Wednesday 3rd May
Sunday 7th May, 2023

The final countdown

Fifty-two combinations go forward to the final showjumping phase at Badminton Horse Trials, presented by Mars Equestrian. All of the horses who took part in the final horse inspection were passed by the Ground Jury, Christian Landolt, Seppo Laine and Anne-Marie Taylor.

Disappointingly for their riders and support teams, Cesar V (Joseph Murphy, IRL), Lassban Diamond Lift (Bill Levett, AUS), DHI Mighty Dwight (Sofia Sjoborg, SWE), Jewelent (Clare Abbott, IRL), MGH Bingo Boy (Nicky Hill, GBR), and Goldsmiths Imber (Arthur Shabert, FRA) were not presented.

The morning session of showjumping starts at 11.30am, with the top 20 jumping from 3.30pm.

Andrew Ransford from Hi Ho Silver made a presentation to the best dressed lady and best dressed man from the first horse inspection; the winners were Laura Collett and Karl Slezak (CAN). This is the jewellery company’s 24th year exhibiting at Badminton.

‘We chose Laura because she was dressed in Holland Cooper, but it wasn’t their usual style. She looked really amazing and we thought “oh wow”. We knew Laura would look lovely but didn’t know that Holland Cooper would be showing a different angle to their range. It was a hard choice though, Pippa Funnell was also beautifully dressed,’ said Andrew.

‘The whole purpose for doing these awards is to recognise how the standard of dress has got better and better. Karl had gone round the tradestands and chosen an outfit from the Brocklehurst stand, illustrating what the amazing exhibitors have to offer here at Badminton.’

One further award was made, the Treehouse Sporting Colours groom’s award, chosen by Stable Manager Margaret Hopkins. This went to Li Ann Kirrcheim, groom to German rider Christopher Wahler.

Treehouse founder Theresa Morris explained: ‘We give about £2,000 of kit as a prize, including boots, clothing and equipment. We first took a stand here in 1999, and things have changed a lot – back then there were a handful of straw bales for spectators to sit on during the trot up!’ Li Ann also wins a year’s membership to the British Grooms Association – an international version will be launched imminently.

‘This is my first Badminton and I will always remember the experience, it’s absolutely my favourite competition now,’ said a delighted Li Ann. ‘I have never felt so appreciated as a groom – Badminton makes grooms feel like stars!’

‘She knows the horses and rider inside out,’ added Christopher. ‘We are a partnership and travel to all events together. At home Li Ann looks after 20 horses as well as riding her own. She definitely deserves this prize.’

Photo: Andrew Ransford (centre) presents awards to Laura Collett and Karl Slezak winners of the best dressed riders at the first horse inspection © Kit Houghton