Francis Whittington, who is in hospital after suffering a suspected meningitis attack, still hopes to ride at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (30 April-3 May).

“Badminton looks possible, fingers crossed,” said Francis, 32. “I’m on controlled exercise until then. My sister [Bryony] and the rest of the team are helping keep the horses on track.”

Francis (pictured) is being discharged from Kent & Sussex Hospital tomorrow. He spent two nights there last week, and was taken back in on Sunday after suffering a relapse.

The popular East Sussex-based rider finished 15th at Badminton last year on Sir Percival III, with whom he is entered this year.