Sunday flash quotes

Wednesday 7th - 11th May 2025

Sunday flash quotes

What the riders said about today’s competition:

Wills Oakden (Oughterard  Cooley, GBR): “It’s only my second time here and today it was for riding the horse, giving him a breather when you need to. Fair play to him, he dug deeper than he has ever had to do before.” Score: 58.4 (clear)

Dan Jocelyn (Cooley One To Many, NZL): “Everything was working well but coming up the hill the horse changed underneath me and that’s when I realised this was proper endurance. He struggled a little bit over the  mound so coming up the avenue I tried to ease off without letting him switch off which is really difficult. I paid the price for that when I got to the oxers – I realised I had a very tired horse. I went straight at the lake and had the pin, and I was close to pulling up. I saw a flag and thought ‘this could be good’ [Dan was held] so was able to nurse him home, taking a few long routes.” Score: 85.2 (clear, 1 pin)

Pippa Funnell (Majas Hope, GBR): “He’s the best horse to sit on in this phase, and the worst horse to sit on in the dressage. I have so  much confidence in him – I can’t warm up, the first fence I jump is literally number one; I can’t go anywhere near the warm up fences. Because of the ground I wanted to get into a rhythm early on and not worry about the clock. You have to ride differently because of the pins, you take one more pull than you would otherwise. It helped me when I was held, coming up the avenue. We’d talked about do I or don’t go direct at the lake, but I did. I heard a clunk but couldn’t look back until I’d jumped the corner, but it was still up. Score: 57.4 (clear)

Tim Price (Vitali, NZL): “I thought he might look at the ground, but he kept his perspective up. He had better energy than I expected; it was just the lack of speed that slowed you down. My wife says I looked slow – she’s taken to speaking her mind, which is annoying! When I got to the lake I took the long route because I’d ridden my luck a bit. But that was a  good warm up for the day – although both horses are very different. I might go and have a sleep and a massage before the next one.” Score: 51.1 (clear)

Ros Canter (Pencos Crown Jewel, GBR): “I never really dreamt that this horse would go around Badminton and I couldn’t be more proud. The owl hole and coffin fences felt a bit hairy but she’s gritty. I didn’t know what I was doing at the lake, but we were going well so I decided to go straight.” Score: 56.0 (clear)

Harry Meade (Away Cruising, GBR): “I took my watch off and planned to hunt round gently and treat it like a long day’s hunting. I thought I’d hack him at pace and not set him up too much. He’s a big rangy Irish type with little feet and he finds this going hard, but he’s an experienced horse with a big heart. He kept jumping for me – all those years of confidence that you get in the bank.” Score: 66.2 (clear)

Tom Jackson (Capels Hollow Drift, GBR): “He’s just class. It’s his third five-star and he gets better and better. It wasn’t his favourite going, but he dug so deep. I got the feedback to forget about the watch. I don’t normally talk to the horse going round, but I did get the voice out a bit to encourage him home. I’m unbelievably proud of him.” Score: 58.4 (clear)

James Rushbrook (Milchem Eclipse, GBR): “It was proper hunting ground. I thought it might be a February day in wet ground, but actually it wasn’t that bad – more like November! I just got to see Wills Oakden [pathfinder] do the first four fences and it gave me confidence. I toyed with the long route at the lake, but the horse got a second wind and the crowd lifted him, so we went straight.” Score: 76.7 (clear)

Austin O’Connor (Colorado Blue, IRL): “The horse was amazing, he’s the real deal. He’s never been in this ground but he is full of blood and class; it’s the hardest he’s had to try round a 5* to date. I’ve got a great team at home and they’ve kept him very fit. He’s one of the best horses in the world and I’m a lot older than I look andd have ridden a lot of cross-country courses in the wet before.” Score: 42.7 (clear)

Gemma Stevens (Jalapeno, GBR): “I am so relieved. The horse tried her heart out and she’s now recovering really well. It’s been a few years since I’ve been here and I won’t lie, I was scared, so the relief is huge. It’s really tough out there but she’s a chestnut mare and she’s feisty.” Score: 55.7 (clear)

Hollie Swain (Solo, NZL): “Getting from the stables to the warm-up was the bit I thought might be hardest – I am very grateful to the three hunt horses who accompanied me. Looking back, I really enjoyed the first half, he was really listening, and then it was a matter of riding home. He was super. He really knew his way through the flags.” [Up from 62nd to 28th after cross-country] Score: 52.4 (clear + pin)

Caroline Powell (Greenacres Special Cavalier, NZL): “The mistakes she made were only green and that is why I kept going. I did think about pulling up but I thought, no, I would see if she could do the distance. She just kept jumping and she adored it.” Score: 55.2 (40pens)

Katherine Coleman (Monbeg Senna, GBR): “My horse has so much scope; he jumped me out of the tack a few times. I couldn’t be prouder of him and now I know I have a five-star horse for the future.” Score: 93.8 (clear)

Gireg Le Coz (Esprit de la Loge, FRA): “I had a great round. I think he is the best horse in the world. He jumps anything. He lost a shoe, but he was fab.” Score: 64.9 (clear)

Lillian Heard Wood (LC Barnaby, USA): “He was awesome. So smooth. I went pretty slow, but I so wanted to finish, I just said, OK, do it how you want.” Score: 87.5 (clear)

Tom McEwen (Toledo de Kerser, GBR): “After watching the morning action I just wanted a nice round. I’ve messed up here too many times before with the best horse in the world. He tried really hard and was foot perfect jumping, but the ground is now horrific, seriously tacky and holding.” Score: 54.4 (clear)

Kristina Hall-Jackson (CMS Google, GBR): “Chris Bartle said to me beforehand that my horsre is an out-and-out five-star horse and that’s why I kept going. She gives me all the confidence; she’s brave and she really did jump well.” Score: 126.2 (40pens)

Lauren Innes (Global Fision M, NZL): “Who cares about dressage now? He’s a warrior. It doesn’t matter where you are, he’ll jump it. I had the time of my life. The ground didn’t bother him at all.” Score: 87.2 (clear)

William Fox-Pitt (Grafennacht, GBR): “She was great. I have such confidence in her, I believe in her. How does she just know what to do? She’s never had a cross-country fault. She doesn’t care where her legs are or what happens and that’s her great quality. I love riding her.” Score: 61 (clear)

Ros Canter (Lordships Graffalo, GBR): “Wasn’t he amazing, as always. He’s never had to dig that deep before; he’s always found life easy. A horse like him should be celebrated – I’ve not sat on anything like him before.  The ground was more difficult to ride on than this morning. Tomorrow is another day, what ever happens he’s a star.” Score: 33.7 (clear)

Oliver Townend (Ballaghmor Class, GBR): “He’s unreal, very reliable. I trust him 100% and I think he trusts me 100%. You can’t make a horse do what he’s just done, I can’t tell you how proud of him, and the team, I am. He really helped me out coming out of the Quarry – those good horses dig you out. Life wouldn’t be half as much fun without him, he really is part of the family. Score: 45.9 (clear)