‘I made a terrible mistake’: top Badminton contender out of the running after cross-country

  • The USA’s Boyd Martin was sitting in fourth with Tsetserleg TSF going into the 2024 Mars Badminton Horse Trials cross-country phase, but hopes of finishing among the top few came to an end when he picked up 20 penalties at the first part of fence 20ABC, the INEOS Grenadier Sunken Road.

    “I was going great guns for the first two thirds of the course, but I started to hurry him along too much as I thought I was in with a chance and he just got a bit numb to the bridle,” explained Boyd. “I made a terrible mistake and saw a long stride to the skinny at part A – it was a big error of judgement. I was worried he wasn’t going to make the three strides there, so I wanted to get a sort of forward shot at the skinny but it was just ridiculous – I flapped my elbows and he ran by it.

    “He’s a good old horse and if I’d made a better turn, it would have been ok.”

    Speaking of how he thinks the course will ride, Boyd said: “I think if you’re going for it, it’s hard and if not, you can get round. It’s one of the hardest five stars I’ve seen for a long time and the ground is deep in places.”

    Tom Jackson did a superb job as cross-country pathfinder riding Farndon. The combination jumped clear across country, picking up 14.4 time-faults.

    “I’m over the moon with him. If you had told me he was going to come to Badminton three or four years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you – despite being brave enough, didn’t think he would be rideable enough. But he’s gone from strength to strength each year and he went around there like a proper five-star horse,” said Tom.

    “I have to be really brave in the beginning because if you go to the rein too early, I lose the control.

    “I stuck to all my plan As on the way around . I couldn’t tell you the distances I did, but it didn’t really matter because he was looking for the flags. The ground on the whole is very good – it’s a bit sticker going down to the Vicarage Vee area.”

    Tom Rowland enjoyed a wonderful Badminton Horse Trials cross-country clear round with Dreamliner, jumping clear, being another rider to pick up 14.4 time-faults.

    “I was a bit nervous – it’s only my ninth event on ‘Dreamer’,” said an ecstatic Tom. “The temperature is hot and the ground is sticky, but we finished really well.

    “He doesn’t always feel the most adjustable horse but I do think if I can get him to the flags, he will jump it.

    “I was terrified of the last tree stump [at fence 26ABCD, the Lightsource bp Mound]. I thought I would go sailing past it, so I just trotted him off the drop and I thought ‘please turn – if I can just get him near it, he’ll jump it’. I think had both reins on the left hand, but he was so honest.

    “I always wanted to do well enough to get an interview with Clare Balding!” – which Tom managed t the end of his round while talking to the BBC.

    How to watch Badminton Horse Trials

    If you are interested in watching the live action from Badminton Horse Trials from the comfort of your home, wherever you are in the world, you will need to subscribe to Badminton TV. To sign up, visit watch.badminton-horse.tv – click the “Sign Up” link in the top right corner of your screen, then follow the instructions. An annual subscription to Badminton TV costs £19.99 via the website and gives you 365 days of access to all of the content in the Badminton TV library, the ability to watch the action live, and the option to replay all of this year’s action later. Find out more…

    Enjoy the best of Badminton with Horse & Hound

    To ensure you keep up to date with all the breaking news, behind the scenes insight, and the best of the action throughout Badminton Horse Trials with no limits on how much you can read, subscribe to the Horse & Hound website from as little as £1 a week. Sign up now. And don’t miss our bumper 22-page magazine report on Badminton, including in-depth analysis and exclusive comments from top names, in the issue of Horse & Hound dated 16 May.

    You may also be interested in…

    You may like...