Riders’ entries are now in for this years’ Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, which takes place from May 7-11, and another feast of top class International sport is in prospect. Competitors from 14 other nations will take on the best of the British, with a major focus being selection for the World Equestrian Games, Normandy this summer.
There are 13 Australian horses and 14 New Zealanders on the entry list, reflecting those countries’ riders being assessed for selection by performance in the northern hemisphere this spring. As usual there is a strong Irish contingent, with ten horses, eight each from France and the USA and seven from Sweden.
Eight former winners of the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy will line up again this time, headed by double Olympic Champion Sir Mark Todd from New Zealand, with Andrew Hoy, Paul Tapner and Lucinda Fredericks from Australia, Mary King, Oliver Townend, Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pitt from Great Britain. Kristina Cook and De Novo News are also on the list.
Among those not to have won here Andrew Nicholson (New Zealand) stands out with his record 33 completions to date and he must stand a great chance this time with a choice of two from Nereo (third here in 2013), Quimbo (Kentucky winner 2013) and Avebury (First and second at Burghley).
British favourite Mary King will ride Imperial Cavalier, who has completed on four occasions and has been third and fourth in the past; William Fox-Pitt has a choice of four, including European bronze medallist Chilli Morning.
Places in the British team are certainly up for grabs after the disappointing result at the European Championships last year, so competition for the record prize money and the best known Trophy in the world will be intense.
More than 130 entries were received for the 85 places available, so those on the ‘Waiting List’ will be hoping that some of those accepted withdraw over the next month. The full lists of those accepted and the waiting list are on the Badminton website at www.badminton-horse.co.uk.