Post-Badminton Update on Borders’ Rider Emily Galbraith
At 26, Emily was one of the youngest riders to compete at last weekend’s Badminton Horse Trials.
Even to qualify for this prestigious 4 star event is a huge achievement and Emily managed it on a horse she has brought on herself without the backing of a wealthy owner, or a top-flight yard.
We were thrilled to dress Emily top to toe in A Hume clobber for the pre-competition Trot Up – to give her a little bit of the swank and glam that comes as standard for the more established riders.
We are completely without bias when we say she was the freshest, best-dressed rider on the day – every inch the classy sportswoman, poise, elegance; a spring in her step and sparkle in her eye. The whole package.
On the first day of competition Emily rode well in the Dressage and was lying mid-field at the start of the Cross Country. Before the event, Emily had confided that Timing – or Teddy – hated water and that the water jumps could prove their undoing. Both horse and rider had spent countless hours training over a specially constructed water jump back on home turf.
Emily hoped she’d done enough to counter Teddy’s water-shy nature and it is a huge testament to her skill that she managed to avert complete disaster at the water. Emily’s big save earned her the Horse Junkies United, Best Save of Badminton X Country Award.
On the final day of show jumping, Emily lay in 65th place. The general consensus was, that this was the toughest show jumping course for a long time. William Fox-Pitt was heard to comment that it was the biggest course he’d seen at Badminton. And for Emily any hope of improving her position must have seemed like a huge mountain to climb.
As Emily went into the ring, back in the A Hume office, Karen was gnawing her nails to the quick and her raw yells of celebration could be heard around the whole of Kelso when news came through that Emily had gone clear.
An absolutely outstanding performance in the face of skyscraping jumps that were enough to intimidate the most experienced horse and riders.
Then when the final results came in, the quality of Emily’s performance was clear. Despite the 20 jump faults and 5.6 time penalty faults she picked up due to the run out in the Cross Country, Emily finished in 54th place in the toughest competition of all, against the world’s best 80 riders. Absolutely astonishing.
It was by consensus the most nail biting finish Badminton has seen for years – not just for Emily and the Galbraith Family. There were upsets, all over. Mary King, jumped the wrong side of the flag, Michael Jung tipped the last rail. And when all was said and done it was a New Zealand Badminton rookie, Jonathon (Jock) Paget that won the title.
A vintage Badminton indeed.
We’ll leave the last words to Emily’s boyfriend Johnny Riley who said:
“…not only is it a remarkable feat of talent but proof that if you want it bad enough it’s yours for the taking!’