‘Tomorrow is another day, thank God’: Oliver Townend reflects on disappointing Badminton dressage score

  • Oliver Townend was disappointed with the marks the judges gave him on his Tokyo team gold medal-winning horse Ballaghmor Class in the Badminton Horse Trials dressage results this afternoon (6 May). They scored 25.9, which leaves them just inside the top 10 in equal eighth position after both days of dressage at the event, which is presented by Mars Equestrian.

    “I’m happy with him anyway – for me, Ballaghmor Class is twice the horse dressage-wise compared to yesterday’s [Swallow Springs, with whom Oliver scored 25.7] and we ended up basically on the same mark, but that’s dressage,” said Oliver after his test, which has left him in equal eight after the first phase. “Tomorrow is another day, thank God, and tomorrow isn’t based on the opinions of three people sat in garden sheds, so fingers crossed.”

    Ros Canter did a pleasing test with the 10-year-old Lordships Graffalo, who is owned by Michele Saul, for a score of 26, which puts them in 10th after the first phase.

    “It’s a great starting point and I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Ros, whose first ride, Allstar B, is in 12th on 26.4 after the Badminton Horse Trials dressage results. “We really weren’t sure what to expect with him coming in today. He’s only rising 10 so he’s a very green horse and has come up through the levels during Covid, so we’ve seen very little of this sort of atmosphere before. I was busy trying to quieten everybody down after William’s [Fox-Pitt] test but I don’t know why I bothered because he was such a professional.

    “He’s a bit of a funny character – sometimes he can be very lazy, sometimes he can be a bit hot, but actually, I don’t think it’s got anything to do with whereabouts he is, it’s just ‘Walter’s’ way on the day. But I have to say, on the whole, he pulls it out of the bag on a big occasion, so that’s quite exciting.”

    Pippa Funnell also had her second ride of the competition, MGH Grafton Street, and together they scored 26.1, which puts them into 11th going into Saturday’s cross-country phase.

    “I’m very pleased with him and one thing about this sport is that we know they come in all shapes and sizes and you can’t turn this horse into a London 52,” explained Pippa, who is also in =16th on Billy Walk On. “MGH Grafton Street has got a little short neck so it’s always trying to get that longer but I thought he was good in his frame today. I was very happy with him and he was great in his brain. ”

    William Fox-Pitt is another multiple rider at this year’s Badminton, and he scored 27.3 with Little Fire this afternoon, which was enough to put them into 15th after the first phase.

    “I’m really pleased with him – he went well. He was quite edgy today so he did well to settle down. He didn’t quite walk as well as he can, but the rest was good,” said William, who is holding =26th with his first ride Oratorio.

    Tom McEwen’s second ride, CHF Cooliser, didn’t quite match the score of her stablemate, Toldeo De Kerser, and scored 34.4, which leaves them in =49th.

    “The highlights were brilliant but there were too many mistakes, but she’s been an angel all week and this is on another level compared to any atmosphere she’s seen before.”

    Read our full Badminton form guide in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (issue dated 5 May 2022). Our bumper 20-page Badminton report will be in our 12 May issue and keep fully up-to-date with all the action during Badminton week via horseandhound.co.uk, where a host of features and reports will be published.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...