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‘A stressful day – and I wasn’t even competing’: Harry Meade withdraws two out of three Badminton rides

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Badminton Horse Trials Harry Meade withdrawn two horses including Red Kite, pictured at the trot-up
Harry Meade (GBR) riding Red Kiteduring the 1st Horse Inspection of the MARS Badminton Horse Trials, held in the park land around Badminton House in the village of Badminton near Malmesbury in Gloucestershire in the UK, between 8th - 12th May 2024

Harry Meade has withdrawn two of his three horses at the Mars Badminton Horse Trials before cross-country day, on a difficult afternoon for his team yesterday (10 May).

The horse who was third at Burghley Horse Trials, Cavalier Crystal, completed the dressage phase on Thursday, finishing equal 44th, but Harry felt the mare was lacklustre.

He wrote on social medial: “Cavalier Crystal was really good in her test yesterday, although slightly lacking her usual exuberant movement; she seemed quiet in herself and my gut was that something was amiss. We ran some routine blood tests and are not totally happy with the results. After her podium finish at Burghley last year we felt the track here would really suit her but I’m not happy to ask her to start across country if she’s not 100%.

“We’ll keep monitoring her and hopefully she’ll be back to her usual self quickly.”

Badminton Horse Trials: Harry Meade withdrawn on Red Kite

His final ride Red Kite was due to perform his dressage test late on Friday afternoon, but was withdrawn beforehand.

“Red Kite came out of his stable to warm up for his test this afternoon and wasn’t sound,” Harry said. “He’s been seen by the farrier and currently has a poultice on his foot.

“At the same time a family member at the event collapsed and was taken to hospital. Thankfully all seems OK on initial checks, but it’s been one of the most stressful day’s competing I can remember and I haven’t even competed today.”

However, Harry does still have the grey five-star stalwart Away Cruising in the competition, who is due to set out on cross-country at 1.46pm today.

David Doel was another high-profile withdrawal on the eve of cross-country. He pulled his ride Galileo Nieuwmoed, runner-up at Burghley, out, while Pippa Funnell has also withdrawn one of her two rides.

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