57 horses come forward to the final showjumping phase of the 2015 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials following the overnight withdrawal of five horses after the cross-country phase yesterday.
The showjumping course at a height of 1.30m consists of 13 fences and 16 jumping efforts over a length of 545m. The time to beat is 88 seconds and riders need to keep up a pace of 375m per minute.
Fence one comes off a right hand turn at the far end of the arena. The oxer is located right next to the members area which could distract horses as they come off the turn. Focus at this early stage will be key in the successful negotiation of this fence.
Fence two is a 180 degree turn back from fence one. The upright features solid colour poles which can be more difficult for horses to asses as opposed to striped poles.
Fence three comes off a left hand turn. This triple bar will require plenty of impulsion off the corner.
Fence four is eight strides on a left-handed dog leg turn from fence three. Horses will need to remain forward off the turn from the triple bar at fence three.
This treble combination consists of an upright to an oxer to another upright on two strides and one stride respectively. Riders will need to sit quietly for the slightly short seven strides after fence four. Bearing in mind that riders have had to open up their horses’ strides for fences three and four, they may have to work a little harder to pull this combination off and remain clear.
Fence six comes off a right-hand turn away from the collecting ring which may cause some riders problems in keeping their horses forward off the corner. The lank at the base of the fence can sometimes take the horse’s eye away from concentrating on the top pole.
Riders will need to sit quietly after fence six to make the short fives strides work for fence seven.
Although these four-star horses tackled one of the toughest cross-country courses in the world yesterday, the water tray underneath this oxer at fence eight could still cause some spooking.
This double combination on one stride is a real eyeful for horses. Not only are the two fences very colourful but it requires horses to jump directly towards the crowd too which can make them back off from the rider’s aids.
This fence is a 180 degree turn back from fence 9ab. The red rail on the top of the fence may blend into the red background of the grandstand in the distance.
Fence 11 is a forward four strides slightly uphill from fence 10 so riders will really have to keep the revs up to make the distance. These poles may also blend slightly into the grandstand in the background.
Fence 12 is located off a dog leg turn from fence 11 and requires horses to jump directly towards the crowd. Riders will need to ensure their mounts remain focused at this late stage of the course.
The final fence comes of a right-hand turn going towards the collecting ring and alongside the crowd. It is a very square oxer situated over yet another water tray. Riders will need to keep their cool to jump this final fence successfully.