At this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials there are 25 first time riders. Eventing Worldwide previews those riders from overseas.
Louise Romeike (Sweden)
Not only is this Louise Romeike’s first Badminton, it will be her first ride at CCI5*-L. The German-based Swedish rider has eventing in her blood – her mother Ann-Louise Svensson formerly competed for Sweden in eventing – although Louise initially wanted to train and ride race horses. At the age of 20 she moved to Germany to base herself with Peter Thomsen. At the end of 2017 she set up a yard in Rendsberg with her fiancé Claas Hermann Romeike – who started Badminton in 2017 with Cato 60 but retired on the cross country, and the pair married in November 2018.
With Badminton entry Weiloch’s Utah Sun, one of the few mares’ in this year’s field, Louise was a member of the Swedish team that won the silver team medal at the European Championships at Strzegom in 2017, finishing 11th individually. Riding Waikiki 207 Louise was the highest placed member of the Swedish team (29th) at the World Equestrian Games at Tryon.
Malin Josefsson (Sweden)
Amateur rider Malin Josefsson is another first timer who will also be making her CCI5*-L debut.
On leaving school Malin worked for Swedish rider Anna Nilsson before moving to Germany where she spent a year with Swedish Olympic event rider Malin Petersen. She was then accepted into veterinary school and continued riding whilst studying. During this time, she was accepted onto the national program for talented riders. Malin is a qualified vet, dog trainer and breeder.
In 2017, Malin competed as an individual at the European Championships in Strzegom and has competed on several Nations Cup teams with her Badminton mount Golden Midnight.
Clara Loiseau (France)
Eventing is in Clara Loiseau’s blood. Her father Paul-Alian Loiseau was a former Olympic rider and her mother Isabelle also competed in eventing.
With her Badminton entry Wont Wait, the pair made an impressive debut at CCI5*-L level when they finished third at Pau last year. She has produced the former racehorse who was bought out of training as a four-year-old herself. In 2013 the pair were part of the French team for the European Young Rider Championships where they finished 14thindividually.
Hanna Berg (Sweden)
In the run up to Badminton, Hanna Berg has based herself at Attington Stud. It will be her first attempt at CCI5*-L. Eventing was not her first love – Hanna began her career working at a renowned show jumping stable.
With Badminton entry 14-year-old Quite Survivor – a family horse, bred by Hanna’s mother Anette and owned by her sister Mathilda and parents – Hanna was the Swedish team for the 2017 European Championship and the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Quite Survivor acquired his name after a close shave with death as a foal after eating a poisonous plant.
Jenny Caras (USA)
Twenty-three-year-old Jenny Caras is based with one of the best US eventers – Phillip Dutton – at True Prospect Farm from where she runs Caras Eventing International.
Jenny began riding at the age of four. After loaned ponies her parents finally bought her a horse. In 2014 she began working for and training with Dutton and the following year she was awarded the Markham Trophy as the highest placed Young Rider at Fair Hill CCI3* with Fernhill Fortitude. In 2016, with help from the Karen Stives Grant, she came to the UK to compete in the Under 25 Championship at Bramham where she finished 9th. She has been a member of the USEF Eventing Under 25 training squad for the last seven seasons.
With Fernhill Fortitude, who was acquired in Ireland in 2011 from Carol Gee as a seven-year-old with no eventing experience, the pair made their CCI5*-Ldebut at Lexington 2017 but did not complete.
Kazuma Tomoto (Japan)
Based with former Badminton winner William Fox-Pitt, Japanese rider Kazuma Tomoto will have a great mentor to turn to for advice as he prepares for his first Badminton, which will also be his debut at CCI5*-L.
A former show jumper, Kazuma has only been eventing since 2016. With Badminton entry Tacoma d’Horset, one of the few mares in the field and produced to two-star by French rider Yannick Dirou, Kazuma was a member of the fourth placed Japanese team at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon where they finished 23rd.
Tamra Smith (USA)
Badminton first timer Tamra Smith runs Next Level Eventing in partnership with her daughter Kaylawna and rider Heather Morris. She is an ICP level 4 instructor, and has ridden dressage to Grand Prix and competed in show jumping.
Wembley is a former show jumper. He was initially produced by Tim Price who competed the horse to two-star, before he was acquired by owner Kevin Baumgardner, who rode him to three-star level. In 2017 Baumgardner, handed Tamra the ride to allow her to qualify for Lexington CCI5*-L with the aim of competing at World Equestrian Games at Tryon. The pair finished was 14that the Lexington.
Isabel English (Australia)
Australian Isabel English comes from an equestrian family and was taught to ride by her parents who run Cil Dara stud near Brisbane. Her sister Elizma competed internationally in eventing and now competes in show jumping. Isabel started competing aged 10.
Isabel acquired Mouse – who at 17 is one of the oldest horses in this year’s Badminton field – when he was five and the pair has been together for 12 years. In 2016 Isabel and Mouse left Australia for Germany where she spent three seasons as a working pupil to Michael Jung. The pair came 12thin their first CCI5*-L at Adelaide in 2013 and the pair has since completed on another two occasions.
In 2018 she was named as a member of the Australian ‘Generation Next’ squad and moved to Sussex at the end of last year.
Sebastien Cavaillon (France)
Sébastien Cavaillon started riding aged eight at the Vélizy Pony Club and was soon competing in eventing. In 2001 he was the French champion of the team clubs in eventing. He then competed in jumping and dressage while pursing further education. In 2006 he passed his instructors exams and for two seasons was a rider at the yard of former French team rider Frédéric de Romblay.
With Badminton entry Sarah D’Argouges, one of the small number of mares competing this year, he made his CCI5*-L debut at Pau last year completing in 15thplace.
Toshiyuki Tanaka (Japan)
Toshiyuki Tanaka has been based with Angela Tucker since 2012, competing at the Olympic Games in London that year.
His Badminton entry Kelecyn Pirate was acquired in Australia from Kevin McNab and spent two years in Japan competing at one-star level with fellow Japanese rider Keiichirou Nagamatsu. Toshiyuki took the ride in 2015 and he completed his first CCI5*-L in Pau where the pair finished 9th. He was also a member of the Japanese team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon finished 15thindividually with Talma D’Allou.
Savannah Fulton (USA)
American rider Savannah Fulton, better known as Woodge, grew up on her family’s farm where her mother Karen teaches and her father Stephen bases his farriery business. Her younger sister Grace also competes up to three-star level.
She started as a working pupil for Buck Davidson during high school and did her last two years of high school online, finishing a year early and met Captain Jack at the yard. Formerly ridden by Lucy Disston to two-star level he was sent to Buck Davidson’s yard to be sold. During this time Savannah ended up riding him and after the horse remained unsold Buck suggested Savannah take him on.
In 2016 Savannah was awarded the Amanda Pirie Warrington grant to provide financial training assistance ‘to a talented up and coming rider with the ability to represent the USA in the future’ and last year she was a recipient of the Wilton Fair educational grant awarded to riders that have not yet ridden for a senior team. She is currently based with Dirk Schrader in Germany.
Savannah and her Badminton entry Captain Jack have twice completed Lexington – finishing 23rd in 2018. Jack is an off the track thoroughbred and had 19 starts during his racing career and won about $12,000 dollars.