It doesn’t often happen that Badminton’s Thursday morning leader remains in the top spot through the rest of the day, but that’s exactly what happened in today’s competition: coming forward as just the fourth competitor of the day, Olympic medallists Tom McEwen and his eminently reliable Toledo de Kerser delivered a career-best five-star score of 23.4 that proved unsurpassable as the day wore on. There were plenty of admirable challengers for the throne, though, and as the day drew to a close, two of them had come very close indeed.
“He’s getting more and more reliable — he used to be a little bit more tricky, but he’s getting more and more on side as he’s getting older and he’s getting the strength there,” says Kitty King, who posted a 24.8 with Vendredi Biats (Winningmood x Liane Normande, by Camelia de Ruelles). While it’s hardly the Selle Français gelding’s first sub-25 – he’s managed the feat four times at four-star – it easily eclipsed his previous five-star score of 27.2, earned here in 2019. Like many French horses, we’ve seen him hit a peak, both in strength and in hard-earned maturity, as he’s entered his teens and today, his professionalism won out – despite some tricky schooling sessions in the previous days.
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*Article written by: Tilly Berendt *