Paul Tapner Wins Badminton
by Kathy Culpin
So the winner of the 2010 trophy is Australian Paul Tapner on Inonothing who put in a superb clear round this afternoon. Paul, who has been based in the UK since 1999, clinched the trophy and yesterday claimed his horses could jump clear and today proved it. Clearly delighted, he finishes in first and tenth place with Stormhill Michael. Paul says 'this win means everything, it's the biggest and best event and he's been coming for years, setting his goals higher and higher and it's finally happened.' The horse now has over a thousand points and he hopes for a win at Kentucky at the WEG.
Andreas Dibowski, always apparently the bridesmaid but not the bride, having finished here second before, put in a clear round to finish in second with Euroridings Butts Leon. Andreas, asked if second place was a disappointment, said it's the third time he's been second at a four star and no, not a disappointment.
Rounding out the top three is Daisy Dick on her seventeen year old veteran partner Spring Along, who certainly looks to have plenty of spring left in him. Daisy jumped clear and pulled up from 6th to fourth after Comanche and James Robinson pulled a rail. Asked if she ever saw this third place coming she said "on Wednesday at a party she had backed Paul to win and he'd suggested she get on the podium too". "He's been on the form of his life for the past two years and he's like a fine wine and is just getting better, and she was thrilled at the way he jumped and he was so great yesterday, and felt fab in the collecting ring today."
Mary King, the crowd favourite, pulled the final rail of the treble and that was the end of her hope for the 2010 win as she dropped to 4th place.
Mark Todd on his up and coming Grass Valley proved on all three days that thirty years on he hasn't lost the knack of the three day sport. He first won here in 1980 on Southern Comfort and last won in 1996 on Bertie Blunt. Across the course yesterday he looked like the pro he is and the horse looked full of running at the end with just a handfull of time penalties and jumped to clock just 4 jumping faults today. He's finished in 18th place. His former teammate Andrew Nicholson rode Avebury around, who at ten years old is surely a star for the future. Andrew always makes the cross country look like a pony club course and appears to take little out of the horses he pilots around the biggest courses in the world. He finished on Nereo in 11th place.
It's been a truly international competition with South Africa, China and Portugal fielding combinations for the first time and all finished, demonstrating that the sport is becoming more and more international as the years pass. Also interesting this year has been the strength of the Irish contingent who have six riders completing which bodes well for them for Kentucky in September. Young Irish rider Sam Watson jumped from 42nd place to thirteenth place on Horseware Bushman. The Italians and Germans were here in force, the riders also no doubt hoping to catch the eye of their selectors too.
Results1 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
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