Badminton SJ and the WIN!

Badminton SJ and the WIN!
The 2018 Title Winner: NZL-Jonelle Price and Classic Moet during the CCI4* Prizegiving. Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Gloucestershire, Great Britain. Sunday 6 May. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Today was the stuff that dreams are made of and it was a day that none of us will ever forget.  Today a dream did come true and it was all down to a little black pony and a very brave and determined small blonde girl!

But to start at the beginning and the jog this morning.  Both Ringwood Sky Boy ( Ozzie) and Classic Moet ( Molly) looked fit and well and with coats glowing with vitality.  They breezed through the jog and if the farrier checking their feet afterwards was a tad surprised to discover Molly was wearing one heart bar and one normal front shoe he hid it very well!  Andrew Nickalls had done a masterful job of sorting the foot abscess that kept her out of a couple of runs but even he described it as looking like ” a bit of a Maori job”!

NZL-Tim Price rides Ringwood Sky Boy during the CCI4* Showjumping. Final-12th. Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Gloucestershire, Great Britain. Sunday 6 May. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

The sun blazed down and as the girls started to pack up the stables the kiwi tent was filling up with excited supporters.  The atmosphere was electric up in the main arena as the afternoon session began with the scores being so close and also with Ollie Townend trying to complete the treble of Burghley, Kentucky & Badminton for the Grand Slam.  I met Diarm of Equiratings fame in the media tent and asked him what our chances were.  His reply was not quite what I was expecting.. ” Not good Jacks, not good at all.  You haven’t jumped a clear round since Hartpury 2 star.  All Star B hasn’t had a rail since April 2016 and our money is on that one”.  Fair but hardly inspiring!

Tim and Ozzie jumped what was without doubt Ozzie’s best ever round at Badminton.  He made the time and while 8 faults doesn’t look like that he jumped some super fences.  It was good enough for him to move up 2 places to the top 12 which is pretty impressive and meant he made the Badminton Silver Horse prize yet again.  This year it was Molly’s turn to collect the William Mifflin memorial trophy for the horse and rider closest to the optimum time…it has been won by Ozzie twice before!

The 2018 Title Winner: NZL-Jonelle Price rides Classic Moet during the CCI4* Showjumping. Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Gloucestershire, Great Britain. Sunday 6 May. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Ollie went and jumped a clear round on Cooley SRS in 5th spot to put the pressure on and then Ros Canter and All star B had a rail and Ollie and Ballagmor Class had 2. In cantered Jonelle and Molly and the entire stadium held their breath as Molly skimmed the fences in her own unique style which does nothing for the potential of cardiac arrest for her fans.  The planks were still swinging some 10 seconds later  as she skipped down the treble before the final fence and then suddenly she had crossed the line, the SJ score was zero and the rank was 1!

The 2018 Title Winner: The Princess Royal presents NZL-Jonelle Price with the Badminton Trophy during the CCI4* Prizegiving (Pictured with Classic Moet’s Owner: Trisha Rickards). Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Gloucestershire, Great Britain. Sunday 6 May. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

They not only won but they won by 5.1 points.  So much for data! You need a little bit of luck to win Badminton and today the luck was riding on Molly. The cheering was incredible, the atmosphere a mixture of emotion and elation and it was without doubt a moment in time that will live with us forever.  Its every cold and wet day squad training, its a massive team effort from Lucy Miles running the team at home to the farrier and the physio  (Alice Dorman), to Trisha Rickards who was a very proud owner and to Tim who was beside himself with delight.  The kiwi tent was buzzing for a good few hours afterwards and Graeme Thom secured a stash of bubbles that went down well with Little Beauty’s wines.

NZL-Jonelle Price and Classic Moet’s groom, Lucy Miles, are presented with their prize by The Princess Royal during the CCI4* Showjumping. Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Gloucestershire, Great Britain. Sunday 6 May. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

And in true kiwi fashion Jonelle was chucked into the lake and Kerryn backed that up by dragging Tim in as well.  Luckily it was just the bottom half for both but it didn’t smell particularly nice!

So as we all bask in the reflected glory from the gutsy duo it makes the day job much more fun!  Molly will go back to Brockenhurst Park for a holiday, we are back Squad training on Tuesday and then Aston le Walls Wednesday and Thursday ( just the 13 running) before heading up north for Chatsworth and the first of the ERM’s this weekend.

Rock on Molly and Jonelle!