Outstanding performance at Badminton Horse Trials from Ireland’s Jonty Evans who lies in podium position after Dressage
- 5 May 2017, 17:09
Irish Eventing rider Jonty Evans has produced an outstanding performance in today’s (Friday) opening Dressage phase at the Badminton Horse Trials in the UK, scoring 37.2 penalties with The Irish Sport Horse Cooley Rorkes Drift to hold third place overall heading into Saturday’s Cross Country.
Evans and the 11-year-old gelding, who he owns along with Fiona Elliott, finished ninth in the Eventing competition at the Rio Olympic Games and they are bidding to become the first Irish winners at Badminton since Major Eddie Boylan won with Durlas Eile in 1965.
Over 200,000 spectators are expected to attend Badminton over the weekend and today’s Dressage test leaves Jonty Evans well-placed heading into Badminton’s famously tough Cross Country on Saturday, with the final Show Jumping phase to come on Sunday.
A thrilled Jonty Evans (pictured left) heaped all the praise on his horse Cooley Rorkes Drift (ISH) when speaking afterwards:
“I am just over the moon with him, he tried so hard, he was totally and utterly with me all through the test. He is a very special horse. What’s so amazing about him is that you know that if you turn up he will be there, and you can’t always say that about every horse.
Speaking about the extra pressure that competing at such a world famous and historic competition as Badminton, Evans added,
“You have to try and keep in your mind that this is just another event – obviously it’s not – but you have to try and keep it that way in your mind. Tomorrow’s Cross Country is big and bold and there to be jumped and riders will have to use their heads and go out and do a good job.”
Australia’s Christopher Burton holds the lead after Dressage following an incredible score of 32.9 with another Irish Sport Horse, Graf Liberty – the third best Dressage score in Badminton history. Germany’s Ingrid Klimke is in second place with Horseware Hale Bob with a score of 36.4.
Evans’ Dressage display means he currently lies ahead of a host of the world’s top riders, including German triple Olympic Gold Medal winner Michael Jung and New Zealand’s Mark Todd.
Sarah Ennis is next best of the Irish riders in 23rd place with Horseware Stellor Rebound (45.4), just ahead of Austin O’Connor with Kilpatrick Knight (ISH)(TIH) in 24th place on 45.8.
**Note – link to audio interview with Jonty Evans attached below
Full results after Dressage available here https://www.badminton-horse.co.uk/dressage-start-lists-2017/
Graf Liberty (ISH) by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Lisheen Star (ISH). Damsire: Cavalier Royale.
Rider: Christopher Burton (AUS). Breeder: Brian Livingstone
Cooley Rorkes Drift (ISH) – 2006 gelding by Courage II (HOLST) out of Doon-A-Ree Lass (ISH), by Rachelle Comet (TB). Breeder: William McCarrison, Co. Down. Owners: Fiona Elliott & Jonty Evans. Rider: Jonty Evans (IRL)