It will be a first Badminton for British rider Kirsty Johnston (27) who is based at the Landford Common Stud, near Salisbury, in Wiltshire. Last year with Badminton entry Opposition Detective Kirsty completed her first four-star at Pau.
Kirsty comes from an equestrian family. Her father John Johnston rode at four-star level – he completed Badminton in 1984 – and her mother, the late Debbie Johnston evented and rode international grand prix dressage. The family run the Opposition Stud that was founded by Debbie. They stand Fleetwater Opposition who has become one of the sport’s most successful sires – he was the sire of successful British team horse Opposition Buzz. Debbie bred the stallion (Yarlands) Summer Song (by Fleetwater Opposition) who completed Badminton in 1995 with Marie Christine Duroy and has since become a successful sire in France.
In 2010, with Opposition Detective, Kirsty represented GB at the World young horse championships in Le Lions and again in 2013 with Opposition Skylaw.
Kirsty has currently side-lined her career in event management to concentrate on riding the stud’s horses.
Kirsty trains with Christopher Bartle and Mark Dorgan
Opposition Detective, owned by Mrs Denny Russell and rider, is a 13-year-old British-bred gelding. He was bred by Kirsty’s father John and is by the stud’s famous stallion Fleetwater Opposition out of the mare Hathor, by the thoroughbred Ra Nova. His full sister competes internationally in France – she represented France at the Junior Europeans in 2013.Detective was so named because John Johnstone was watching Midsummer Murders when the mare foaled, and he was given to Kirsty as a surprise 18th birthday present.
16.2hh, brown, gelding
Sire Fleetwater Opposition
Dam Hathor (Ra nova)
Breeder Mr John Johnston
Denny Russell, Pitlockery, Perthshire