‘Incredible pressure’ – Yasmin Ingham speaks of her relief after Kentucky cross-country round

  • Yasmin Ingham spoke of her relief at the result and the “incredible amount of pressure” involved in bringing a horse to the US to compete after her Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event cross-country round today.

    The British world champion added 5.6 time-faults to her second-placed dressage score to maintain her position going into tomorrow’s showjumping. She and Banzai Du Loir, who belongs to Janette Chinn and The Sue Davies Fund, were second at Kentucky in 2022 and led the dressage last year before a run-out across country.

    “The expense of coming over here is huge and obviously we make the trip because this event is worth it a million times over, but of course that’s on my shoulders a little bit – have to ride Banzai and produce results so it’s a massive amount of pressure,” said Yasmin.

    “I have incredibly supportive owners and parents and my guys at home that are running the show while I’m over here – it takes an army to get the horse here fit and sound and ready to compete at his best, so it’s lots of pressure. I feel a bit of relief now.

    “After our disappointment last year I felt particular pressure to deliver this year and really hope that we can finish the job tomorrow. For now we’re going to completely focus our attention on Banzai, get him the best cross-country aftercare and make sure he’s happy and settled. He can have a little nap this afternoon and rest up for tomorrow.”

    Yasmin Ingham said Banzai was “10 out of 10” today on the Kentucky Three-Day Event cross-country course.

    “Every combination, even when I could have been better myself in my position and the way I was holding the line, he just picked everything up. It was all down to him, so I’m just delighted, so happy to know he has that in him,” she said.

    “Obviously, we had our blips last year and of course we’ve done a lot of training throughout the winter with Chris Bartle and my dressage trainers and it’s definitely shown out there today.

    “He dealt with the rolling terrain well – there was a few moments where he was a little bit tired so I just let him roll down the hills and he picked straight back up again.”

    Yasmin added that what shocks her about Banzai is the fact he combines being unbelievably careful with bravery.

    “I think that’s so hard to find in an event horse,” she said. “Sometimes you have horses that like to feel their way over the cross-country fences, but with him I just feel like I’m soaring through the air all the time and it fills me full of lots of confidence that he can make the height and the width of all these enormous fences. On the TV, they look like little dots, but I can assure you they are absolutely enormous.

    “I went to bed last night slightly nervous and thinking, ‘My God, what am I doing?’ But when you get back, this is why we do it.”

    Yasmin and Banzai go into tomorrow’s showjumping less than a fence behind the leaders, fellow Brits Tom McEwen and JL Dublin.

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