Thursday 29 April 2010

All Horses Pass The First Vets' Inspection at Badminton 2010

You might be forgiven for thinking this (the Vets' Inspection) is a catwalk parade for horses and riders, but the serious side of this beauty parade is to ensure that horses entered for the event are considered 'sound' and fit to take part in, what is probably, the most physically demanding of the equestrian sports.

It's also the perfect excuse for many of the riders to show off that new outfit (and not just the ladies!), or as Matt Ryan did last year, show your new loyalties!

Horses are paraded (trotted) in front of the Ground Jury & Vets, who scruntinise them to pick up on any minor lameness, and as any rider will tell you its a great relief to hear the "PASS" called, signaling the all clear.

There were a few nervous riders today, as three or four horses were 'held' temporarily for a closer look, but happily all horses were eventually passed fit to compete for the greatest equestrian sporting accolade, The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Trophy.

Only one horse was not presented (The Cointreau Challenge, Charlotte Castle) and subsequently withdrawn.

Most riders were out walking the course this afternoon, getting their first feel for what lies ahead on Sunday for the cross country, and you can see what Mark Todd and Clayton Fredericks had to say about the course in their Thursday Video Diaries.

Save for the early starters in the Dressage tomorrow morning, the lorry park will no doubt be buzzing 'til late into the night as the riders continue to burn off their nervous energy.

More on all of that the meantime browse the image galleries from today.

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