Friday flash quotes

Wednesday 7th - 11th May 2025

Friday flash quotes

What afternoon riders said of their tests:

Tom Rowland (Possible Mission, GBR): “He was a good boy. He’s a bit of a headshaker so some rain would have been good. It’s difficult because he’s 16, and when a horse doesn’t owe you anything it’s easy to question whether you should bring them. He knows Badminton well though, it’s his third time – at home now he’s a bit over it, but he’s come alive here. He’s done quite a few 5* now, but always on good ground. I’ve always wanted to do one on wet ground because he goes at his own pace [he was hunting in Ireland as a three-year-old] and mud might slow everyone else down.” Score: 29.9

Felix Vogg (Cartania, SUI): “It could have been better, but I think she enjoyed it. The atmosphere was nice. She’s a fighter and really wants to go cross country.” Score: 33.1

Caroline Clarke (Touch Too Much, GBR): “I’m probably not famous enough for a better mark! He was really good and it was just so nice to be in there. To ride in front of that crowd, and to go up the centre line at Badminton was a lifelong dream so I am absolutely delighted. I haven’t been around the cross country yet,; one step at a time. I’ll do my first walk tonight and then I can start losing sleep over it – and tonight is the drinks party, so I can have a few drinks. It’s the wonderful part of not being a professional, I can just have a really nice time.” Score: 33.9

Susie Berry (Ringwood LB, IRL): “I think I’m happy with his mark. He’s quite a hard horse to get right. He’s naturally laid back but sometimes with a bit of atmosphere he can get a little bit tense. He was beautiful in the warm up so I think I maybe used up his flash up in there, which is a shame, but I’ll take that score any day of the week.” Score: 31.9

Muzi Pottinger (Just Kidding, NZL): “I’m a bit disappointed, to be honest. He got a 25 here last year and obviously when that happens you want it to happen again. He started the test and got his tongue over the bit, which he has never done before, so for the first four or five movements I had no contact at all. He resolved it after the first half pass, but when you don’t start well it puts on a bit of a dampener.” Score: 31.3

Kylie Roddy (Carden Earl Grey, GBR): “I am really happy with him. He kicked the board by the judge, which was a bit of a weird moment, but he concentrated on me rather than the atmosphere. Sunday is quite a different day. The cross-country is big and bold, and he’s a big, strong horse, but we’re in the lap of the gods with the going.” Score: 29.9

Greta Mason (Cooley For Sure, GBR): “I am very pleased with that because it’s my horse’s weakest phase. Realistically, we were hoping for the low 30s. The course should suit my horse because he’s bold and brave and this is a course you have to attack.” Score: 31.6

Caroline Powell (Greenacres Special Cavalier, NZL): “This will be quite a fact-finding mission. I’ve had this horse since a four-year-old and she’s still a young horse. She’s been amazing, going from strength to strength We’ve challenged her quite a bit and she has answered all the questions. We have a mutual respect for each other.” Score: 27.4

Katherine Coleman (Monbeg Senna, USA): “I am over the moon. The combination of a lack of runs and the horse’s fitness meant he was a mentalist. He’s been bucking in his flying changes but he was so good in the arena. It’s a nice cross-country course but the ground will be a huge factor. We have only had one run, and we are now in a new yard with new gallops, which means you are never quite sure where we are with the fitness, so will have to see how it goes on Sunday.” Score: 31.0

Final morning session:

Andrew James (Celtic Morning Star, GBR): “Badminton was always a family outing. We used to come here camping, so to be finally here competing is brilliant. The owner, Michelle Harris, bred the horse herself and I have had him since he was two, so it feels like a fairytale. It’s taken me a while to get to Badminton [he is 41] because my wife and I have always had to sell horses and run our business, but we’re more settled now and finally we’ve made it!” Score: 36.6

Hector Payne (Dynasty, GBR): “My horse is never going to lead this phase, so I have to be happy, and it is better than the projected score. Considering the rain, the cross-country going is very impressive. It definitely feels like a step up from last year.” Score: 30.7

Alice Casburn (Topspin, GBR): “This is definitely the bit we find the hardest, but he was very relaxed. I don’t want to put pressure on myself by saying the cross-country should suit him, but if the jockey does her bit, it will be fine. No pressure!” Score: 35.8

Gemma Stevens (Jalapeno, GBR): “It was really enjoyable and lovely to ride, fluent and relaxed. I could ride every inch of that grass. After all the stress I used to have with Spike [Arctic Soul, her former great 5-star horse], it is really nice to be allowed to go in and sit up and enjoy it. Jalapeno has plenty of blood and she’s really fit – she has been galloping and swimming every week since January.” Score: 23.3

The middle session:

Harry Meade (Away Cruising, GBR): “He was a really good boy. It was a nice solid test and we didn’t make any mistakes. He had possibly lost a bit of sparkle beforehand, but it is our best score to date at this level.” Score: 29.0

Kirsty Chabert (Opposition Loire, GBR): “I am chuffed to bits. It’s her first time in this sort of atmosphere, and her first time doing this test. Being at Kentucky last weekend has at least got me in the mood, and I now remember what cross-country morning feels like! I shall do as much as feels correct with her.” Score: 29.3

Tom Jackson (Capels Hollow Drift, GBR): “I’m over the moon with my horse. There were a couple of little mistakes, but he is improving all the time. Our flying changes were clean, if a little exuberant, so it’s all going in the right direction. He is a lovely horse, very rideable, even if not the biggest mover. The cross-country makes you know you’re at Badminton. I’m hoping that my early draw will be an advantage for me.” Score: 28.0

James Rushbrooke (Milchem Eclipse, GBR): “The cross-country seems more intense and a little bit more of a challenge than last year. But my horse is Irish and has big feet. He’s used to the mud and should go over the top of it.” Score: 37.9

Anna-Katharina Vogel (DSP Quintana, GER): “This is my first time at Badminton and it’s crazy here! The atmosphere is amazing. I have been based with Laura Collett [2022 winner] and she has helped me a lot, she has such a cool team. I have been with my horse all the way through the grades; she is a strong character. In fact, she’s like the queen!” Score: 33.2

The first competitors of the morning sessions:

Wills Oakden (Oughterard Cooley, GBR): “That was the best my horse has gone all week. I don’t don’t mind going first. It’s a live draw and you have to make the best of it.” Score: 34.6

Fiona Kashel (WSF Carthago, GBR): “He is quite a hot horse, and that can help with expression, but it’s quite a fine line. However, he stayed with me.” Score 32.2

Oliver Townend (Swallow Springs, GBR): “That was a very good start to the week – it must be the Shropshire water! I have two older horses here [Ballaghmor Class goes tomorrow] and I don’t think they have ever felt better, which is a great tribute to my team at home. I’m very happy with the draw for Swallow Springs and think it will suit him. He’s the quickest event horse I’ve ever sat on.” Score 23.2

Dan Jocelyn (Cooley One To Many, NZL): “It’s really nice to be back here at Badminton [after five years]. I only took on the ride on this horse last year and I needed all of last season to get him to feel like my horse, which he does now. Let’s hope he trusts me across country, but he has always felt as though he does.” Score 34.2

Pippa Funnell (Majas Hope, GBR): “I am very, very, very, very disappointed. Majas Hope is 16 now and he has been doing so much better work. The atmosphere tends to hollow him out and when that happens, you struggle to get him back. But this won’t be a dressage competition.” Score 32.6

Tim Price (Vitali, NZL): “He is a fantastic dressage horse, but you do need to have all the elements in place to get the good marks. He needs support, and when you give him that he’s soft and lovely. I think this is the biggest 5-star course I have seen for a while, but it’s a cool course and we should have good pictures. I’m excited to have a go.” Score: 27.1

Ros Canter (Pencos Crown Jewel): “The quality of the work she is doing this year is far superior, but unfortunately we missed all our flying changes today. They have always been a bit of a bugbear for us but recently she has been much better. Her brain was great though – if we’d nailed the changes we could have been low 20s so there’s lots to be excited about.” 29.2