*Exclusive* Ros Canter walks Badminton Horse Trials cross-country course

  • Ros Canter and Allstar B have finished third and fifth at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials the past two years, before going on to take the World Championship title last autumn.

    Ros is not riding at Badminton this year because she is expecting her first child, but she visited the venue to share her views on Eric Winter’s cross-country course exclusively with Horse & Hound readers in today’s magazine (25 April), and in our online videos.

    Fence 17abc & 18: Mirage Water

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    Ros says: “The direct route is over a left-hand corner, on a right-hand curve to jump a wide ditch with running water and on to another left-hand corner. The first corner must be jumped at an angle in order to take the ditch on the left and be successful at finding the line to the second corner. The temptation is to make the first corner too kind and be pushed too far right at the ditch.

    “The ditch is not like the man-made, wooden-sided ditches our horses see frequently. Riders should be ready to react to an awkward jump and hold the line to the corner, without being too committed to a stride pattern (it’s likely to be four or five).

    “The numbering means riders who take the direct route corner (17ab) are committed to the open ditch (c), but it is possible to make a quick change of plan after the ditch and divert to the long route corner at fence 18. I predict most will go direct at the first corner and ditch, so the long route over another corner (17a) and a rail into the pond (17bc) will be little used.”

    Fence 19ab: Nyetimbe Heights

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    Ros says: “Riders need a plan here to make their chosen line as smooth and efficient as possible. In this intense area any awkward jumps will accumulate to knock the horse’s confidence.

    “Everyone tackles a brush on top of a mound, then riders pick between the most right-hand skinny (jumped left to right, so away from the direction of the getaway channel) or any one of three skinnies jumped right to left.

    “My preference is the second skinny from the left and on this route, riders should jump the brush slightly from left to right, so they are on the required curve. It’s not an easy fence to change your mind at, so if a horse leaves a leg or pecks, riders would be better to try to recover quickly and stick to their plan, rather than trying to pull left to find a route to the right-hand skinny.”

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    Check out these pictures of Ros walking the course…

    Ros Canter Badminton

    Ros and Eric Winter inspect the Savills Staircase (fences 4abc and five).

    Ros Canter Badminton

    Ros eyes up the KBIS Bridge (fences 11 and 12).

    Ros Canter Badminton

    The distance to the final skinny at the Outlander PHEV Bank (fence 13ab) is unpredictable.

    Ros Canter Badminton

    Eric stands on the take-off point at the Hildon Water Pond (fence 15ab) and looks down to Ros, who is standing at the bottom of the drop. A waterfall will run down the back of the fence.

    Ros Canter Badminton

    Ros looks at the first corner at the Mirage Pond (fence 17abc and 18).

    Ros Canter Badminton

    The world champion checks out the oxer into the Voltaire Design Huntsman’s Close (fence 28ab).

    Ros Canter Badminton

    Horses jump two big brushes with ditches in front of them on the way home at the Eclipse Cross Chicane (fence 29ab).

    Ros Canter Badminton

    The HorseQuest Quarry (fence 30ab) is the penultimate combination on course.

    Read Ros’s thoughts on every fence on the course in today’s Horse & Hound magazine (dated 25 April). 

    Our full Badminton form guide is in next week’s issue (dated 2 May). 

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