Voltaire Design Grassroots Champions are crowned at Badminton

A fluent double clear saw Stratford-Upon-Avon rider Lucinda Mills and her own Chaconda Blue claim victory in the BE100 at the Voltaire Design Grassroots Championships at Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucestershire. The pair added just one show jumping penalty to their 25.8 dressage to finish on a score of 26.8.

“I’m absolutely thrilled – it still hasn’t sunk in,” said Lucinda who has had seven-year-old ‘Noodle’ since a newly-backed three-year-old. “She is show jumping bred but lives for the cross-country. She came out feeling wild in the morning and I nearly couldn’t get on her – she’s never been in this atmosphere before and the crowds took her by surprise – but once we channelled her inner diva, she did a lovely test.

“She was hot in the show jumping so I couldn’t push her, but she jumped a brilliant clear round. The cross-country course had a lot of questions right to the end, and we did go the alternative route at fence six, but it rode nicely. I never expected this today and am thrilled with her.”

Niamh Richardson was runner-up riding her own Cartown Bonny Bell on a score of 30.6, while Victoria O’Brien was third with Unnamed who scored 31.8.

The BE90 title was awarded to Stirling-based rider Ben Fairbrother and his mother Jo Fairbrother’s 12-year-old gelding Upper Limit. They finished on their dressage score of 26.3.

“We used to show jump and only changed to eventing four seasons ago,” said Ben who is studying a masters degree in civil and structural engineering at Dundee University. “We took a turn to eventing and we’re really enjoying it, especially being able to come to events like this. ‘Max’ is my mum’s horse and she schools him for me in between events as I’m busy at university.

“I’ve watched Badminton on the telly for years, but never been down to the event, so it was amazing to see it in person and be in front of the house. Our dressage went really well and we were sat in second overnight. Show jumping isn’t his strongest phase but I managed to use my experience to help him round and we jumped clear. He was also clear inside the time cross-country which felt great. It’s the best I could have asked for.”

Just 0.3 of a penalty behind Ben was runner-up Katie Mathias and Lodor Carl who scored 26.6, and in third on 28.1 was Suzanne Ross and Findatie Bracken.

For full results, please click here

To find out more about the Voltaire Design Grassroots Championship, click here

More information on visiting Badminton Horse Trials can be found here . Admission tickets for the event must be bought in advance. Click here for the Box Office.

All the action, along with analysis and interviews, will be shown live on Badminton TV. Click here 

Image courtesy of Sally Newcomb/Badminton Horse Trials

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