Vitali and Tim headed down the centre line this morning at 9.40am and looked like the real deal as they usually do on the flat. Vitali is an exceptionally elegant horse who carries himself in a beautiful balance and has been well trained since he came out as an opinionated and spooky youngster to the class act he is today.

The trot work was ripping it and trending on 23 and a tiny bit of tension showed in the walk. Then on the extended canter Vitali remembered the B test of last hear and slipped in a change at the end (which is what we did all last year in the B test) so Tim had to swap back and then do the change at A as this test requires. That dropped the score slightly and Tim had to be a little careful in the extended on the other rein to hold the counter canter so the hoped for 23 ish turned into a 27.1.

Still third at the end of a long day though and good enough for Tim to attend the top three media conference at the end of the day…always a good sign at Badminton!

To say we are confused about the days is an understatement… none of us can get our heads around the fact that Saturday is another dressage day for sure. Jonelle was on hand for the warm up and has been busy all day filling in media commitments and course walks and we could not help but mourn the retirement of Classic Moet (Molly) as the rain threatens, the track is big and our Moll would have revelled in it!

Tim and Coup de Coeur Dudevin (Joker) are last on tomorrow afternoon. Quite fitting that Joker, who is just about as demanding a chap as our new King when it comes to standards, goes out on Coronation Day. Joker likes everything just so, no change in routine, no surprises and Kerryn by his side at all times. I guess to Joker she is his Queen Consort.

Not quite sure what that makes Tim!

NZL-Tim Price rides Vitali during the first day of dressage. 2023 GBR-Badminton Horse Trials | Presented by Mars Equestrian. Gloucestershire. Great Britain. Friday 5 May 2023. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography