Lizzie Baugh made mark among the senior ranks with a stellar CCI4*-L and Blenheim Horse Trials debut to finish best of the British first-timers with the homebred B Exclusive.
Lizzie was 12 when “Buzz” was born and the family had joked that one day he would be her Badminton horse.
The pair’s strong performance – posting a personal best dressage score of 29.6 before jumping double clear, adding just 0.4 of a showjumping time-penalty to their total – was rewarded with sixth place.
“This is definitely a career highlight, especially on a homebred,” said the 25-year-old, admitting the reality of their achievement has not quite sunk in yet.
“A lot of time and years have gone into getting him here. My mum evented his mum. This is probably the best result of my career.
“We came here with no expectations, just pleased to be here, and he has been so good in all three phases – I can’t fault him.”
She added: “After I sold my young rider horse, I felt like things went a bit quiet. Now I finally feel like I’m getting a string coming through again.”
Reflecting on whether Buzz could be the horse to take her to five-star, Lizzie added: “I hope so. We always joked when he was a foal that he might be my Badminton horse.
“He is a fool. He thinks he knows best. He’s a typical homebred and a bit spoilt, so everything is Buzz’s idea and Buzz does as he likes.”
The pair stopped the clock two seconds inside the optimum time on Saturday’s cross-country, with the strength of their partnership meaning each gave the other confidence.
“He really had my back at the places where I was a little bit unsure and it was like he said, ‘no we are going on the long one’,” said Lizzie.
“He had a moment at fence nine jumping the [NAF] trakehner onto the lawn where he saw all the crowds and went to back off. Then he got into it and was great, he was so good through the waters, so genuine.”
Germany secured a one-two in the CCI4*-L at Blenheim Horse Trials. Malin Hansen-Hotopp, competing at her first Blenheim, took the win with Carlitos Quidditch K, Dirk Schrade and Casino 80 were second, while Bubby Upton and Jefferson 18 were best of the Brits in third.
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