Class of 2024 – Day 2

Wednesday 7th - 11th May 2025

Class of 2024 – Day 2

Lucy Latta, IRL, started the day off for Friday first timers, riding RCA Patron Saint who she has produced from BE100 level. Lucy is based in Co Wexford and is a Brand Manager for the canned drinks company White Claw. She is a former Irish Pony and Junior team medallist and in 2015 was Junior National Champion.

RCA Patron Saint is currently Lucy’s only horse, and the pair scored 36.8.

‘I’m happy with how he behaved, this is the biggest atmosphere he’s ever had to deal with. He will have come on from this. Tomorrow I just need to be mindful of what I’m sat on.’

Emma Thomas and Icarus had a test to forget, languishing at the bottom of the leaderboard on 51.2. The pair completed Burghley last year in 18th place, but she has described him as a former wild child.

‘In the end I just decided to steer – he was on a knife edge. He was definitely more taken with the cross-country fences in the arena than with the boards.’

Grace Taylor, USA, was disappointed with her test. Game Changer scored 35.4.

‘It is what it is. The cross-country is big, and that’s what we come for.’

Alexandra Knowles (pictured), USA, was much cheerier after posting a 35.6 on Morswood, a horse originally produced by previous Badminton winner Piggy March.

‘I’m relatively pleased with that. He could do better but there’s a lot of atmosphere in there, it’s a massive deal to be here. It was my childhood dream; this was the event I wanted to get to. I’m trying not to be disappointed with any part of the experience. Tomorrow’s track should suit him, he’s a cross-country machine.’

Bally Louis, the ride of Holly Richardson, is a couple of penalties behind Alexandra on 37.7.

‘He was really good; probably a bit more lit up that he was at Burghley. I hope tomorrow’s track will suit him.’

Ireland’s Daragh Byrne rode Kilcannon Ramiro to a score of 34.8, saying after his test:

‘He coped really well in that atmosphere, and did his job. He’s relatively inexperienced at five-star, and hasn’t done a five-star test on grass before so I’m happy.’

Last of the first timers, and the only one to have to deal with the Friday afternoon atmosphere, was Helen Bates and the often spooky Carpe Diem who are on a score of 38.5.

‘I’m really happy with him. He finds this phase difficult, and the atmosphere in there is so intense. It’s quite different to when you are in there doing arena familiarisation. The fact that he held it together and didn’t lose his mind is pretty special. He really doesn’t like a screen in the arena, and there was a camera at a corner – he’s always looking for something to spook at.’