Badminton blog: cross-country on the easy side?

Andrew Nicholson and Nereo.
Andrew Nicholson and Nereo.

What a day!  So much action I didn’t have time to update this blog.  The time is racing past me, so guess that old adage, time flies when you are having fun, is true! 

Talking of fun, the Kiwis had fun on the cross country yesterday.  All of them came back smiling and happy – Toddy perhaps not exactly beaming, but even with a run out, he still had time to praise his horse and share his thoughts with the many media.

The Kiwi riders are very popular here, and it’s not surprising.  They do a very good job of interacting with the media, patiently answering the same questions over and over.   Andrew of course is a media favourite, but then again so is Jock and Sir Mark, and Lucy …

We had some more New Zealand media here yesterday with both TV1 and 3 sending people so we ended up with the little “Kiwi media huddle.” Riders would come to us as soon as they had finished their official Badminton Radio interviews which are always done first. The riders are all very keen to ensure those back in NZ are kept up to date, and love hearing of the support they get from home.

The crowds were amazing yesterday, people everywhere. Getting from the media centre to the media mixed zone took ages. I admire the women who front up pushing a baby in a pram with dog on a lead, trying to head down the main thoroughfare. Not so enjoyable apparently was getting everyone off the grounds, and reports are coming in of significant delays. Luckily my canny friend has lots of knowledge of the area, and we escaped the log jam when we left at 8pm!

Mark Todd's team rolls into action after his round on Ravenstar.
Mark Todd’s team rolls into action after his round on Ravenstar.

I’m not going to give a blow by blow account of the cross country, but will summarise by saying that I think Toddy was right, the course could have been harder (especially the time) for the standard of the horses in the field.  So many went under the time, even some with a run out.

Jock and Andrew’s first rounds (on Clifton Lush and Avebury respectively) were standouts for me, but then again, I didn’t actually get to see many rounds in their entirety from the TV in the mixed zone, so I may have missed some crackers. Michael Jung was lucky / very skilled, he so nearly didn’t get through the wates.

Nereo caused gasps when he bounced the water brushes, Andrew had his hands full on the early part of the course.

So, a short and sweet blog today, lots to do in preparation for the action today, starting with the trot up in just over an hour….



Clarke Mpntgomery (USA)
Clarke Montgomery (USA)



Jane Thompson

Jane has always had a keen interest in horses, and was an active competitor in equestrian events from her early days until the late 1980s. » Read Jane's profile

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