A day of drama all around at Badminton and with massive crowds, sunshine ( if not warmth!) pretty perfect going and an interesting Eric Winter track to jump, plenty of atmosphere to deal with.
Tom, as always, was immune to the hype and had his own plans for his morning warm up. Badminton have officials on the warm up, the collecting ring and the gate time but something went wrong and as Tom followed the stewards instructions and went from place to place he suddenly found himself 14/15 seconds down as he left the start box.
A late start is massive.. it puts pressure on the rider from before fence 1. You are aware from the get go that you are behind on a track that only will have a few inside the time. Tom was on a 24 and the pressure was immense to come home clear in time and before you have jumped fence 1 you are on the back foot.
Toledo de Kerser is a fabulous horse and Tom is a top class jockey. They ran and they galloped for one of the class rounds of the day and the dropped pin at the triple bar at the bottom of the lake was a real shame as that that counted for 11 penalties that put that Mitsubushi trophy out of reach. There are varying opinions… one was that one back foot ended up on the wrong side of the bottom rail, one was that it was the angle but at the end of the day it was a fast cross country round at 5 star and things happen!
What is important is that because of the pin Toledo galloped away fine, he is fine, Tom is fine and they sit in 15th. If everything had gone to plan they would be in 2nd but hey ho, that’s eventing. Toldeo is good, Tom is good and he is on one of the best jumpers in the field tomorrow. At the very least a silver horse beckons for the top 12…