British rider Harry Meade (35) competed at Badminton last year finishing in 16th place with Away Cruising – his entry this year also. Harry now has ten completions of the event with five top twenty placings. Later in the year the pair was 5th at Burghley.
Harry was born and grew up in the Beaufort Hunt country, close to Badminton and lives just a few miles from the event. In 2000, as a member of the Beaufort Pony Club, Harry was the National Pony Club eventing champion and the following year a member of the British Junior team. After leaving school he combined horses with university and gained a degree in history of art from Bristol University. Before running his own yard Harry was apprenticed to several riders including William Fox-Pitt from who he took the ride on Midnight Dazzler, with who he made his four-star debut at Burghley in 2005 winning awards for the ‘best first timer’ and ‘best Under-25’. Midnight Dazzler and Harry completed Burghley three times and Badminton on four occasions. In 2009 Harry became the youngest person ever to receive an Armada dish awarded for five Badminton completions.
In 2013 whilst competing at Wellington horse trials Harry suffered a rotational fall which resulted in two fractured and dislocated elbows requiring much re-constructive surgery and incapacitation. He started riding again mid-February and in 2014 gained a fairy-tale third place at Badminton with Wild Lone with who he subsequently gained his first senior flag as a member of the British team for the 2014 WEG in Caen. Sadly Wild Lone died after the cross country – albeit Harry braved the podium to collect team silver. He was voted rider of the year by the Event Horse Owners Association, (EHOA), Event Riders Association (ERA) The British Equestrian Writers Association and Horse & Hound. Since the loss of his top horse he has brought on younger horses and with Away Cruising made a successful return to four-star competition at Burghley in 2017.
Harry is also involved of other aspects of the sport; he is a member of the Gatcombe Festival organising committee and is Chairman of the FEI International Riders committee. He has recently been part of the BBC commentary team, writes a column for Horse & Hound Magazine and is an ambassador for equine charity The Brooke
His father the late Richard Meade won three Olympic gold medals in eventing, won Burghley in 1964 and completed Badminton 16 times winning the event twice (1970 & ’82). In 2010 Harry married Rosie Bradford – having proposed during a Badminton course walk – and they have a daughter Lily (7) and a son Charlie (5). Harry trains with Christopher Bartle and Roland Fernyhough.
Away Cruising, is a 12-year-old Irish-bred grey gelding. He is by Cruise On (a son of Cruising) out of Parklands Princess by the thoroughbred Able Albert. He has been brought the levels by Harry since a five-year-old. In June 2017 he completed his first four-star at Luhmuhlen and has now completed Badminton and twice completed Burghley.
16.3hh , grey , gelding
Sire Cruise On
Dam Parklands Princess (Able Albert)
Breeder Eamon O'Flaherty
Owner(s): Charlotte Opperman, Andover, Hants.