Lemons and palm trees at Badminton? It’s all in the (funky nail) detail

  • Impressive nail art is a theme at this year’s Mars Badminton Horse Trials dressage, with riders revealing some exotic manicures after their tests. Georgie Goss, representing Ireland, pulled off her gloves post-dressage to show off her lemon yellow nails. Georgie’s ride, Feloupe, is called Lulu Lemon at home, hence the citrus theme. The beautifully intricate design featured whole lemons, lemon slices and the words Lulu.

    Georgie Goss’ nails at Badminton dressage

    Her dressage performance was equally polished, landing her a score of 30.6, which put her third at lunchtime on the first day, behind Bubby Upton and Boyd Martin.

    “She’s an awesome horse,” says Georgie. “She’s one of those ones that does the exact same test every time. She has beautiful changes, so I could do with 20 changes in there and then I’d be in the lead.

    “She tried her little heart out and just lost a little bit of rhythm in a couple of places, otherwise she was faultless. It would have been nice to get 29.9, but the judges seem on the grumpier side today, so I’ll take 30.6.”

    Georgie, 35, already has eight Badminton completions to her name, but this is her first attempt since switching nationality, getting married and as a mother.

    “It adds a whole new dimension,” she says. “It’s great to enjoy it as a family as well as enjoy it as a competitor so hopefully it works out.”

    Stars, stripes and palm trees in Badminton dressage

    Joining Georgie in the decorative nails gang was Meghan O’Donoghue, representing the US with ex-racer Palm Crescent. Megan sported cream nails, with both fourth fingers featuring extra detail. On the right hand she had a palm tree with a crescent moon, representing her 18-year-old horse; on the left she had stars and stripes, for her country.

    Meghan O'Donoghue’s nails at Badminton dressage

    This is Meghan’s Badminton debut, though she has already competed at Burghley, Kentucky and Maryland CCI5*s. The pair scored 34.7 in the dressage phase.

    “It’s a lot of atmosphere and dressage is not the easiest phase for him, but he did a smart test,” says Meghan. “He’s a true testament to how much heart thoroughbreds have and we’re here for the cross-country test, though I’m glad the sun is shining now!

    “I’m just trying to absorb it all. Badminton is in a league of its own, with tonnes of history and incredible horses and riders. If you dream of being an event rider as a child, Badminton is on your bucket list. I had a thoroughbred before who would have been a horse for this kind of competition. but I never got it done, so I’m thrilled to have another one to be able to do it.”

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