Posted on Sunday, June 22, 2014 by Heather Dodd
Thursday dressage day saw appallingly wet and windy weather with the stands shuddering to a point when those sitting in them, feared for their lives! despite continuing high winds and heavy showers, Saturday’s weather, though dire, proved better than forecast. However, conditions were tough and it was an action packed and somewhat dramatic day with both Andrew Nicholson and William Fox-Pitt actually falling off their experienced horses, along with Sir Mark Todd and Pippa Funnell though Pippa had an excellent Badminton with the relatively inexperienced Billy Beware at his first 4 star, finishing 6th. Mary King retired on course and so did Andrew with his first horse. Mark Todd finished 14th on Leonidas II, having gone for a canter into the deep water at The Lake.
Two locals had a spectacular Badminton. Oliver Townend and Armada, based in Shropshire, finished 2nd with Harry Meade and Wild Lone, based in Wiltshire, finishing 3rd.
Harry’s success was all the more astonishing since he had had a particularly nasty rotational fall last August when he dislocated and shattered both elbows. Those of us that saw pictures of him with his arms literally strung up for several weeks, are amazed he returned to riding, let alone finishing in the top 3 at a tough 4 star which saw so many top riders fall by the wayside. Izzy Taylor, based in Oxfordshire, completed on two horses, 17th and 18th which was a remarkable feat.
Paul Tapner and Kilronan (based Wiltshire) looked set to take the title, having led after dressage and after XC. Unfortunately, they rolled four poles in the SJ which put them down to 4th with Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy (based Wiltshire) who were lying 2nd after XC, also rolling 4 poles which landed them down in 9th position. Rather unexpectedly, this meant Sam Griffiths and the mare, Paulank Brockagh took the title, having been in 5th place going into the SJ but only rolling one pole. Harry Meade was lying 8th going into the SJ but finished up in 3rd place having only rolled one pole. Oliver Townend and Armada (previously ridden by Andrew Nicholson) finished up in 2nd place from 4th.