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6 May 2016

by Kate Green


Emily King (GBR), the youngest rider at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR), fourth leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, produced the performance of the day and is in second place behind first-day leaders Michael Jung (GER) and La Biosthetique Sam FBW at the end of the Dressage phase.


King scored 36.8 in a beautiful test on the 13-year-old Westphalian Brookleigh and is 2.4 penalties behind the Olympic champion, who retains pole position going into tomorrow’s Cross Country.


King’s riding was calm and mature and she and the hogged black gelding made an elegant picture. “I feel really proud,” said the 20-year-old.


“Brookleigh can do a good test, but he also has a tendency to get behind the leg or be lively, and it was great that this time he was exactly as good in the arena as he had been in the warm-up.


“I’m excited rather than nervous – at the moment! This will be his longest course but the good ground should suit him.”

King, whose mother, Mary, won Badminton in 1992 and 2000, finished fourth on her CCI4* debut at Pau (FRA) last year. She said: “I’ve been coming to Badminton every year since I was born, and this has always been the most important event to me.”


Andreas Ostholt (GER) and Francis Whittington (GBR), who performed their Dressage tests yesterday, are now in third and fourth places.


As anticipated, Christopher Burton (AUS) and the 11-year-old Nobilis 18, a horse originally produced by Jung, are among the leaders, in fifth place on 40.3. Their test had some lovely moments, with just the odd mistake coming in the half-pass and one flying change.


Although the absence of two of Britain’s best riders, former winners William Fox-Pitt (GBR) and Pippa Funnell (GBR), who was injured in a fall last weekend, the younger generation have certainly risen to the occasion.


Dani Evans (Raphael ll) and Izzy Taylor (Allercombe Ellie) are in joint sixth place and Oliver Townend is eighth on the New Zealand Thoroughbred Black Tie, once a winning racehorse on the flat.


Several experienced riders are clustered together on scores in the mid-40s, just a little off the pace of the leaders, and some have expressed disappointment with their performances.


Bettina Hoy (GER), 14th on a score of 44.0 with Designer 10, lost marks for tension and a mistake in a flying change, and Sir Mark Todd (NZL), 17th on 44.8 penalties, reported Leonidas ll to have been “uptight”.


Laura Collett (GBR), 37th on 48.2, looked as if she would challenge the leaders with Grand Manoeuvre before mistakes crept in, and Zara Tindall (GBR), 36th on 48.0, who is chasing Olympic qualification on High Kingdom, said the 15-year-old was “a bit too jolly” after an 18-month absence from major competition. 


Beautiful sunny weather has created a relaxed atmosphere at the famous British venue, but the atmosphere is expected to hot up tomorrow when riders tackle Giuseppe della Chiesa’s (ITA) challenging Cross Country course. Oliver Townend (GBR) will show the way on one of the world’s most experienced horses, Armada, at 11.30am (local time).


See how this thrilling competition unfolds on (geo-restrictions may apply for certain territories - please check on for further details).


Live results and Radio Badminton will also be available on


Results after Dressage


1 Michael Jung/La Biosthetique Sam FBW (GER) 34.4 penalties

2 Emily King/Brookleigh (GBR) 36.8

3 Andreas Ostholt/So Is Et (GER) 38.2

4 Francis Whittington/Hasty Imp (GBR) 40.0

5 Christopher Burton/Nobilis 18 (AUS) 40.3

6= Dani Evans/Raphael ll (GBR) 40.4

6= Izzy Taylor/Allercombe Ellie (GBR) 40.4

8 Oliver Townend/Black Tie (GBR) 40.7

9 Clarke Johnstone/Balmoral Sensation (NZL) 40.8

10 Jesse Campbell/Kaapachino (NZL) 41.1


Full results:


FEI Classics™ 2015/2016 Leaderboard (after 3 of 6 events)


1 Michael Jung (GER) 27 points

2 Astier Nicolas (FRA) 15

3 Shane Rose (AUS) 15

4 Lauren Kieffer (USA) 12

5 Maya Black (USA) 10

6 Tim Price (NZL) 10

7 Clarke Johnstone (NZL) 10

8 Phillip Dutton (USA) 8

9 Emily King (GBR) 8

10 Sonja Johnston (AUS) 8


Use hashtags #FEIClassics #Eventing


FEI Classics™ 2015/2016 calendar


1 Les 4 Etoiles de Pau CCI 4* (FRA) - 22-25 October 2015

2 Adelaide International 3 Day Event (AUS) - 19-22 November 2015

3 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) - 28 April-1 May 2016

4 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR) - 5-8 May 2016

5 Luhmühlen CCI 4* presented by DHL (GER) - 16-19 June 2016

6 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) - 1-4 September


by Kate Green


No German rider has won the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR), fourth leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, in its 67-year history, but two of them are currently heading the leaderboard after the first day of Dressage and few would bet against this being the year that history is made.



Michael Jung (GER), who flew straight to Badminton after his victory at Kentucky (USA) on Sunday, and La Biosthetique Sam FBW lead Andreas Ostholt (So Is Et), the two German riders earning the only sub-40 marks of the day.



Last to go, Francis Whittington (GBR) gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about when scoring 40.0 penalties on Hasty Imp to slot into third place at this stage.



Jung has become a great favourite in Britain and a packed crowd gave him a warm reception after his test, which was obedient and soft with some expressive canter work. The Ground Jury, President Marilyn Payne (USA), Andrew Bennie (NZL) and Angela Tucker (GBR) gave him nines for his riding.



“It’s the ease of it all that makes him such a pleasure to watch,” explained Olympic Dressage gold medalist Carl Hester, who was commentating.



“Sam was really good,” said Jung of the 16-year-old gelding that has given him Olympic, world and European titles as well as victory at Burghley last year.



“Before today, I felt he was quite nervous and that I hadn’t done enough work with him, but in the end he was very relaxed. I must thank all the people who have been looking after him while I was ‘on holiday’ in Kentucky.”



Ostholt, 38, who has not competed at Badminton for five years, is only 3.8 penalties behind, on a mark of 38.2 on So Is Et, a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding. “I have not scored in the thirties for two years, so it’s a good feeling,” he said.



Ostholt, whose brother Frank was placed at Badminton in 2007, is Head of the Riding Unit at the German Military Sports School at Warendorf.



Whittington said he was “over the moon” but was not going to allow his achievement to go to his head at this early stage of the competition. “I came here with no expectations,” he said.



“The horse has to work hard at this level and I am going to focus on one thing at a time. The main thing is that I need to concentrate [in Saturday’s Cross Country] and ride forward.



“I’ve changed my mindset following a great conversation with Joseph Murphy (IRL) in Ballindenisk recently. It’s cleared my mind and reminded me why I do this - for the fun of it. I’ve been here before [well placed after Dressage] and know it can all change overnight so I’m just going to enjoy the moment.”



Clarke Johnstone (NZL), who has returned to his home country to live, is in fourth place on the 12-year-old grey New Zealand Sport Horse Balmoral Sensation with a mark of 40.8.



Badminton first-timer Jesse Campbell (NZL), lying fifth, had the doubtful privilege of going into the arena after Jung, but he didn’t let that affect his concentration and the 13-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred Kaapachino, a reliable performer in the Dressage phase, produced a good test for 40.8.



“I’m a little on edge,” admitted Campbell, one of the tallest riders on the circuit, who revealed that things got off to a frenetic start when he lost his car keys and had to squeeze into Jock Paget’s suit for the first Horse Inspection.



“Kaapachino’s walk is always on the delicate side and I mucked up the halt, but I have to be pleased. Badminton is the reason you do this sport. I’ve wanted to come here ever since I sat up all night to watch Mark Todd win on Bertie Blunt in 1996.”



Five nations are represented in the top seven, with the 2014 winners Sam Griffiths (AUS) and Paulank Brockagh in sixth place ahead of Ireland’s Sarah Ennis on BLM Diamond Delux in seventh.



Riders have been making early assessments of Giuseppe della Chiesa’s (ITA) Cross Country course, which follows the same anti-clockwise direction as in 2015. It’s the Italian designer’s third year at Badminton and German team trainer Christopher Bartle considers “the pendulum has swung back to 2014”, which was generally considered a tougher course than last time.



He comments: “There is a lot to jump out there and you have to take confidence from fence to fence, but at the same time it is definitely doable.”



Blyth Tait (NZL), currently 17th after scoring 48.5 on Bear Necessity V, is also well placed to offer an interesting perspective on the track, as this is the first time he’s ridden at Badminton for 13 years, having retired from the sport in 2004.



“I feel as if I’ve never been away,” said the former Olympic and world champion. “I’m feeling pretty brave now, but that may have changed by Saturday! The course is strong all the way and I’m not so keen on all the left turns – at Huntsman’s Close, the Gatehouse New Pond, and the Lake, among others – where it would be easy to run out.”



Tait finished runner-up at Badminton three times in the 1990s. “I’d be thrilled with a top 10 finish this week, but I must admit it would be nice to nail this event before I retire – again.”



There are several smart combinations yet to perform their Dressage tests – the penultimate rider tomorrow, Christopher Burton (AUS) on Nobilis 18, is strongly fancied to challenge Jung – and Carl Hester expressed the opinion that the competition was still wide open for “a mistake-free, expressive test” to take the lead.



See how this thrilling competition unfolds on (geo-restrictions may apply for certain territories - please check on for further details).



Live results and Radio Badminton will also be available on



Results after first day of Dressage


1 Michael Jung/La Biosthetique Sam FBW (GER) 34.4 penalties

2 Andreas Ostholt/So Is Et (GER) 38.2

3 Francis Whittington/Hasty Imp (GBR) 40.0

4 Clarke Johnstone/Balmoral Sensation (NZL) 40.8

5 Jesse Campbell/Kaapachino (NZL) 41.1

6 Sam Griffiths/Paulank Brockagh (AUS) 42.2

7 Sarah Ennis/BLM Diamond Delux (IRL) 43.6

8 Sarah Bullimore/Valentino V (GBR) 44.4

9 Jock Paget/Clifton Lush (NZL) 45.2

9 Rosalind Canter/Allstar B (GBR) 45.6

Full results:





M. Jung con SAM en Badminton 2013. Foto de nicogram

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