Badminton ’08 – One of the best

A shorter course, influential going and a mixed field – all the ingredients for a fabulous competition. The fence analysis sheet looks like a bingo card with penalties racked up at every combination on the course.

There’s no doubt the going which was on the sticker side of good meant in places the course was like riding on a mattress. Not much that can be done about that except make you have a very fit horse and choose your ground carefully.

There were some astonishing displays of “ambitious riding”. 4 or 5 riders choose to attack the quarry resulting in a number of horses being catapulted into the floor of the quarry what must be a 3 metre drop at least, and at speed.

I’m sure the fact a wait list was implemented this year also contributed to the number of horses coming home tired – it’s quite tempting not to get a horse super fit if you’re halfway down the reverses list.

When the first horse (Apache Sauce) came back unscathed I thought this might be a relatively straightforward, but it wasn’t long for errors to start appearing. The toughest fence to ride foot perfect seemed to be the shogun hollow. most of the horses I saw through this fence had very uncomfortable experiences through here many of them catching their stifles on the first element.

It was a great year to be be at Badminton and there was certainly a large crowd there to enjoy it.

Amateur event rider, aspiring photographer. Technologist by day.

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