re riding on the Badminton House grounds, on the same turf that all the top professionals go around! I also love the course walks that we get to do with the top riders and trainers. I feel very privileged to be there again.”
Kate will be supported by her husband Alan and her two sons, Tristan and Will. Tristan accompanied his mum to her BE Regional Final at Daunstey Park, as he wanted to make sure that she “did it properly” so that the family could go back to Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials for the week. Kate will also be joined by a few friends that have also qualified.
I am from Oxted, Surrey and I competed in 2015 and 2016 in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, on another horse. This year I will be riding Milchem Las Vegas who I bought in September 2015 from Gorsebridge Horse Sales in Ireland as a just broken four year old. Our winter has consisted of combined training, dressage and show jumping and so far, it has been going very well, however our cross country training has been limited due to the weather and sadly our competition at Tweseldown was cancelled.
I am most looking forward to the cross country phase of the competition as I will have the chance once again to gallop around Badminton Estate, it is my favourite part of the event. I am very lucky that my Mum and Dad will be accompanying me and as the competition draws closer I am getting quite excited.
I will be travelling to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup from Buckinghamshire. I competed at the Mitsubishi Motors Cup once before in 2013, with my now 1* horse Reggae Man and this year I have managed to qualify two horses – one at each level. I have backed and trained all my horses from three year olds, so to get to an event like the Mitsubishi Motors Cup means a lot when you know all the work put into them to achieve this was down to me.
Back in 2013 I was one of a few that jumped clear in the show jumping which pulled me up the places significantly. Having only started eventing in 2011, I had relatively little experience, we became victims of the coffin fence, which sadly dropped us from third to 18th, but to still finish in the top 20 of the country at BE100 level was a great achievement.
So, finally five years later, I cannot wait to return. I’m really looking forward to the whole event but most importantly will be that moment when you get to canter out in front of Badminton House.
As in 2013 I have many friends and family that want to come along and support us, so we will have team shirts for everyone, this will also make it easy for me to spot supporters around the course which is also something I remember well from my previous experience. You don’t see who it is, but you see that red flash and know it’s someone looking out for you, which is really special.
Training has been going well for my three. For Catch Me If U Can (Leo) winter training went well and he has been competing at British Show jumping successfully at British Novice and Discovery level. He also competed in the Riding Club Area team dressage competition in February for Milton Keynes Riding Club and the team has qualified for the finals and he came second and third individually in his classes.
Leo was a surprise purchase by my husband at the Brightwells auctions in December 2015 and he has been a super little horse to bring on and train and I’m really looking forward to see how his eventing career will continue after the Mitsubishi Motors Cup.
Foxridge Dante (Foxy) my second horse qualified at BE100 level. He is a whole different story as he picked up an injury after qualifying at Goring BE last year and has been following a rehab programme. We are working together to ensure we help Foxy and give him the best possible chance of getting to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup. All is going well to date so fingers crossed this continues and he will make it to the competition.