Lissa Green may be the competitor holding the record for the longest first course-walk this weekend, after spending five hours inspecting Eric Winter’s track, accompanied by her mother, Lucinda, a six-time Badminton winner. “It was classic Mum – we analysed every blade of grass,” she laughed. “It’s a really fun course but I need to work out absolutely every eventuality.”
She scored a respectable 35.8 penalties in the dressage on the 14-year-old Swedish warmblood Hollyfield, owned by her godmother Daniella Sieff and the former Olympic rower Alison Gill. “I know we’re not exactly challenging the leaders, but all I wanted him to do was try,” explained Lissa, who started riding the horse two years ago. “We’re in the process of trying to change him, to give him self-belief, but he’s got it all there and I’m just so excited about him.”
Lissa is also experimenting with the bitting – she was up on the clock and going brilliantly at Pau last October when, 300 metres from the finish, the horse took hold of the bit and ran past a fence. “I try something different nearly every time out,” she confessed. “Tomorrow it’s going to be a Bombers Bit Kimblewick,”
Lissa has inherited all the familiar enthusiasm and communication skills of her mother – “we do everything together” – but she has decided to ride for the country of her father David who, having competed at the highest level, has now returned to live in Australia.
“I’ve always felt that little bit more Australian than English, and very much grew up with Australian culture,” she explained. “I absolutely love the country and I now feel that, with Dad stuck the other side of the world watching on television, it will give him just that little bit more connection with what I’m doing.”