Ros Canter and Michelle Saul’s 11-year-old Lordships Graffalo produced an first class round acorss all three phases of eventing to win Badminton Horse Trials presented by Mars Equestrian, by a historic margin of 15 penealties finishing on a score of 35.3 penalties. Ros Canter led the competition from start to finish on a historic Corination weekend.
After winning the event Ros Canter said “Today could not have gone any better for him. It is incredible. He is the out-and-out event horse – he has got a classic technique. He loves himself, which is great.” “This is certainly going to take a long time to sink in and the team I have around me, I just couldn’t do it without them. “He’s an out-and-out event horse and it’s a privilege to have him in your life. He has character in every pore and makes us laugh every day. I think I was at my calmest when I entered the arena, but it’s been a long day. He jumped a bit with his head in the air, but he wanted to clear the fences.”
In second place was Oliver Townend riding Ballaghmor Class and in third place was Austin O’Connor riding Colorado Blue, his first podium at Badminton 24 years after his debut. Ros was also 9th on Pencos Crown Jewel.
“He’s had too many second places, blame the jockey, but it’s a huge relief that he’s had yet another good result.” Oliver said after finishing in second place.
After having tow rails down Austin O’Connor slipped to third place. “Naturally I’m a bit disappointed, but to be on the podium with two heroes – two of the best riders in the world – is pretty amazing,” he said. “The result is personally great for me, but I hope it will give Irish eventing a lift.” Austin became the first Irish rider to finish in the top three at Badminton Horse Trials since Jessica Harrington (now a racehorse trainer) and Amoy in 1985.