At one of the premier international three-day eventing competitions, Salmon Arm’s Rebecca Howard and her horse Riddle Master – fondly called Rupert – made their presence well-known.
They placed twelfth at the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials, which wrapped up Monday, May 6 in Gloucestshire, England.
In an interview with Horse Junkies United immediately following her double-clear round, Howard said the competition had been a roller coaster of emotions for her, beginning with disappointment following the first phase of the three-phase event, dressage, where she placed 32nd overall and felt Riddle Master could have done better. However, he redeemed himself in the cross-country, putting in a near flawless performance, which brought them up to 22nd place.
The exciting and grueling cross-country event is said to attract crowds of up to a quarter of a million, the second largest paid-entry event in the world.
Following the cross-country event came the third and final phase of the competition, the stadium jumping.
Once again Riddle Master and Howard shone, putting in two beautiful clear rounds over the demanding course. That brought them up to 12th place in the official results, although Howard reports on Facebook that she was presented with the 11th-place silver horse trophy.
Comments on her Rebecca Howard Equestrian site are full of congratulations on her fine performance at her Badminton debut.
As one fan wrote: “Congratulations! That is the most amazing achievement! Good for you! I am so excited that you got one of the those Silver Horses! Not many people get those! Well done!”
Howard moved to England following the Summer Olympics in London. She is now riding, coaching and training out of Marlborough, Wiltshire.
Although she could not be reached by the Observer following the event, she told a reporter in England that she’s not sure what her next steps will be now that Badminton is over.