Last week, Laura Collett rode into the Badminton Horse Trials history books by finishing on the lowest ever score at the event, which was presented by Mars Equestrian. Here, we take a look back at how Laura Collett won Badminton on London 52 from start to finish…
First horse inspection
Laura and London 52 kicked off their week by looking fantastic at the first horse inspection, which is held in front of Badminton House.
Laura and London 52 performed their dressage test on the Friday of Badminton. The ground jury of Seppo Laine, Christian Landolt and Anne-Marie Taylor awarded Laura a leading first phase score of 21, with no less than three 10s given for good measure.
“It’s not often you go into an arena at Badminton and have a lovely time, but that horse is just so nice to ride and he was so with me – I can’t believe how emotional I am,” Laura said after her test. “This was what we all dream of – he just was so with me and I just knew anything going wrong was going to be my mistake, so I’m just so proud of him.”
On cross-country day, Laura gave her equine partner a masterful ride. They had an early sticky moment on the course when London 52 left a leg at the first part of the HorseQuest Quarry at fence four.
He then had a little look at the Vicarage Vee and looked like he might be tiring when they were held three-quarters of the way around the course. Arguably this helped London 52 to recover a little before being re-started and galloping home as they came in clear inside the 11min 44sec optimum time, but Laura said afterwards, being held with him was an unknown as it had not happened to him before throughout his eventing career. Laura described the course as “relentless” after her round.
Now it’s time to strap yourself in and ‘ride’ around Badminton aboard London 52…
Final horse inspection and showjumping
London 52 flew through the final horse inspection on the Sunday morning, before becoming the final horse into the main arena to jump later in the afternoon, and what a round it was. The pair jumped an immaculate clear round, adding just .4 of a time-fault to their 21 dressage, winning by almost five penalties.
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