Caroline Powell and Greenacres Special Cavalier are the toast of the world of eventing this morning after winning the 2024 MARS Badminton Horse Trials in a heart-stopping finish.

It’s 14 years since Caroline won her first – and only other – CCI5*-L crown, but this is a mare she has long believed in. They scored 30 in the dressage to sit in seventh place at the end of the test, followed by a “masterful” cross country adding just time penalties to move up to sixth and then a stunning double clear this morning for the win.

What a finish the 75th anniversary event produced and what a difference a year can make for Caroline and Greenacres Special Cavalier who could only manage 30th in the 2023 edition, making them the darkest of dark horses at this year’s event.

The Kiwi combo held their calm, adding nothing to their tally over a very chunky showjumping track for a final score of 43.2 penalty points. “Dreams like this don’t usually come true for people like me – it is unbelievable,” said a very emotional team bronze medal-winning London Olympian.

As other combinations followed Caroline – who couldn’t watch the top of the leaderboard do their rounds – moved slowly up the leaderboard. William Fox-Pitt (GBR) in his last Badminton added 24.4 penalties to slip from second to 13th aboard Grafennacht, while Tim Price and Vitali had to settle with eighth after picking up 20 jumping faults. Just three combinations managed to go clear and inside time in the showjumping, with Caroline coming home with five seconds to spare in her 16th completion at Badminton. Finishing second was Badminton debutant Lucy Latta (IRL) aboard RCA Patron Saint on 45.2 penalty points with Alexander Bragg (GBR) and Quindiva third also on 45.2.

Caroline and 11-year-old Cav, as the Irish bred mare is known at home, have previously finished fifth in the 5* at Pau (2022) and sixth at Maryland (2023). Her only other 5* victory was aboard the mighty Lenamore who won Burghley in 2010.“I never thought it would ever be a possibility to win again,” said Caroline. “Cav has been consistent in the last few years but she is tricky. To have her to this level and so professional in her job is a dream. It is just amazing.”

Badminton has long been one of her favourite events. “It’s a place that gives you the shivers when you walk in. This is an incredible result for us.” Caroline and Cav, who is owned by Chris and Michelle Mann and her rider, are the eighth New Zealand combination to win Badminton.

2018 winner Jonelle Price rode a lovely round aboard Grappa Nera with just a single rail down in the middle of the treble for 49.2 penalty points and sixth place. “I am delighted with Grappa Nera this week. Today was difficult,” said Jonelle. “I thought the showjumping would be influential. It was probably the toughest showjumping track I have seen at Badminton. It was big, it was technical, it had difficult distances and they had really used the contour of the ground. I feel we delivered three good phases in what was a true 5* test.”

It was heartbreak for Tim Price and Vitali who slipped from the lead to eighth place after adding 20 showjumping penalties to their score after losing his stirrup later in the course. “Man, that is disappointing,” he said. “That’s going to hurt, and he has been going so well. It just wasn’t to be.”

Once the rails started falling, Tim said the horse had “kept tanking” and they’d been rattled. But always the gracious sportsman, Tim was quick to congratulate countrywoman Caroline Powell on her win. “She has been in the mix so many times. She’s a fantastic jockey and always has been. It’s a great day for the sport.”

Jesse Campbell and Cooley Lafitte bagged their first 5* completion together with their 59.5 penalty point effort after adding 12 jump faults to their score for 15th place. “The mental exertion of yesterday and of the whole week just caught up with my guy today I think,” said Jesse. “He was just a bit star-struck and didn’t produce the best he can but still very proud of him. He is a proper 5* horse and I can’t wait to get to Burghley later this year.”

Full-time accountant Lauren Innes and her self-produced Global Fision M added a third completion to their Badminton stats with a 70.2 penalty point effort after adding eight jump and 1.2 time faults to their tally and 23rd place. “There are no words to describe him,” she says of the horse. “I go to bed at night thinking there are a lot of people who would like to have him in their stable and I am the fortunate one to have him.”






Greenacres Special Cavalier

by Cavalier Royale out of Greenacres Touch who is by Touchdown

Chris and Michelle Mann and Caroline Powell


Grappa Nera

by Karendasj out of Cetonette who is by Babalouba

The Grape Syndicate and Jonelle Price

Cooley Lafitte

by Je T’aime Flamenco out of Graf Shenanigans who is by Scirocco Delle

Jay Jaffar


by Contender out of Noble Lady who is by Heraldik

Alexander and Joseph Giannamore and Tim Price

Global Fision M

by Flipper D’Elle*HN* out of Kantussa who is by Cantus

Innes Family Syndicate

By Diana Dobson
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ