Meet the youngest rider at Badminton Horse Trials 2023 and her five-star second-generation home-bred: ‘We adore him’

  • Alice Casburn and Topspin have won many fans with their exceptional partnership and their bonza 2022 season. Now the pair are back at Badminton Horse Trials, presented by Mars Equestrian (4–8 May), for a second year.

    At 21, Alice is once again the youngest rider in the field and has set her Badminton campaign off to a solid start with the second-generation home-bred, scoring 35.8 on the opening day of dressage at the CCI5*.

    Watch Alice Casburn talk about her return to Badminton Horse Trials in the video below

    “The atmosphere is always incredible and I’ve kind of got a knack to it now, where I just don’t look up. I look at the arena, I look at the boards and try not to envisage the crowd is there until I walk out,” Alice told H&H.

    “It is fantastic to be back and to be with him. My mum evented his grandmother up to advanced and he’s a second generation home-bred. He’s a complete family pet, to be honest. We absolutely adore him.”

    Alice’s Mum Caroline, who is also her trainer, was there to watch her daughter and the horse she bred start their second Badminton Horse Trials.

    Alice and the 15-year-old gelding have a remarkable bond and she said he is “quite protective” over her.

    “If anyone comes to give me a cuddle or something, he tries to chase them off,” she says.

    “He’s a proper sweetheart and we love him dearly. It’s been a bit hit and miss getting runs in this season – I managed to have three, which is fantastic. I then got concussed and then I got kicked, so my preparation hasn’t been as good as his, but I’m feeling great.

    “The last month has been really good, we had a great run at Kelsall and the ground there was absolutely phenomenal, so touch wood, it’s been quite good. I said to Mum the only advantage I feel like I have is that we don’t have gallops near us, so he’s been galloping in soggy fields – hopefully, that should mimic the same feeling here!”

    Alice and Topspin are in provisional 29th after the first day of dressage at Badminton Horse Trials. Day two starts at the earlier time of 8am Saturday, with a break for the Coronation.

    How to watch Badminton Horse Trials

    If you are interested in watching Badminton Horse Trials live from the comfort of your home, wherever you are in the world, you will need to subscribe to Badminton TV. To sign up, visit watch.badminton-horse.tv – click the “Sign Up” link in the top right corner of your screen, then follow the instructions. An annual subscription to Badminton TV costs £19.99 and gives you 365 days of access to all of the content in the Badminton TV library, the ability to watch the action live, and the option to replay all of this year’s action later.

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