(UK, 11 May 2014) Sam Griffiths (AUS) riding Paulank Brockagh, today Sunday 11 May 2014, produced a thrilling ride to win in dramatic circumstances, with Oliver Townend (GBR) riding Armada in 2nd place, and Harry Meade (GBR) riding Wild Lone in 3rd place at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, in Gloucestershire, UK.
With just one clear round all day from the 32 riders who started in the final show jumping phase, Sam Griffiths entered the arena in fifth place overnight and had one pole down with no time faults. This proved good enough to win the Badminton title, with the final four riders each clattering fences right across the course in the difficult sticky ground conditions.
Despite two poles down, Oliver Townend, who started the day in fourth position, climbed to second place to the ovation of his home audience. Similarly, Harry Meade climbed from eighth position overnight to third place riding Wild Lone having just one pole down. This was a truly remarkable achievement for Meade, who just six month ago broke and dislocated both his elbows in a riding accident.
After a thrilling day’s cross-country yesterday with seven international riders in the top 12, the show jumping course set by course designer Kelvin Bywater was another major challenge over the 16 elements of the 13 fences.
Overnight leader Paul Tapner (NZL) had four fences down and dropped to fourth place after a heart-breaking final show jumping round, where he had two fences in hand, but it was not to be his day.
New Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Contender
As the winner of the 2014 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Griffiths is now the new Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing live contender, after William Fox-Pitt (GBR) could not follow-up winning the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event last month. Griffiths will now have to target the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in September to try and win the second of the three legs and stake his claim for the coveted prize.
Results after the final Show Jumping Phase
- Sam Griffiths/Paulank Brockagh (AUS) 67.9
- Oliver Townend/Armada (GBR) 70.7
- Harry Meade/Wild Lone (GBR) 71.4
- Paul Tapner/Kilronan (AUS) 72.4
- Pascal Leroy/Minos De Petra (FRA) 72.5
- Pippa Funnell/Billy Beware (GBR) 74.3
- Tim Lips/Keyflow NOP (NED) 78.5
- Ludwig Svennerstal/Alexander (SWE) 80.0
- Tim Price/Ringwood Sky Boy (NZL) 80.6
- Lara de Liedekerke/Ducati Van Den Overdam (BEL) 83.8
Below are quotes from question and answers session at press conference after showjumping stage.
Quotes from Sam Griffiths (AUS) riding Paulank Brockagh:
Q. What does this win mean for you?
When I was a little boy we used to wait for the tapes to come over to Australia so I could watch the highlights of Badminton. So just to get here and ride here in the first year was almost a dream come true, but to actually win it is a completion of that dream – it means the world to me!
Quotes from Oliver Townend (GBR) riding Armada:
Q. What a day!
A dream – I’m still dreaming. I told Sam to enjoy every minute because I’ve not quite got it sunk in that I’ve won here before. It’s a very, very special place and at certain points riding around that cross country course yesterday I thought this is what it is really all about – you need exceptional horses to win at Badminton.
Quotes from Harry Meade (GBR) riding Wild One:
Q. What an event – has it been emotional?
To be honest I’ve been quite calm all week because I didn’t let myself get too ambitious – I didn’t study the scoreboard or look to see what everybody else was doing – I just enjoyed it and I was really pleased with how the horse went. He did a dream test and was super yesterday. Even in the show jumping today I felt very relaxed – I thought to myself I am just going to enjoy it!