2 – 6 May
Early indications suggest that the all star line up at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, 2 – 6 May, will more than make up for the disappointment of last year’s cancellation.
Topping the bill is clear favourite, Michael Jung (GER), reigning Olympic, World and European champion. The entire British silver medal team will compete, as will all but one of the Kiwi team, including A Hume chum, Caroline Powell.
Having retired Lenamore, Caroline will be riding Onwards and Upwards, owned by Border’s local Cameron Crawford.
Cameron will be making the journey south – that’s if he can sort out the engine troubles he was fixing on the horsebox when we spoke to him.
It’s been a while since Cameron attended Badminton, his last visit was at Ian Stark’s first ride out back in the ‘80’s and it’s been his childhood ambition to return ever since.
Cameron, an Intermediate Eventer himself, described to us how it feels to own a horse competing at the highest level in the sport:
“We bought Onwards and Upwards as an untried 4 year old, without any great plans. Getting to an advanced level is a dream come true but competing competitively at Badminton is beyond our wildest dreams.”
He claims he has to keep pinching himself and his conversation is peppered with self-addressed reminders of the realities of top flight competition.
“We’ve still got to get there,” he says, “And when we do there’s still the Trot Up (pre-competition horses must be judged fit to compete before Vets and Judges). It’s the strongest field for a long time. We’ll be delighted if we get through all the events and thrilled to finish in the last 25%.”
Competitors face three grueling days of competition, Friday is Dressage, Saturday X-country and Sunday Show Jumping. Out of 85 horses in competition, only half will complete. Badminton is one of Eventing’s 4 Star competitions, it’s rated even higher than the Olympics which is a 3 Star event.
Qualifying for Badminton is a huge achievement in itself and local Jedburgh rider, Emily Galbraith is thrilled to be returning to Badminton for the third time after qualifying at Blair Castle Horse Trials back in August.
Emily, who doesn’t benefit from the extensive financial backing of many riders, has worked incredibly hard to reach this point. An achievement she’s very modest about. She claims that the wet weather helped her qualify, as many riders who expected to make the grade didn’t do as well as expected. However this is at odds with Cameron’s accurate observation that the line up for Badminton 2013 is the strongest for many a year and we’re inclined to think she’s underselling herself.
At 26, Emily is one of the younger competitors. She’ll be riding her horse Timing and A Hume are thrilled to announce that Emily will be sporting an A Hume ensemble at the Badminton Trot Up on Thursday 2nd May. Trot Ups are renowned as a bit of an equestrian fashion show – a stylishly dressed rider gives people something to admire while vets assess the fitness of the horse. Emily will be wearing Magee Tailored Tweed Coat, Dubarry Chamomile Shirt, RM Williams Kimberley Suede Boots, and NYDJ Jeggings.
At her last Badminton, Emily rode brilliantly to complete in 36th position. Asked how it feels to return she said:
“Exciting! It’s different to my first Badminton. Back then I was expecting huge, un-jumpable fences. Knowing what’s coming makes a big difference. It’s the most amazing event, the atmosphere is incredible and the more experienced riders are so supportive of the younger competitors. They’ll take time to answer questions and make you feel at ease.”
Emily made her first trip in the company of A Hume’s fondly remembered Marketing Manager Peter Cordiner, who tragically died in an accident just a month after the event. He made this video about their journey and it captures perfectly the fun, excitement and sense of adventure inherent to Eventing life on the road.
This time round Emily has promised to keep us up to date with pics from the event.
And Cameron will be our inside man for behind the scenes chat.
Wishing them both the best of luck – we’ll keep you posted on the blog and Facebook.