Badminton top 10 in pictures: Britain’s Ros Canter holds narrow lead after dressage

Aimi Clark

On a rain-soaked Saturday that will be remembered for the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey, British duo Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo became the overnight leaders following two days of dressage at Badminton Horse Trials, presented by Mars Equestrian.

Ros holds a narrow lead — just 4.8 penalties separate the top 10 — and there are nine British riders inside the top 10. View pictures of the top 10 below.

1, Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo

Ros and the 11-year-old ‘Walter’ finished second here last year before going on to be the highest placed British pair when finishing fourth at the World Championships in Pratoni.

“He’s been quietly improving all winter and came out at the start of this week trying to give me absolutely everything. He wanted to be a dressage horse but we couldn’t quite contain all of our excitement, so he’s been gradually settling all week and this time he came out really great,” said Ros, who started the horse as a three-year-old.

The pair’s first-phase score of 22.1 is a personal best at this level.

“I’m totally training him differently now. He’s a horse that now knows the job, whereas last year I was just crossing my fingers and hoping I’d get a flying change and he felt very green at the level,” explained Ros. “This year the movements are more secure but because of that he’s got quite flamboyant, almost too much so it was just trying to get the balance right today.”

2, Kitty King and Vendredi Biats

Kitty finished seventh at Badminton last year aboard Vendredi Biats, a 14-year-old French-bred Selle Francais gelding.

3, Oliver Townend and Swallow Springs

This is another combination looking for another top placing at Badminton this year, after finishing third in 2022. The 15-year-old gelding was previously produced and ridden by Andrew Nicholson and Oliver took over the ride in 2021 when Andrew retired from international competition.

4, Gemma Stevens and Jalapeno

Gemma Stevens (nee Tattersall)’s 15-year-old chestnut mare is by William Fox-Pitt’s Rio Olympics partner and 2015 Badminton champion Chilli Morning.

5, Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser

Fresh from finishing second in the Kentucky CCI5* last weekend, Tom McEwen is back on UK soil to campaign Toledo de Kerser, the horse with whom he won team Olympic gold and individual silver at the Tokyo Games.

6, Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class, part of the Olympic gold medal-winning team in Tokyo, are chasing their ninth five-star cross-country clear round tomorrow in as many starts.

“I don’t think [the dressage scores are] going to be a deciding factor tomorrow,” said Oliver, referring to today’s heavy rainfall and muddy conditions. “All of a sudden we’re under water so it makes [the cross-country course] a little trickier and when you’re trying to get fast it makes it even trickier again.

“We’ll ride the horse and the course and look after him as much as we can, and hopefully come home safely and add to the record.”

7 Laura Collett and Dacapo

Last year’s Badminton winner, Laura Collett, partners Dacapo this time, a German-bred 14-year-old Holstein gelding who is by the popular jumping sire Diarado.

8 William Fox-Pitt and Graffennacht

Thirty-four years after his first ride at Badminton, William Fox-Pitt is handily placed in eighth overnight with Grafennacht. This 11-year-old British-bred mare is an embryo transfer daughter of the leading sire Grafenstolz, who also sired the overnight leader Lordships Graffalo.

9 Tim Price and Coup de Coeur Dudevin

New Zealand’s Tim Price is the only international rider inside the top 10 at this early stage. He is campaigning Coup de Coeur Dudevin, the 11-year-old with whom he won Maryland CCI5* in the USA last autumn, the horse’s debut at the top level.

10 Harry Meade and Tenareze

Harry Meade rounds off the top 10 with Tenareze, a 16-year-old French-bred Anglo Arab by Jaguar Mail. This is the horse’s second CCI5* start, having completed the French five-star, Pau, last October.

View the full leaderboard here

Tomorrow’s cross-country phase kicks off at 11.30am and tickets have sold out. Find out how to follow all the action from home here.

Photos by Trevor Holt

Profile image of Aimi Clark Aimi Clark


As the editor of Your Horse Online, Aimi oversees all our digital content. She has worked in equestrian media for over 15 years and joined Your Horse as editor in 2017. Aimi has owned and ridden horses all her life. She grew up on a farm in Devon and was a Tetcott & South Tetcott Pony Club member, joining with her first pony — a New Forest called Prudence — before moving on to a Danish Warmblood called Marcus and competing in all activities, but particularly enjoying eventing. She has rehomed and retrained more than 10 ex-racehorses and dabbled in point-to-pointing. There have been plenty of bumps, setbacks and heartache along the way, as well as a lot of fun and many successes. Aimi has two young children and she still loves ex-racehorses. You can often find her hacking her Thoroughbred in the Oxfordshire countryside, flying the flag for Your Horse's #Hack1000Miles challenge.

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