Riders’ first reactions to the 2016 Badminton cross-country course

Eventing videos 69 Videos 'It has been a long time coming': rider returns to win back Blenheim title after 16-year gap 00:36 Blenheim win for Christopher Burton by narrowest of margins 00:51 'He pricked his ears and kept going': Julia Krajewski heads Blenheim CCI3* with Pippa Funnell best of the Brits 02:37 'You have to use your head': top riders share their thoughts on Blenheim's cross-country tracks 01:35 'He is a real showman': Izzy Taylor springs into Blenheim Event Rider Masters' lead 02:37 ‘We really have to work for it’: Germany edge ahead at Blenheim CCI3* 03:01 Switching disciplines: former showjumper in the lead at Blenheim 01:10 All eyes on Tokyo 2020: meet the team behind Britain’s renewed eventing success 01:26 Ever wondered what it takes to be a doctor at Burghley? Watch this video to find out… 01:43 'It's effort after effort': top riders share their thoughts on the 2017 Burghley cross-country course 03:45 What do Zara Tindall, Mark Todd and Harry Meade make of the 2017 Burghley course? 03:47 Burghley Paws Trials: top dogs take on four-star track 02:37 Training with Toddy for ‘surprise’ Burghley entry 01:00 'It was pure fun': nail-biting finish to cross-country at Badminton 01:27 Shock result on final day of Badminton: record-breaker takes emotional victory 02:40 History made at Bramham as first Japanese rider takes CCI3* title: disappointment for overnight leader 00:49 'That was nerve-wracking!': Will Furlong takes Bramham under-25 title on dramatic final day 00:53 'I'm chuffed to bits': Izzy Taylor speeds to Bramham CIC3* victory 00:48 'She's so gutsy': Will Furlong takes commanding lead in Bramham under-25 00:35 'I couldn't ride at all last week': Paul Tapner leads Bramham CIC3* 00:41 Emily King best of the Brits in Bramham under-25: French dominate 01:18 'She's a little star but also hysterical': Gemma Tattersall has commanding CCI3* dressage lead at Bramham 00:50 H&H Champs: 'I held my breath' — islander takes 80cm spoils 00:54 H&H Champs: 'I've felt sick all day' — rider fights off nerves to secure 90cm victory 00:55 H&H Champs: catch ride rewarded after 15 hour journey 01:05 H&H Champs: 90cm class goes down to the wire on cross-country day 01:35 H&H Champs: 'cheeky' Fergus springs into the lead 01:40 H&H Champs: Super Szuca posts personal best to take the lead 03:00 Event Rider Masters at Chatsworth: 13-14 May 02:29 Danielle Dunn's Badminton first-timer blog: it didn't quite go to plan 01:16 'The biggest Badminton I've ever seen': riders' first reaction to the cross-country course 02:41 'I can't believe it': Burghley winner leads the way at Badminton 01:01 Frenchman leads the way at Badminton dressage: popular British combination withdrawn 01:26 Danielle Dunn's Badminton first-timer blog: the cross-country is one thing, but first I have to survive the dressage 02:14 France and Germany dominate on day one of Badminton dressage: first-timers are best Brits 00:55 Mark Todd aims for fifth Badminton victory: 'I don't have any plans to stop eventing' 01:00 The adventures of Hero, Heidi and Hobday: half thrilling and half terrifying 00:58 Kirsty Short's Badminton first-timer blog: Badminton's cross-country course looks right up our street, but will we or won't we? 00:26 Badminton first-timers: Lydia Hannon — ‘I owe this horse everything’ 02:30 Kirsty Short's Badminton first-timer blog: so near, yet so far away 01:25 BE JAS final at Hartpury: 19 February 3:59:06 Watch an event rider jump through the VIP hospitality tent 02:46 Ride around Burghley Horse Trials with William Fox-Pitt *HATCAM* 09:44 Ben Way's Burghley blog: It sounded like the apocalypse 02:54 Ben Way's Burghley blog: I need to change my name from Ben to Bettina 03:50 Walk the Burghley Horse Trials cross-country course with designer Mark Phillips 23:06 William Fox-Pitt walks the Burghley course: ‘There’s no point flapping and hoping’ 03:55 3, 2, 1, GO! Explore the 2016 Burghley cross-country course exclusively with free runners 02:56 Riders' first reactions to the 2016 Badminton cross-country course 03:06 Ian Stark walks the toughest fences at Badminton Horse Trials 2016 03:31 Walk the Badminton 2016 cross-country course 21:51 Lucinda Green: how to string cross-country fences together with a young horse 04:50 Lucinda Green: How to tackle coffins 04:13 Tim Price’s top tips for your first cross-country school of the year 01:33 ‘Repetition is key’ — Jonelle Price’s top tips for solving cross-country problems 01:31 What is day-to-day life like on Piggy French's yard? 04:44 Jonelle Price: I'm a bit of a thrill-seeker really 01:31 Tim Price: the scariest thing I've ever done 01:32 Caring for your horse's legs after cross-country: what you need to know 03:00 Ruth Edge: How to ride the perfect 10m circle 01:18 Harry Meade: ‘Life is about challenges — we don’t know what’s ahead of us' 02:54 Walk the 2015 Burghley cross-country course with Blyth Tait 03:34 How to fall off a horse as safely as possible 00:12 Yogi Breisner: How to jump a sunken road on a cross-country course 03:32 Yogi Breisner: How to jump ditch combinations on a cross-country course 02:09 Yogi Breisner: How to ride ditches 02:42 Yogi Breisner: How to ride safe turns across country 02:10 Yogi Breisner: How to tackle water when riding cross-country 02:16 Yogi Breisner: How to use your horse's gears while riding cross-country 01:33

Find out what riders think of this year's cross-country course, including thoughts from Oliver Townend, Izzy Taylor, Sam Griffiths, Louise Harwood and Jesse Campbell

This year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials cross-country course is as big and bold as ever, riders agreed today.

This year will be the third time Italian Giuseppe della Chiesa has designed the cross-country course at Badminton. In 2014 it was highly influential, partly because it was coupled with very tiring ground conditions and only 29% of starters jumped clear and 45% completed.

In 2015, completion rate was much higher at 73% with 66% of starters jumping clear. 

At present, it looks like the ground will be very good this Saturday. After some heavy rain over the past few weeks, the weather has come fine just in time and looks set to continue throughout the week.

Thursday’s overnight dressage leader Michael Jung said: “It looks tough, particularly the middle section of the course”.

This is a view shared by many other riders who are all in agreement that the area surrounding the Vicarage ditch is particularly intense. From fence 10, 11 and 12 — the Swindon Designer Outlet Mound — up until the Shogun Hollow at fence 23, there are many serious questions, culminating in 16 jumping efforts if all of the direct routes are taken.

Third-placed rider at the end of dressage day one Francis Whittington cites the Outlander Bank as probably “the biggest bank he will ever have to jump up”.

Oliver Townend said that the course is “very intense and technical in the Vicarage ditch area and then you have to jump all the way home”.

Oliver also raised the point that this year is a “huge stamina test” with the optimum time at 11mins 12sec.

Izzy Taylor agreed saying: “It’s a long course so fitness is going to be a big factor” this year with “a lot of jumping efforts” — there are 45 in total.

Louise Harwood summed up the cross-country as “absolutely massive”.

See pictures of all the fences

Read Thursday’s dressage report