On Sunday 11th May, Australian Event rider Sam Griffiths was crowned the 2014 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials champion. Riding the 11 year old mare Paulank Brockagh (Brocks), the pair rose up from 5th place overnight to win the most coveted prize in the sport of Eventing, netting £80,000 in prize money, making the horse trial the most valuable in the world.
Just thirty-five horse and rider combinations from 75 starters completed the large and technically challenging cross country, designed by new course designer Giuseppe Della Chiesa. On Saturday night Griffiths moved from equal 25th, his place after the dressage phase, to fifth following a clear cross country round with Brocks, who is owned by Dinah and Steve Posford, from Chobham, Surrey and her daughter Juliet Carter.
The final Show-Jumping phase on Sunday provided further drama, with no horse and rider jumping penalty free. Sam and Brocks completed with just one fence down costing them five penalties. However, with the course also causing problems for the four remaining competitors, Griffith’s won the competition finishing on a penalty score of 67.9, with Oliver Townend in second on Armada completing on 70.7 penalties and Harry Meade and Wild Along in third on 71.4.
The Mitsubushi Motors Badminton Horse Trials is regarded as Europe’s largest outdoor sporting event, attracting 130,000 visitors across the four days of competition, 100,000 of those arriving through the gates on Saturday; The Cross Country phase.
“I’m overwhelmed!” said Sam who hails from Melbourne, Australia. Sam moved to the UK permanently in 1995, returning to his roots as his father is English. For the past five years he has lived near Gillingham on the Dorset and Somerset border with his British wife Lucy and 16 month old son Ollie.
“Since a child I have dreamed of riding and winning at Badminton and today that dream has been fulfilled, it’s an incredible feeling. Badminton is a unique sporting and equestrian event and I would like to express my congratulations to all the riders who completed”.
I would like to thank the Posford family who have supported me since the beginning, I am delighted for them and their wonderful horse, Brocks. The Australian Sports Commission and Equine Australia have also been very supportive providing us with valuable training leading into this event. Furthermore, back home at the stables it’s a massive team effort and I am hugely grateful to everyone who supports us and has helped bring this dream to a reality”, he commented.
More information: www.samgriffithseventing.co.uk @griffiths_sam
Copyright Free Audio
Please click on the following links for copyright free audio of the post-event Press Conference after the final Show Jumping Day with the top three placed riders as below:
Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, final results.
1 Sam Griffiths (Aus) (Horse: Paulank Brockagh) 67.9 penalty points (TRM Ambassador)
2 Oliver Townend (GBR) (Armada) 70.7 (TRM Ambassador)
3 Harry Meade (GBR) (Wild Lone) 71.4
4 Paul Tapner (Aus) (Kilronan) 72.4
5 Pascal Leroy (Fra) (Minos de Petra) 72.5
6 Pippa Funnell (GBR) (Billy Beware) 74.3
7 Tim Lips (Ned) (Keyflow Nop) 78.5
8 Ludwig Svennerstal (Swe) (Alexander) 80
9. Tim Price (NZL) (Ringwood Sky Boy) 80.6
10 Lara de Liedekerke (Bel) (Ducati Van Den Overdam) 83.8