Wednesday 5th May
Sunday 9th May, 2021

The first horse inspection

All 78 horses are through to the dressage phase which starts tomorrow...

Riders presented their horses to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials Grand Jury this afternoon under blue skies and blazing sunshine. All 78 horses are through to the dressage phase which starts tomorrow.

The horse inspection is always a bit of a fashion show, and this year was no different. Dani Evans, Sarah Bullimore and Kathryn Robinson led the style charge, while Ducati VD Overdam (Lara de Liedekerke-Meier BEL), Arctic Soul (Gemma Tattersall GBR) and Chequers Playboy (Dee Hankey) all sported particularly blingy brow bands.

All eyes were on Michael Jung (GER) who is now bidding to win the Rolex Grand Slam after his victory at Burghley last September and Rolex Kentucky last week. La Biosthetique Sam, winner of that Burghley title and the reigning Olympic champion, looked immaculate. This pair has to be the hot favourite.

Several horses were bursting out of their skins with enthusiasm, notably Sportsfield Othello (Joseph Murphy IRL), High Kingdom (Zara Tindall GBR) and Burton’s Nobilis 18, their minds seemingly already on Saturday’s Cross Country challenge.

Past World Champion Jean Teulere (FRA) narrowly avoided an incident when a part of Matelot du Grand Val’s bridle came apart as they trotted up the ‘runway’. Fortunately the horse behaved impeccably and the wayward strap was re-attached.

Tom Crisp (GBR) had to re-trot Cooleys Luxury twice before being passed, while Simon Grieve’s (GBR) Cornacrew and hot contender Jonelle Price’s (NZL) Classic Moet also had to re-present. Christopher Burton (AUS) did not bring Haruzac forward.