Jane Holderness-Roddam recalls her ride at Badminton in 1978

Warrior didn’t impress when I first saw him, but as soon as I got on his back, I knew that he was the horse for me. He wasn’t a ‘good mover’, but balanced himself beautifully and gave you a wonderfully confident feel.

It took me about a year to get used to him and our first big success was when we won Burghley in 1976. It was two years later, at Badminton in 1978, that Warrior gave me my ride of a lifetime.

After the dressage,we were lying third. This was an amazing effort by this horse, who was very correct but uninspiring.

On the second day Warrior did a brilliant steeplechase. He flew round within the time and gave me a wonderful ride.

He loved the fenceson the cross-country course and ate up the ground. He lapped up jumping into the lake and got everything right. A great character, he loved the crowd; the more people and chances to show off the better.

We finished that day in second place. The next day he was felt absolutely fine, and he knew how important the show jumping was. He did a superb round and we pipped Lucinda Green and Village Gossip to first place.

We retired him after the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky and he did fun and veteran classes, hunt competitions and one-day events until he was about 23.

He was a wonderful schoolmaster and a brilliant hunter, before going on to the great age of 27 in happy retirement. He was an absolutely wonderful horse, never, ever to be forgotten.

  • Don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound (issue dated 4 April) where Emile Faurie talks about his ‘ride of a lifetime’ on Virtu.

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