Aistis Vitkauskas realised a long-held ambition when he completed Badminton for the first time and made history as the first rider from Lithuania to do so.
He has long been representing his country at championship level and has been waitlisted for Badminton several times. “I had a real hunger to get here,” he said. “It definitely feels like a long-held ambition fulfilled.”
His campaign didn’t get off to the best start when he was last after dressage due to his horse, the 12-year-old Danish gelding Commander VG, exploding in the arena, but then the pair went clear across country. “I was a little bit disappointed, but then I saw that the cross-country would be influential and there would be a chance to move up the leaderboard.
“It’s definitely the toughest track I’ve done, but he’s an amazing horse and was impressive. He was actually quite fresh last night after cross-country.”
Aistis, 50, is based in Viborg, Denmark, where he is a professional rider, also competing in showjumping. Commander VG will be his ride for the European Championships in August.