Amid joys, sorrows, fears and exhilarations, the Badminton legend is more alive than ever

Two years later, CCI 5*-L in Badminton had one of the most exciting days in its history in Great Britain this afternoon. Laura Collett maintained her lead by completing one of six clear laps in the allotted time and passed London 52. The Briton is second and third with Swallow Springs (25, 7) and Ballaghmor Class ahead of compatriot Oliver Townend with 21 points. (25.9). Best Frenchman Gireg Le Coz moved up to twelfth place with Aisprit de la Loge.

Images, sounds, smells, tastes and especially spades memories. That’s what the nearly 110,000 people who came to watch the big comeback of badminton cross have left. More than thirty kilometers from Bristol, the first major city, it is an institution in the world of equestrian and sport as a whole, where very few events can boast of attracting such high-paying spectators. Moreover, Badminton is a legend: “big party of riders”, as summarized this evening, the coach of the France team, Thierry Touzaint, is also of all people who love horses and country parties. Stretching from the entrance of the Dukes of Beaufort estate to the start of the cross country track, the huge trade fair was bustling with people before 8am this morning! At 10 a.m., cars were jammed for miles on the few roads connecting the land to the rest of the world, and people were jammed in the corridors in hopes of finding a position as they wished, standing, sitting, or lying on the floor. ‘grass. Badminton Woodstock, minus narcotics… and dogs plus! You have to see, hear, smell, taste, and even touch to try to measure it. In short, this 2022 vintage, discussed under a warm sky and on an idyllic backdrop, two years later due to the health crisis, is historic and moving in every way.

Let’s talk sports and big sports. Laura Collett, the leader determined after dressage, maintained the lead of this CCI 5*-L by signing one of six clear laps in the saddle 11’44” at the best time in London 52. Outstanding performance for Olympic team champions from Tokyo. “The feeling I felt when I finally entered the arena was indescribable. We miss the badminton and the public. It’s great to be back here. This horse owes me nothing. He offered me my first victory in CCI 5*-L. (in Pau in 2020, editor’s note) and an Olympic gold medal. It was the most challenging and intense course he had seen today”, said Laura, returning eleven seconds faster than the allotted time! The Briton with 21 points is just ahead of compatriot Oliver Townend, second and third with Swallow Springs (25.7) and Ballaghmor Class (25.9).

Great Britain is almost as hegemonic as post-dressage, occupying ten of the top eleven. Rosalind Canter, who is fourth in Lordships Graffalo (26) and sixth with the 2018 world champion Allstar B (27.6), contributes greatly to this, as does William Fox-Pitt, author of two “maxi”s on Little Fire, ninth (33.3). , and Oratorio, tenth (33.4). We should also mention Piggy March, who delivered a nice cross-country masterclass at the start of the day with 2019’s winner and thus reigning champion Vanir Kamira (26.1), and Kitty King, who finished eighth with Selle. The French Friday Biats (32.8) are the team that won the gold medal at the European Championships in Avenches, deducting 11.8 time penalty points.

Master Jonelle Price and Classic Moet!

New Zealander Jonelle Price signed a mind-blowing “maxi” with 2018 Badminton champion Classic Moet, now nineteen. Thus, the couple moved up twenty places to seventh place. We counted fifty clear laps out of eighty contestants, most of them novices, but at the start of the day it wasn’t really won. So Tom McEwen and SF Toledo de Kerser, who was second in dressage and silver medal in Tokyo, moved on to the second element of hurdle 24 in the form of a solar panel. As for Nicola Wilson, she was hospitalized in Bristol for precautionary scans after falling on the basket-shaped hurdle 27, which was lifted from the course with JL Dublin. Mollie Summerland, who finished fourth after Britons Pippa Funnell (Billy Walk On) and Charly Van Der Heiden training, gave up after stopping in the 17th combination placed on a new ford. Also at noon, Oliver Townend made a heroic rescue worthy of Swallow Springs ex-rider New Zealander Andrew Nicholson, placing 4th as gray took off early to pass the last element of the Quarry. On his tour, world number one was reinstated after viewing the footage. “I asked him for one more step, but he took it back in a way I didn’t expect!”admitted the rider, before explaining that the Ballaghmor Class had been particularly nervous before it was his turn, and that two marshals mounted on their game horses had kindly escorted him to the start. “He felt a little nervous and enthusiastic at first, but once he got settled in it was a pleasure to ride. This course was ideal for a competition of this level. The first class horses made it easy and I felt the balance was good.”

Aisprit is there, Zanzibar is a dream… and Vitorio is running from the worst

Thomas Carlile and Villa Rose of Zanzibar.

© Stephen Davis/Silver Hill

On the French side are the best placed couple remnants created by Gireg Le Coz and Aisprit de la Loge, which are impeccable in control. Adding 7.2 points to their dressage penalties for exceeding the optimal time of 18′, this well-matched pair are in twelfth place, just over three bars ahead. This is followed by Thomas Carlile, who gave the ten-year-old young and promising Zanzibar Villa Rose time to explore this cross and its unique atmosphere, which cost him 15.2 points, with a provisional total of 47.9 points. Further down the line we find Jean-Lou Bigot, Arthur Duffort, Cyrielle Lefèvre, Ugo Provasi and Arthur Chabert, all safe and happy but back with Utrillo du Halage (51.8), Toronto d’Aurois (53), Armanjo. Serosah (57.8), Shadd’Oc (60.7) and Jewelers Imber (80.4). Unfortunately, after Cédric Lyard missed the Unum de’Or in one of the 20th-placed Nyetimber Corners, he had to stop due to a strong pain felt at knee level hitting this frangible obstacle.

And most of all, we gasped, trembled with fear, and crossed our fingers of despair and hope, after the great fall of Maxime Livio and Vitorio du Montet at the final hurdle. Lying on the floor, castrated, dazed, and exhausted, everyone feared the worst as the minutes passed. When the tarpaulins surrounding the Selle Français were finally opened, the crowd gathered in the stands of the main road started shouting and applauding wildly for the teams that came to its aid as well as the brave animal that stood up. When terror swept through, the miracle happened and the tears on the audience’s faces changed color. This is also Badminton, a concentrate of intense emotions that we do not come out completely unscathed, but addicted to from the first shot.

Tomorrow, the second veterinary examination of the horses will be held at 08:30, and the first part of the show jumping phase will be held at 11:30.

Temporary classification
Obstacle failure analysis

Gireg Le Coz and Aisprit de la Loge

Gireg Le Coz and Aisprit de la Loge

© Stephen Davis/Silver Hill

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