Sunday 2 May 2010

Old and new faces overnight in the Badminton top 10

Carolyne Ryan-Bell, currently lying ninth, is no stranger to Badminton, but this is something of a comeback for her. She won an Armada dish for completing Badminton five times in the Nineties and her old campainger, Hooray Henry was a Badminton stalwart in his day.  But today it was Rathmoyle King who made his mark and really rose to the challenge.

"I felt that the course was harder than last year," said Carolyne. "But he [Rathmoyle King] really turned into a four-star horse out there, especially on the second part of the course."

The pair added just 6 time penalties to a dressage score of 47.0.

A new face in the top 10 at Badminton is Sam Watson. He is currently the highest placed Irish rider on the leaderboard and also the youngest. He will go into the final phase tomorrow lying in eighth place, having had a fantastic ride across the country on Horseware Bushman. This is his second time at Badminton and he has risen from 42nd place after the dressage.

"The ground was exactly how I wanted it," said 24-year-old Sam, who is based in Worcestershire. "My horse prefers wetter going, so I was praying for rain."

Sam made his debut on the Irish team at the European Championships last year. "The World Games in Kentucky is my main aim now, but I'd like to start with a clear round here tomorrow first," added Sam, who thought that today's track was a "typical Badminton course".

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