‘Having ‘Flipper’ in my stable motivates me’: Special plaits and a Badminton dream come true for elite amateur five-star debutante

  • Elite amateur Lauren Innes and her own Global Fision M produced the first showjumping jumping clear on Sunday morning to complete their five-star and Badminton Horse Trials debut with a clean jumping sheet.

    The New Zealand rider, who balances eventing with her full-time accounting job, stopped the clock three seconds over the time allowed (80 seconds), for 1.2 time-penalties in the final phase. The pair finished 37th at the 2022 event, presented by Mars Equestrian, on a score of 64.2.

    “Every day I go out to the stable, and it’s early or it’s late and I’m tired. But I have Flipper in my stable and that motivates me, because I know how much he puts into it and he lives for these big events. He loves it,” says Lauren, in the video above.

    “He was incredible [on the cross-country] yesterday and I went in there today and rode it awfully – he just helped me out here, there and everywhere! He’s so careful, he jumped his socks off and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

    Lauren adds: “He normally goes into a big arena like that and is really hot and you just let him at the fences. Today he obviously felt just that little bit more weary, didn’t quite take me there and my distance wasn’t quite where I thought it was going to be. That’s life and we have a great partnership where he will help me out when I’m not quite right – most of the time I’m ok, but today I wasn’t and he let me have it. I’m so grateful to him.”

    The pair, who have been supported this week by friends, family, trainer Mark Corbett and groom Marina Lawson-Smith, had a special visitor to put the finishing touches on their turn-out.

    Alan Davies was my instructor in Pony Club when I was about 11 or 12 and he became a family friend long before he worked at Carl Hester’s,” Lauren adds. “He always did the most amazing clipping, the most amazing plaiting and there was a little bit of a joke that when I got to Badminton he would come and plait my horse.

    “I called him up on Tuesday and said ‘I’m here, Alan! When you’re here, could you come and plait him?’ and he said, ‘Of course!’”

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