Zara Tindall walks us through Badminton 2016′s cross country courseThis year’s Badminton cross country course is full of tight turns, challenging angles and technical rails. From navigating the oxers to tackling uphill fences, Musto ambassador Zara Tindall walks us through Giuseppe Della Chiesa’s key fences at Badminton Horse Trials 2016.
“It’s good to be back at Badminton. I haven’t competed here for three years so it’s nice to have my top horse here (High Kingdom) and back in top competition. It’s what we’ve all been working towards, so I’m looking forward to it.
The course is a challenge; it’s all there to be jumped. There are plenty of places where you can make mistakes, but hopefully I’ve got the right horse for the job.”
Fence 7 (Irish Horse Gateway)
“These are 2 massive corners. You’ve got to make sure that you get a good canter and keep your line. I think they’ll ride nicely, but you’ve got to attack them.”
Fences 10, 11 and 12 (Fallen Tree and Swindon Designer Outlet Mound)
“These are big logs. It’s a nice opening fence but this isn’t one that you’re going to want to cut time on. You want to be really straight and almost put an extra stride in to get them up the hill to fence 11.”
Fences 14 and 16 (Mirage Pond)
“Approaching the water you really need to get them underneath you and on their feet. Once they see the water they might want to sit down a bit. But you want to keep them together and get a good hop over the first fence into the water, rather than a launch.”
Fences 17, 18, 19 (Gatehouse New Pond)
“Again you need to come in very upright here. It’s a bit of an accuracy test. I measures at 4.5 strides I’ll probably be looking for 5 strides, as you don’t want them to flatten out over the oxer with its big back rail.”
Fence 21 (KBIS Vicarage Vee)
I don’t even want to look at it! With the angle and the ditch, this is a real rider frightener. You really want to get your line early and ride positive into this.
Fence 22 (Outlander Bank)
It’s a big step up which makes its really hard. It’s not that high but the horse is landing up higher, which takes a lot out of them. Get them to shorten up on the approach with punchy strides so that it’s an easier effort to get up. They could be getting tired and long so you need to make sure they’re underneath you and really firing.
You’ve then got a nice long gallop, which is a valuable opportunity to get some air into their lungs before the final fences.