‘We’re going to be living off this for forever’: best of the Brits reflects on third at Badminton

  • There was a huge shake up in the Mars Badminton Horse Trials showjumping phase today (12 May), which saw Alex Bragg and Quindiva climb from 51st after dressage to finish best of the British riders in third. Having added just 7.6 cross-country time-faults to their 37.6 first phase score, Alex and Quindiva jumped one of only three showjumping clears inside the time in what was a thrilling finish to this week’s five-star.

    “That showjumping was exciting and surprising to watch, but great for me,” said a delighted Alex, 43, who also jumped this 14-year-old mare owned by the Roe family at the 2023 Horse of the Year Show. “I was stood there and I didn’t know the first couple straight after me had had rails down, but I kept ‘binging up’ [on the scoreboard] and I was still in the lead.

    “I went to watch as all I wanted to see where we were going to end up – it’s like when you’re at an auction. You try to stand there pretending nothing’s happening but your heart’s coming out your chest and you’re like, ‘I want you to go clear but actually, I’d like you to finish behind me!’”

    Alex paid tribute to Quindiva, who he pulled up on the cross-country at Badminton last year having jumped clear until that point to save her for another day when she didn’t enjoy the ground conditions, and how she has progressed since then.

    “This mare was double clear at Burghley and now double clear here. She’s just getting better and better. I don’t think it’s quite sunk in for all of us – we’re so overwhelmed and yet so pleased.

    “She is a magic jumper and she felt so good. She jumped well at Burghley, but today she felt even fresher. It’s just about doing the right thing and giving them the good ride – you want to school around but at the same time you’re generating a little bit of hind-end energy because yes, they are tired, even though they’re trying.

    “Wow, did she give everything a load of room and if any mistake was going to happen, it was going to be mine. I was worried about time, but I ended up about five seconds inside, but we’ve done it, we’ve sealed the deal – a top 10 at Badminton – I’m elated!”

    Reflecting further on his Badminton Horse Trials showjumping result, Alex said: “It’s more than special, we’re going to be living off this for forever. The Roe family are really invested in our yard and have been for some time. There’s always trials and tribulations along the way, and ups and downs, but we’ve really stuck together and they’ve earned it. This sport takes a long time and the Roes have probably owned event horses for a total of 30 years and this is a magic result for them to finish on the podium at Badminton. We’re going to be celebrating a lot tonight.”

    New Zealand’s Caroline Powell won aboard Greenacres Special Cavalier, while five-star first-timer and Irish rider Lucy Latta was second on RCA Patron Saint.

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