Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tapner triumphs in tight finale at Badminton


Paul Tapner (AUS), described by fellow riders as one of the hardest working in the sport, rode with focus and determination to achieve the greatest moment of his Eventing career. He went clear in the final Jumping to hold his slim overnight lead at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR), and now lies in second place, behind William Fox-Pitt (GBR) in the HSBC FEI Classics™.

“This means everything to me,” said Tapner. “Every second of this year has been focussed on this moment.”
 
The Jumping course, designed by Jon Doney (GBR), rode exceptionally well, producing 16 clears, and Tapner was given a confidence boost with a clean round on his first ride, Stormhill Michael, on which he finished 10th.

Andreas Dibowski (GER) rose from fifth to second when jumping clear on Euroridings Butts Leon – frustratingly, it was the pair’s third runner-up placing in their last three 4-stars, following Luhm├╝hlen and Pau last year. “My horse was foot-perfect across country, but if I’d just been a little faster or had a slightly better dressage, who knows? Maybe I’ll win next year!”
 
Daisy Berkeley (nee Dick, GBR) climbed from sixth to third, her best ever 4-star placing, on the 17-year-old Spring Along. “He was awesome,” said Berkeley, of her ride, which has won her a team medal at every level at World, European and Olympic level. “He jumped like a super star.”
 
There was, however, disappointment for Mary King (GBR) who dropped two places to fourth on Imperial Cavalier, who looked strong and hit the first part of the double. There was also disappointment for Simone Deitermann (GER) who hit a catastrophic three fences and plummeted to 12th.
 
Camilla Speirs (IRL), 20, riding the 155cms Portersize Just A Jiff, a horse she has produced from a three-year-old, won the HSBC Training Bursary worth $1,000 for finishing best of the 4-star first-timers in 14th place.
 
About the winner
Paul Tapner, 34, first came to prominence when winning Bramham CCI*** in 2000 on Highpoint, a year after first arriving in Britain from Australia. It was the turning point that made him stay, and he is now married (to Georgina) with two children and lives near Swindon, Wiltshire. Inonothing, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred by Basildon Bond and owned by Jenny Waaler, has a consistent 4-star record, having been ninth and seventh at Burghley CCI**** in 2008 and 2009, 13th at Badminton in 2007 and seventh at Luhmuhlen last year. Tapner will now be hoping this performance is good enough to earn him his first place on the Australian team.

Statistics
- 50 completed the competition
- 7 withdrew before Jumping
- 16 clear rounds
- Tapner is the third Australian to win Badminton in the last four years, following Andrew Hoy (2006) and Lucinda Fredericks (2007).
 
Results
1. Paul Tapner/Inonothing (AUS) 44.5 + 0.4 + 0 = 44.9
2. Andreas Dibowski/Euroridings Butts Leon (GER) 43.5 + 6 + 0 = 49.5
3. Daisy Berkeley/Spring Along (GBR) 48.0 + 2.4 + 0 = 50.4
4. Mary King/Imperial Cavalier (GBR) 44.8 + 2.4 + 4 = 51.2
5. Caroline Powell/Lenamore (NZL) 50.2 + 1.2 + 0 = 51.4
6. James Robinson/Comanche (GBR) 43.5 + 4.8 + 4 = 52.3
7. Bill Levett/Hippolyte (AUS) 44.5 + 8.8 + 0 = 53.3
8. Nicola Wilson/Opposition Buzz (GBR) 55.3 + 0 + 0 = 53.3
9. Carolyne Ryan-Bell/Rathmoyle King (GBR) 47.0 + 6 + 3 = 56.0
10. Paul Tapner/Stormhill Michael (AUS) 47.7 + 9.6 + 0 = 57.3

HSBC FEI Classics™ Standings (after 2 of 5 events)
1. William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 15 points
2. Paul Tapner (AUS) 15
3. Phillip Dutton (USA) 12
4. Andreas Dibowski (GER) 12
5. Becky Holder (USA) 10
6. Daisy Berkeley (GBR) 10
7. Mary King (GBR) 8
8. Boyd Martin (USA) 8
9. Caroline Powell (NZL) 6
10. Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch (CAN) 6
 
HSBC FEI Classics™ Calendar of Events in 2010
1. 21-25 April - Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event (USA)
2. 30 April - 03 May - Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR)
3. 17-20 June - Luhm├╝hlen CCI**** presented by E.ON Avacon (GER)
4. 2-5 September - Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR)
5. 4-7 November- Les Etoiles de Pau (FRA)