Laura Collett and her Olympic gold medal partner London 52 are leading the field of 83 horse and rider combinations after two days of dressage at Badminton. The pair delivered a personal best with a score of 21.0. Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser, who led after day one, are in second place with a score of 23.4 and Kitty King and Vendredi Biats sit in third with a score of 24.8. You can see the full leaderboard here.
When interviewed by Horse and Hound, Collett revealed her pared back training schedule for this week was intended to keep her horse fresh and expressive, and did not include dressage.
“I haven’t gone once into a dressage arena this week and I’ve done a lot of hacking, a lot of polework and just keeping his brain because he knows all the moves and it’s just about keeping him with me – and he was with me in there.”
While some horses are put off by the crowds and excitement, Collett said that “Dan” thrives on the energy at Badminton.
“It’s so quiet outside, and then you go in there and suddenly you feel it,” says Laura. “But he didn’t react to the crowds — I think he likes showing off! He’s a funny horse to ride at a one-day event now, because he just thinks it’s completely pointless and he bobbles around with his ears back feeling very grumpy about the whole thing. He’s always wondering where all the crowds are, and the nice arenas — so I think he’s pretty happy to be here, and for us, it’s great to be back at Badminton with the crowds.”
Tomorrow’s cross country phase looks to be quite challenging. I’m looking forward to watching the event and hope all horse and riders come in safely.