Saturday 1 May 2010

Looking forward to Badminton Horse Trials Cross Country Day

We have been catching up with first-timers in the collecting ring after their dressage performances, finding out how they fared and how they are feeling about the cross-country test tomorrow.

Duarte Seabra, the first Portugese rider ever to compete at Badminton Horse Trials was very pleased with Brave Heart’s dressage score of 52.0.
“This is not his best phase, so it was a good mark for him,” said Duarte, who is currently based in Lambourn with Kate Honey. This is a first four-star for this combination.
“For me, the cross-country course is very big, I cannot afford to make any mistakes,” said Duarte, who is lying in 41st position overnight. “Coming to Badminton is a dream for riders. This is a big thing for me, especially coming from Portugal,” he added.
Another foreign rider who will be looking for a good ride around tomorrow’s cross-country course is the Italian Gianluca Gardini.
When asked about future plans for this horse, he said, “I would first like to go clear tomorrow.” He has produced Lion Dancer, who is owned by his wife, from the beginning and felt that everything came together in the dressage. “The horse usually loses concentration half way through,” said Gianluca, who was ninth at Pau and 12th at Luhmuhlen last year.
This is also a first Badminton attempt for British rider Daniel Sibley and Tarmac Adam.
“I was hoping for a dressage score in the 50s, so I just got there with 59,” said Devon-based Daniel, who believes that the horse is improving all the time in this phase. “The course is quite straight, which I am hoping will suit us.” Daniel, who has produced Tarmac Adam from BE100 level, finished 7th in the CCI*** at Bramham last year.
We are keeping everything crossed that the heavy rain currently soaking Badminton is going to move elsewhere overnight, leaving us with sunshine and showers tomorrow (preferably more sunshine).

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