The entries for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (30 April-3 May) have been published on the Badminton website today.
Badminton has placed 92 horses on the accepted list, although only 85 will start — some riders have three or four horses on the list, but they can only run two.
In addition, 59 horses have been placed on the waiting list. Last year, there were 44 horses on the waiting list and all but one were eventually accepted as others withdrew.
The Badminton ballot is based on the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) points a horse has won at three- and four-star level over the past two years. Entries will be accepted from the waiting list as and when horses withdraw, up until 6pm on the Tuesday before the event starts (27 April).
Frontrunners for the top slot
Among the frontrunners for the title are Tina Cook with her European champion Miners Frolic, who makes his Badminton debut, Mary King with Imperial Cavalier and William Fox-Pitt, who currently has four horses entered, Cool Mountain, Macchiato, Seacookie TSF and Idalgo. Cool Mountain is likely to run at Kentucky the week before, but otherwise William has not indicated which horses he will ride.
Last year’s winner Oliver Townend also has four horses listed: Golden Hue, ODT Master Rose, Carousel Quest and Mayhem III. Last week he indicated that Golden Hue and ODT Master Rose are likely to be his Badminton rides, with Carousel Quest being saved to defend his Burghley title in the autumn.
For some years before 2008, Badminton accepted more entries initially, but held no waiting list. In the six years prior to the waiting list system being set up, the “drop out” rate was between 16 and 27, but the fact entry to the trials is now free may encourage more riders to enter who feel they are unlikely to actually be ready to compete, resulting in more withdrawals.