Ros Canter has a new star: young pretender comes of age to finish second in Badminton showdown

  • Ros Canter conjured an unbelievable performance out of five-star newcomer Lordships Graffalo to finish second in the Badminton Horse Trials results. Already the reserve for the European Championships last year, the 10-year-old proved he is a worthy successor to Ros’s world champion Allstar B, who finished 12th today (8 May).

    The Grafenstolz x Rock King gelding produced a copybook round in Badminton’s showjumping arena for only the fourth clear round inside the time on the final day. They were in fourth place after cross-country behind Oliver Townend’s two rides Swallow Springs and Ballaghmor Class (eventual third and fifth), but moved up when they lowered one apiece.

    “He’s an incredible horse and so honest; he gets better as time goes on, he tries harder and harder,” Ros said. “As a four-year-old he was casual, but he just seems to get the job more and more. He tried so hard in there.”

    Ros admitted it was a “relief” to have her belief in the horse’s ability confirmed.

    “I never would have dreamed of this result – we didn’t even know if he was ready, so to finish second is unreal,” she said. “He’s only a 10-year-old but such a professional every time he goes into the ring.”

    Ros’s other rider Allstar B came into the ring in sixth place, but had an uncharacteristic three down – the 17-year-old has an impeccable record in this phase.

    “Allstar B had three down which is unlike him, and I felt out of practice,” she added. “So it was such an exciting moment to jump clear. I don’t have any words for him – he’s amazing.”

    Badminton Horse Trials results: defending champion Piggy March in fourth

    Ros paid tribute to her friend Piggy March – “she’s like a mentor to me” – who finished fourth on defending champion Vanir Kamira with a pole down and 0.4 of a time-fault. They had been in fifth place overnight.

    “I felt like I rode hard yesterday, she busted a gut and gave everything so I was a bit worried today and I didn’t want to expect anything,” Piggy said of the 17-year-old. “She tripped over the 90cm warm-up fence, but it was the best thing she did. Just when you think ‘absolutely no way’, she’s like ‘I’m here with you Mum’.

    “She knows this stadium, last time I was in there ragging round prize-giving like a lunatic. That’s one of the best rounds she’s every jumped. I’m bursting with pride for her.”

    Piggy paid tribute to Nicola Wilson, who had a heavy fall on cross-country day.

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