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Shocked Jock snatches dramatic Badminton win

By ONE Sport with Europe correspondent Garth Bray

Published: 5:34AM Tuesday May 07, 2013 Source: ONE News

Kiwi rider Jock Paget was in a mild state of shock following his victory at Badminton today.

Paget produced a faultless show-jumping round, but it took a mistake by chief rival Michael Jung - and the crowd's reaction to the error - to confirm his win.

The crowd was hushed and the tension palpable as Jung made his ride, but their cheers of support quickly turned to gasps, as he dropped a rail on the last fence to hand Paget first place.

"When Mark brought the rail down, well, it sounded like he'd jumped clear, because they all started cheering, and then they changed their tone and I thought 'I think he had it down - I think I won', Paget told ONE Sport today.

"And I feel the same now as I did then - it's just a little bit of shock, isn't it - it's just a bit weird, but very good."

The 29-year-old former brick layer's win re-inforces a proud line of New Zealand victories at the epicentre of eventing.

Mark Todd was the first rider to win on his first attempt at Badminton. Today, 33 years later, they played God Defend New Zealand for the first debutant to follow that effort.

"That's a good moment," Paget said.

"That's kind of the one moment you get a chance to sit there by yourself and think 'I just won Badminton'. It was a good moment."

Paget has been slowly moving up the equestrian ranks following a team bronze medal at the London Olympics and admitted he was quietly confident he could come out on top today.

"I was just thinking one fence at a time," he said.

"I came here knowing I had two great horses and that I could win, both horses did everything I asked of them and that was enough."

Following today's success, Paget said he feels ready to take the reins from the likes of Todd, as one of the next generation of eventing stars.

"I'd like to think so," he said. "He's a legend, and I've been privileged enough to be able to ride with him and to be trained by him, and to even come to these events.

"I'm very fortunate to be in the situation that I am and with supporters, friends, coaches - it's the right place."

Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance coach Erik Duvander said the win was something Paget had been building up to for a while.

"I believed strongly that Jock could win," he said. "They've come into the competition with the horse in top form and I never doubted he could pull it off.

"Many say they would rather win Badminton than the Olympics. In the eventing world, Badminton is the glory one to win."

Fellow Kiwi Andrew Nicholson came third, missing out on a Grand Slam of victories from Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton.

Results (final):

1 Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Promise (owned by Frances Stead) 39.7

2 Michael Jung (GER) La Biosthetique-Sam FBW 40

3 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Nereo (owned by Libby Sellar) 40.2

4 Sandra Auffarth (GER) Opgun Louvo 42.5

5 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) Parklane Hawk 44

6 Stefano Brecciaroli (ITA) Apollo VD Wendi Kurt Hoeve 46.8

7 Vittoria Panizzon (ITA) Borough Penny Z 47.3

8 Aoife Clark (IRL) Master Crusoe 47.6

9 Astier Nicolas (FRA) Piaf de B'Neville 49.3

10 Christopher Burton (AUS) Holstein Park Leilani

11 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Averbury (owned by Mark and Rosemary Barlow and Nicholson) 51

14 Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Lush (owned by Lucy Allison and Frances Stead) 52.2

21 Caroline Powell (NZL) Onwards and Upwards (owned by Cameron and Mary Crawford and Powell) 56.8

33 Caroline Powell (NZL) Boston Two Tip (owned by Alan Bell and Powell) 67.6

41 Lucy Jackson (NZL) Animator II (owned by Nigel and Ann Taylor, Kathy Brown and Jackson) 71.1

48 Megan Heath (NZL) St Daniel 71.7 44, Mark Todd (NZL) Major Milestone (owned by Diane Brunsden and Peter Cattell) 76.2

Mark Todd (NZL) Ravenstar (owned by Team Rutledge) withdrawn before showjumping

Lucy Jackson (NZL) Willy Do (owned by Gillian Greenlees and Jackson) withdrawn before cross country.

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