Course Designer Giuseppe della Chiesa:
“We had some very unexpected mishaps, top riders in very unexpected ways.”
What were the particularly fences that surprised you in the way you rode?
“They rode the water very well, some found difficulty in the 2 parallels that I wouldn’t have expected.”
The Keyhole jumped very well last year but caused lots of problems this time.
Giuseppe said, in response to a question from me, that he thinks that the flagging was ok at part C of Huntsman’s Close. (I thought the absence of a red flag on the front face of that fence made it much more difficult for horses to understand the question.)
Q: Did he view the course as a success?
A: He would have liked to have had more completions than he had. It will open the eyes, there were good questions that the riders liked and enjoyed.
General comment – he would have expected and liked more finishers. “There were problems spread all around the course, a true 4* course can cause that in these conditions.”
Lucinda Green: “Congratulations on bringing course back to where it should be. ”
Oliver Townend, best placed Brit in 4th place: “It was very challenging. I knew if there was going to be a mistake it was going to be jockey and not horse, with Armada. For the first time ever I ran out of petrol on him. Going to the Quarry I gave him a squeeze and got no reaction.”
“I thought the course was fantastic, Giuseppe has done a fantastic and brave job to get Badminton back to where it has been, it was an extremely fair test, a proper proper Badminton.”
I asked whether there were any moments out there where he felt really worried, and he quipped, “Just after they said ‘GO’.”
He decided to go the direct route at Huntsman’s, got deep which he wanted, he needed to add the 4 strides and then be soft and squeeze when he got there because Armada is tetchy about his mouth even when he is tired.
Paul Tapner, overnight leader after the XC, said that he was glad that the cross-country course was an influential one, that the XC is what being an event rider is all about.
Tim Price is very surprised to be in the top 3 after XC. SJ is his horse’s weak phase but he is getting stronger all the time. This horse is not his top horse, he did not expect him to be in the limelight.
Pascal Leroy said the course rode far harder than it walked.