Olympic champion Laura Collett and London 52 revelled in one of the all-time great eventing performances that earned victory at Badminton Horse Trials.

The duo led from start to finish and smashed the record for the lowest winning score in the 70-year history of the prestigious event.

Collett and London 52 have now added a second 5* victory to the Olympic gold they won together last summer as part of the victorious British team eventing squad.

“That horse is amazing,” said an emotional Collett.

“He jumped his socks off, I couldn’t see a distance anywhere and he just went higher and higher.

“He’s a superstar and I’m so lucky. This is a childhood dream, I remember coming here on my auntie’s shoulders when I was three and watching Pippa Funnell win.

“I can’t believe it. My mum’s from New Zealand and it’s Mother’s Day in New Zealand so this is for her.”

Collett, 32, claimed Badminton victory at the seventh attempt but it was a first appearance at the Gloucestershire showpiece for 13-year-old bay gelding London 52.

Collett stamped her authority on the event with a superb dressage performance that saw her earn a score of 21 penalties.

She was awarded three 10s during her test, for extended trot, canter and halt as she stole an early march on Tokyo team-mates Oliver Townend and Tom McEwen.

London 52 delivered again in the cross-country, completing the challenging course inside the optimum time of 11min 44sec despite being held at one stage as other riders struggled.

The pair were perfect once again in Sunday’s showjumping stage, incurring only a small time penalty en route to victory. Collett ended the week having only incurred 21.4 penalties.

In second place was Ros Canter, who was the alternate rider for Team GB in Tokyo, carrying 26 penalties with Lordships Graffalo.

“Goodness, he’s only ten years old and he’s such a professional, every time he goes into a ring he jumps higher,” said Canter.

“I’m relieved at the moment and delighted for the owners, it’s such an exciting moment.”

Collett’s team-mate Townend maintained a challenge on two horses, including Olympic mount Ballaghmor Class, with Swallow Springs earning him third place.

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