Emily Baldwin in Driving Seat at The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials

Emily Baldwin (GBR) and Drivetime produced an assured and expressive test to deservedly take the lead with 42.3 penalties after the first day of dressage at The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR), the second leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™.

Baldwin, 28, who finished 25th last year, has 1.5 penalties in hand over the British National Champions Ruth Edge and Mayhem lll, well known as talented exponents of the dressage phase, who scored 43.8.

Drivetime, who is Dutch-bred on show jumping lines, started his competitive career as a show jumper before switching to eventing with British rider Terry Boon. Emily took over the ride on him four years ago.

British rider Jo May lies third on her own Faere Vision with a dressage mark of 46.7. Faere Vision is May’s only ride at the top level, and the pair finished fourth at the Luhmuhlen four-star event in 2007. Just behind them in fourth is former Badminton winner Rodney Powell, riding Zin Zan , on 48.

William Fox-Pitt, winner of the 2008 HSBC FEI Classics™, is lying eighth on Macchiato with a score of 51.8.

Competition statistics

- 81 starters from 11 nations

- 2 horses failed the first horse inspection (Super Rock, ridden by Marcello Tosi, BRA, and Valdemar, ridden by Hannah Bate, GBR)

- 2 horses have been withdrawn before dressage, Black Drum (Annabel Wigley, NZL), and Deltry Salute (Lea Ryder, GBR)

- 4 scores under 50

- The oldest horse is Diamont Du Pontet, aged 18, ridden by Sandra Cazaubon (FRA)

- The smallest horse is Little Tiger, 15hh, ridden by Pheobe Buckley (GBR); the tallest horse is Zin Zan ll, 17.2hh, ridden by Rodney Powell (GBR)

- Riders’ ages range from 19 (Emily Llewellyn, GBR, the reigning Young Rider European Champion) to 56 (Bruno Bouvier, FRA)

- 24 Badminton first-timers in the field

- There are 2 pairs of horses that are full brothers: Special Attorney and Special Advocate (ridden by Dan Jocelyn, NZL) and Bit Of A Barney and Partly Pickled (Louise Skelton)

- The dressage test is the new 4-star eventing Test A, designed by Christopher Bartle

- The ground jury is Angela Tucker (GBR, President), Michel Assuray (FRA) and Eric Smiley (IRL)

Best newcomer

Ireland’s Elizabeth Power has done the best of the first-timers at Badminton so far, ending the day in 11th place on Kilpatrick River with a score of 54.

New test

This is the first time most of these competitors have ridden the 4-star eventing A dressage test – which was also used at the Rolex-Kentucky Three Day Event two weeks ago.

Ruth Edge said: “It all happens thick and fast. The trotwork flows well, but you have to think on your feet during the canter and have your preparation done well in advance.”

QUOTES

Emily Baldwin: “I was hoping for a good start as Drivetime is normally well-behaved in the dressage. It also means that there is that bit more pressure to do well, but I am lucky to be able to enjoy this part of the competition more than a lot of competitors. He loves the crowds. The cross-country track is big and technical towards the end and will catch people out.”

Ruth Edge: “Mayhem III is quite inexperienced at this level, but he really tried his best and he wasn’t distracted by the crowd.”

Zara Phillips: “Ardfield Magic Star was a bit bright – he doesn’t like lots of people watching him – but he still ‘does the business’, so I was pleased with him. I’m looking forward to the cross-country. I think the course is perhaps more flowing than last year, but there are plenty of places to make a mistake, especially at the two angled HSBC Hexagon Hedges on the Vicarage Ditch.”

William Fox-Pitt: “Macchiato tried his hardest and was relaxed, so I couldn’t be more pleased with him. The early draw (first in) was an advantage for him. The new dressage test is interesting; the trotwork flows well and isn’t as tight as I expected, and in the canterwork you need to show a bit of everything, which is a good thing.”

Results (top 10)

1 Emily Baldwin/Drivetime (GBR) 42.3

2 Ruth Edge/Mayhem III (GBR) 43.8

3 Jo May/Faere Vision (GBR) 46.7

4 Rodney Powell/Zinzan II (GBR) 48

5 Kitty Boggis/Boondoggle (GBR) 50.2

6 Susanna Bordone/Ava (ITA) 51

7 Karin Donckers/SS Jett (BEL) 51.2

8 William Fox-Pitt/Macchiato (GBR) 51.8

9 Sam Griffiths/Happy Times (AUS) 52.5

10 James Robinson/Comanche (GBR) 52.8

2009 HSBC FEI Classics™ standings (after 1 of 5 events):

1 Lucinda Fredericks/Headley Britannia (AUS) – 15 points

2 Bettina Hoy/Ringwood Cockatoo (GER) – 12 points

3 Buck Davidson/My Boy Bobby (USA) – 10 points

4 Nicolas Touzaint/Hildago De L’Ile (FRA) – 8 points

5 Lucy Wiegersma/Woodfalls Inigo Jones (GBR) – 6 points

6 William Fox-Pitt/Seacookie (GBR) – 5 points

7 Phillip Dutton/Connaught (USA) – 4 points

8 Oliver Townend/Carousel (GBR) – 3 points

9 Tim Lips/Concrex Oncarlos (NED) – 2 points

10 Stephen Bradley/Brandenburg’s Joshua (USA) – 1 point

HSBC FEI CLASSICS™ CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2009

1. 22-26 April           Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event (USA)

2. 7-10 May             The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR)

3. 11-14 June           Luhmuhlen CCI**** presented by E.ON Avacon Vertrieb (GER)

4. 3-6 September     The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR)

5. 21-25 October      Les Etoiles de Pau (FRA) 

 



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