BADMINTON HORSE TRIALS: A comeback to savour
4:00pm Friday 16th May 2014 in By Dan Barnes
HARRY Meade says his fairytale third-place finish at the Badminton Horse Trials felt like ‘it had been scripted’.
The 30-year-old, who lives in West Littleton, near Chippenham, rounded off his spectacular comeback from two shattered elbows by securing a place on the podium at the world’s most famous eventing competition, five months after being told that he may never ride again.
Meade, who suffered his horrific injuries in a punishing rotational fall at last year’s Wellington Horse Trials, stormed up the leaderboard from 45th place with Wild Lone during Saturday’s cross country phase before securing a top-three position in Sunday’s showjumping, with the Great Britain international finishing with 71.4 penalties.
“It was amazing. It was an absolutely brilliant week and the way everything came together; it was like it had been scripted,” Meade told the Gazette & Herald.
“It’s been an adrenaline-fuelled few days since it ended and there’s been so much excitement.
“Getting all three phases of eventing right is such a difficult thing to do but because I hadn’t been back riding very long, I went into it with no pressure.
“But I managed to get into a flow and I was able to relax on the final day and go out and ride quite easily.
“Badminton is the biggest event in the world, so to finish in the top three is fantastic – it’s the best result of my career.
“To come back and even ride again after what happened to me is one thing but this was amazing.”
And it wasn’t just his own remarkable resurgence that left Meade with reason to celebrate on Sunday evening, with the Great Britain ace also toasting Dorset-based Australian Sam Griffiths’ Badminton victory.
Meade said: “Sam is a really close friend of mine. We’ve known each other for a long time and we said before we went out there that we both had to get to the top together.
“I was really happy that he won and to be able to celebrate with one of your best friends is a great feeling.”
FOR MORE SPORTS NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport