Great Britain’s Oliver Townend and Harry Meade both produced impressive showjumping routines to secure top-three finishes at the 2014 Badminton Horse Trials, which was won by Australia’s Sam Griffiths.
In a thrilling finale, during which not one horse and their rider finished their showjumping round penalty-free, Griffiths’ one fence down on Dinah Posford, Jules Carter and his own mare Paulank Brockagh, was enough to give him his first Badminton Horse Trials title.
Griffiths had started the day 25th after the dressage, while Townend also improved on his overnight position by moving up from eighth overnight to finish second overall despite dislodging two rails on Armada.
“I’m fairly speechless,” said Townend. “At certain points around the cross-course yesterday I was picking up long distances and the horse was jumping off less than ideal strides – I thought, this is what Badminton’s all about.”
Completing an all-male top three was Meade, who has made a miraculous comeback following a serious fall last autumn that left him with two broken elbows.
His cross-country performance on Charlotte Opperman’s Wild Lone was arguably the round of the day as he clocked up 16.4 time penalties to elevate him up the dressage order from equal 46th after the dressage into 8th overnight.
And after putting just one rail down in the final phase it was enough to give him the third and final podium position.
Harry said: “Everything that’s happened in the last six months has put things in perspective. I’ve been quite calm all week. I didn’t let myself become too ambitious and I didn’t look at the scoreboard at all – I just enjoyed myself.”
© Sportsbeat 2014