Germany’s Kai Rüder has a 5.2pen lead going into tomorrow’s cross-country at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
Kai, 38, performed after the coffee break this morning, and produced a smooth test from Le Prince Des Bois to score 33.8 (pictured).
This is a first Badminton for both Kai and Le Prince Des Bois — the only stallion in the field. He is by Marie-Christine Duroy’s successful eventer Yarlands Summersong and his dam, Cscale Des Bois, evented at three-star. They were 10th at Burghley last year.
“I was sure he would do a nice test, and after Burghley I know how he reacts in this atmosphere,” said Kai. “He gets a bit excited and that actually makes it easy to present him in the right way. But I wasn’t expecting this result.”
Tina Cook was the first rider after lunch with her European champion Miners Frolic, and said she was pleased with him, although he showed some tension in the walk and rein-back. They scored 41.7.
“He’s a lovely horse and has the potential do to a really good test, but I get cross with myself when I don’t press the right buttons,” she said.
Listen to Tina Cook interview
Behind Kai, Ruth and Tina, New Zealand’s Neil Spratt is in fourth with last year’s Bramham CIC*** winner Upleadon and Britain’s Francis Whittington did his best ever test at this level on Sir Percival III to lie fifth. The last rider of the day, William Fox-Pitt, is sixth on Seacookie.
Heavy rain hit Badminton as the final riders of the day performed their dressage tests and there is much speculation on how this will affect the cross-country if it continues.
Kai Rüder said that Le Prince Des Bois is strong and it shouldn’t affect him too much, but Tina Cook said that although the organisers had provided perfect ground, it could get soft on the take-offs and landings at the narrow fences, where everyone has to jump from and land on the same patch of grass.
“The later you go, the more testing it is going to be,” she said, adding she is pleased to be riding a thoroughbred.
Tomorrow’s cross-country starts at 11am, and Dan Jocelyn is the pathfinder on Special Attorney.
RESULTS AFTER DRESSAGE
1.Kai Rüder on Le Prince Des Bois (GER) 33.8
2.Ruth Edge on Two Thyme (GB) 39
3.Tina Cook on Miners Frolic (GB) 41.7
4.Neil Spratt on Upleadon (NZL) 41.8
5.Francis Whittington on Sir Percival III (GB) 42.2
6.William Fox-Pitt on Seacookie (GB) 42.7
Re-live our live dressage coverage from the past two days and read our lunchtime and end of day reports on cross-country tomorrow.
Don’t miss H&H’s 15-page special report in the issue dated 6 May, including day-by-day analysis, comments from Carl Hester and Mark Phillips and much more.