There has been little change at the top of the score board at the end of this morning’s competition. We do, however, have a new leader in the shape of Karin Donckers (BEL) riding Fletcha Van’T Verahof.
Second in to the arena today Karin rode a lovely fluent test to move almost one and half penalties ahead of the overnight leader, Thibaut Vallette.
“Fletcha is a super horse and I really had a great feeling today, he was very relaxed and everything felt smooth and easy. That’s always a nice feeling at a 4* – don’t underestimate how fit these horses are.
“I have worked a lot on stretching Fletcha [there is a new 20m canter circle towards the end of the test where horses should be allowed to stretch forward and down] and I think that has really helped him.”
Karin was last at Badminton seven years ago and she admitted that she is excited to ride the cross country course on Saturday. “Every fence is huge, you really have to keep your focus until the end – it will need a lot of smart riding. Fletch has all the scope and is ready to come here. What will the result be? We’ll have to see.”
The next four places are filled by yesterday’s riders; Thibaut Vallette, Bettina Hoy, Michael Jung and Astier Nicolas, however Yoshiaki Oiwa (JPN) and The Duke of Cavan have slipped ahead of Mark Todd to lie in 6th place at this stage.
The afternoon session starts at 1.50pm, with Sidney Dufresne (FRA) riding Reliquaire.