Imogen Murray, 23 from Willoughby Waterleys, Leicestershire, becomes leading under 25 rider at The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials on her debut appearance, to claim the Worship Company of Saddlers’ Saddle.
As one of only 31 clear rounds, out of 81 starters, Imogen riding, M.S. Team Eventing Ltd’s and Aivar Ward’s, Ivar Gooden finished the punishing cross country course with 26.4 time faults to move up 36 places to sit in 30th place going into the final phase.
Following a near perfect show jumping performance the pair, in their first Badminton, and Ivar Gooden’s first CCI****, the combination continued their move up the leaderboard to finish in 21st place, and one of only 10 riders to produce a double clear in the jumping phases.
“I just can’t put it into words [how special a first Badminton is], it still seems so surreal to be honest, and I definitely didn’t expect to be coming here and jumping a double clear on a 10-year-old in his first 4*, especially with me being only 23” confirmed Imogen. “It’s the sort of thing that I came in hoping there might be a chance of, I know he’s not as good at the dressage as some of the other first time horses, but I thought it would be really nice for the under 25s, but I was never really sure that it was realistic, so now it is very exciting.”
With an out pouring of emotion from fans, friends, supporters and followers both in person and across social media at the sheer achievement of this pair, Imogen’s mother, Kim Murray added, “you can’t imagine the emotion that goes with watching them compete, but then you know that on a good day what they are capable off and we probably want it as much as she does, which then when an event goes wrong it’s just as hard, but when it goes well it’s exhilarating and emotional.”
Photos courtesy of Tim Wilkinson (Eventing Images)