Saturday flash quotes

Wednesday 7th - 11th May 2025

Saturday flash quotes

What the riders on a wet Saturday morning had to say about their tests:

Aaron Miller (KEC Deacon, GBR): “It was a very good start. The horse went in there and really knuckled down – I was really pleased. The ground is really good in there (despite the rain). He wasn’t slipping, it wasn’t holding; I was worried he might get stuck in mud but no, it rode very well. The cross country will be a big ask tomorrow.” Score: 28.8

Lillian Heard Wood (LCC Barnaby, USA): “He’s not very good at this (the dressage) but he’s done a lot worse. It’s our worst score but he’s been a lot more crazy in there before now. Walking out I was happy. What makes him not very good in the dressage is what makes him very good across country – I’ll be happy to be riding him tomorrow.” Score: 39.5

Tom McEwen (Toledo de Kerser, GBR): “I’m delighted. He’s not one for early mornings and a smaller crowd, but it’s amazing how dedicated spectators are, up in the rafters out of the rain from 8 o’clock. Toledo loves performing and an empty stadium would have been the worst thing. The way he went about it was fantastic – we had a personal best for the walk… it’s that balancing act of having the power for the really high marks but also getting the stretching. To be honest, all you have to be is there or thereabouts; the rain coming down and forecast tomorrow will be very influential.” Score: 23.6

Kitty King (Vendredi Biats, GBR): “He was super – I know he’s great in sloppy ground, he led at Burgham in similar weather. He loves to slop around and be a dirty, muddy Frenchman so he was having a great time. He stayed really with me, and has got so consistent. He comes into his own at the three-days, it couldn’t have gone any better.” Score: 22.3

Bill Levett (Huberthus AC, AUS): “A solid start. One of my flying changes was way too early, which brought the mark down. But it’s his first 5* and it was pleasing all over. I just want to get a horse out there at the end of this, he’s only 11 years old. I honestly don’t know how he’s going to go tomorrow because he’s never been asked this sort of question, and now the rain’s come it’s turned Badminton on its head. If he’s not feeling it and is losing confidence I will just pull him  up.” Score: 32.5

Kristina Hall-Jackson (CMS Google, GBR): “I’m thrilled – it’s my first time at Badminton and a PB [personal best], but she always rises to the occasion. It’s a magical feeling riding out through the archway from the stables. Badminton is something else.” Score: 30.9

Tom Crisp (Liberty and Glory, GBR): “If it keeps raining it’s going to be a different competition and I’m on a good jumping horse, so I am hoping to pick my way up the leaderboard. She loves to gallop.” Score: 36

Arthur Duffort (Toronto D Aurois, FRA): “Well, at least I have gone for consistency with my dressage mark! We usually get around this mark and we both tried our best. I just hope it keeps raining! You know what you’re going to get at Badminton – it’s like a 6* in comparison to everywhere else, so I feel very lucky to be living in this country.” Score: 38.0

Selina Milnes (Iron, GBR): “That was good. He was so much more rideable than usual as he can be hot. The ground in the arena was much better than I expected – it held up well. We’ll have to see how it goes tomorrow. He’s not a blood horse, but he is a good jumper.”

Lauren Innes (Global Fision M, NZL): “I am disappointed [with an explosive test] as he has worked well, but he freaked out in there and I just had to keep going. Once he has that adrenalin inside him, I can’t get through to him. I am hoping it will keep raining so I have a chance of going up the leaderboard.” Score: 46.4

William Fox-Pitt (Grafenacht, GBR): “I am dead chuffed. Grafennacht is quite good on the flat and has it in her to do a good test, but she is inexperienced. I thought she would do a good test one day, so I am delighted that it’s today. When I won on Tamarillo [in 2004] it was in the rain. I nearly didn’t run, and thought I would just see how he did the first four fences, but he flew, so it was a good lesson not to give up.” Score: 25.8

Wills Oakden (Arklow Puissance, GBR): “I’ve got to be happy with that. He’s a first-time five-star horse. The weather – well, it makes it all bit more fun. I’ll deal with tomorrow tomorrow.” Score: 34.0

Helen Martin (Andreas, GBR): “This really feels like a long-held ambition realised [riding at Badminton for the first time], and I wondered if the pressure of realising it would be detrimental, but I just tried to relax and enjoy it, and I really did enjoy it.” Score: 32.8

Ros Canter (Lordships Graffalo, GBR): “I couldn’t ask for more than that. ‘Walter’ came out very fresh and excited and I didn’t know if I’d get any sort of test out of him. But he loves it, he just loves it. If the crowd had stamped their feet, he’d have danced even more. That’s why he’s such a great event horse. I’ve never ridden in these conditions [at five-star level] – I’ve only been doing five-star for five or six years and I’ve only known it to be sunny, so it will be a case of looking after my horse, riding according to what’s under me and attacking.” Score: 22.1

Harry Meade (Tenereze, GBR): “I’m really pleased. This is his best test yet and he hasn’t been in this atmosphere before. So you always learn something, but he was very cool in there. When we know the weather is like this, you ride accordingly. Horses will go in this type of [wet] going and it makes riders ride better. You must just make sure that you always hold a bit more in the tank.” Score: 26.9