US rider Katherine Coleman recorded an “emotional” finish at Badminton Horse Trials, presented by Mars Equestrian, with a double jumping clear on Monbeg Senna.
Katherine and the 13-year-old gelding, owned by Kalai LLC, were the only combination to jump clear in the morning showjumping session at Badminton, picking up 0.4 of a time-penalty to complete on a final total of 94.2.
Watch Katherine Coleman talk about her “emotional” Badminton Horse Trials completion
The result is both Katherine’s first Badminton completion – she previously started here in 2017 aboard Longwood – and is also her first five-star completion.
“It’s emotional, especially as this is a horse I’ve produced from a young horse, and just the hours and the years to get him here,” said Katherine, paying tribute to her grooms and support team.
“Every horse out here has a huge team behind them, so it’s a real group effort. The farriers and the vets work tirelessly, especially in the couple of weeks leading up to something like this.
“It takes a village to get a horse here. I’m super excited about him for the future. He’s not that old, it’s his first five-star. He came and jumped a double clear in really tough conditions, I’m super excited about that.”
The Irish Sport Horse, by international showjumper Zapatero, was acquired as a six-year-old from Irish rider Aoife Clark and has been brought up through the grades by Katherine.
“He’s a real character; he has a lot of personality, he’s cheeky and a real barn favourite. As you can see, he is a proper jumper,” she said.
“He jumps out – I can’t keep him in his fields! After we got back from Boekelo, I put him in a special 1.60m pen built just for him. We put him in, and he jumped out of that – I called the fence builder and said, ‘we’re going to need a higher one!’
“He’s really cocky, which is wonderful, and he jumps for fun.”
Katherine hails from New Orleans and owing to her geographic location, didn’t get into competitive eventing until college, when she moved to the University of Georgia to study business management.
She moved to the UK 10 years ago and now splits her time between Wiltshire and the States, and credited six-time Badminton Horse Trials winner Lucinda Green for playing a huge part in helping her find her feet this side of the pond.
“Lucinda has been instrumental. She came and gave clinics at a yard I was based at in uni and she’s so lovely, encouraging and wonderful to young riders coming through and has taken me under her wing,” said Katherine, who counts Lissa Green as one of her best friends.
She added the unique partnership that comes with cross-country riding is among the things she loves most about the sport.
“Out there on cross-country, it’s a real partnership,” she says. “You have to allow the horse to think and in that, you have to let go of a bit of control and handing that over to the horse.
“It’s a real trust, partnership and bond that’s formed in allowing your horse to think for himself, knowing and predicting how he is going to think. It takes your connection to another level.”
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