Local riders at Badminton Horse Trials

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THE Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials opened in blistering heat at the Easter weekend and the sun shone throughout the competition although, thankfully, a cool wind arrived in time for the cross-country and show jumping days.

Preceding the main event Badminton hosted the BE90 and BE100 Grassroots Championships for amateur riders on Wednesday and Thursday.

Four competitors from West Sussex took part in the BE90 Championships which had a start list of 83 riders who had qualified from all across the country.

With the majority of competitors’ dressage penalty marks in the 30s, Joanna Dillon from Loxwood, was some way off the leaders with a score of 36.5.

One of the youngest competitors in the class, 15 year-old Harriet Upton from Coolham had mixed fortunes. Riding Jeroboam Jake, Harriet was in the top ten after dressage on a score of 31.5.

Projects manager Kevin Maple from Woodmancote had a disappointing dressage, finishing towards the bottom of the leader board on Weratosthenes B.

He then added four penalties for a fence down in the show jumping but a good clear cross-country pulled him up to finish in 59th place.

In the 4-star competition, Clare Lewis from Horsted Keynes rode a sympathetic dressage test to keep an unsettled Sidnificant under control. Clare, who was last to go on the first of two days of dressage commented afterwards: “He was very tense and I was worried the atmosphere would blow his mind.

“It’s his first visit to Badminton and he has been very unsettled since he arrived.”

Clare finished the competition in 33rd place and is now looking forward to riding her ‘amazing jumper’ at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in September.

For full report by Wendy Peckham, and also more equestrian news and pictures, see Sussex Horse World, West Sussex Gazette, May 4