Bathed in sunshine, but cold enough that the wraps were still on the topiary trees either side of the doors of Badminton House, the trot-up was absolutely thronging. I’ve never seen so many people watching a trot-up: it was about 10 deep, and the three huge trailers they’d provided for people to stand on for a better view were packed too.
This made for an absolutely electric atmosphere, which was a bit much for some! Francis Whittington’s Sir Percival was one of the first to have some fun on the ‘catwalk’, and Nicola Wilson’s Opposition Buzz was sure we were all there just for him, and was absolutely wild, needing one person on each side at one point to keep him under control. I noticed that of all the riders who tacked up and went for a ride straight after the trot-up, Nicola was the only one in a jump saddle… maybe she didn’t trust that she’d stay on his antics in a dressage saddle!
Quarter marks were very much in evidence, particularly for the Scottish contingent, who were sporting intricate thistles, and Kilronan, who sported a kangaroo, very hard to achieve on a grey horse, so 10/10 to his groom for managing that.
The outfits were, as always, entertaining. White jeans and snazzy jackets were very much in evidence. Nicky Roncoroni was wearing a lovely turquoise jacket, military style, which looked absolutely stunning. Laura Collett looked as if she had literally just stepped out of the hairdresser’s, I have no idea how she managed that! Tiana Coudray was in a very short skirt and heels, very brave, especially since Ringwood Magister was one of the most lit-up and towers over her, she gets the special Yes, I Can Sprint In Heels Too award. Ludwig Svennerstal definitely gets the Best Dressed Man award from us for his Black Tie ensemble, although the Italians in uniform came a very close second. Ingrid Klimke’s patterned skirt and knee-high boots with heels were very smart.
Zara Phillip’s High Kingdom got up to some gasp-inducing shenanigans under the archway before even reaching the trot-up strip, and it took all her strength and experience to control him in front of the
Only one horse was held and represented, the Italian Marco Biasia’s Tatchou, who did look a bit ‘noddy’ to spectators, but the judges were satisfied and he passed on re-presentation.
Phase 1 complete… dressage begins at 10am tomorrow, can’t wait!