Moonfleet, the reigning Mitsubsishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials champion, has been withdrawn from this year’s renewal, leaving Australian ace Andrew Hoy (pictured right) without a ride at the prestigious event.

H&H was unable to contact Andrew, but speaking to www.badminton-horse.co.uk, he said the 16-year-old Thoroughbred had been withdrawn owing to a partial paralysis of the left larynx, meaning that he was unable to obtain sufficient air when working hard.

Andrew was forced to withdraw his other Badminton hopeful, Master Monarch, earlier last week after he injured his cervical cord.

Andrew explained: “Both horses are very happy and well within themselves, but are unable at this point to perform at their best.”

H&H columnist William Fox-Pitt will be relying on Ballincoola after he withdrew Idalgo at the weekend. Other notable absentees include Fifth Avenue Fame, who was set to be partnered by popular Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa.

Spectators will also be disappointed that Kitty Boggis has withdrawn Coup De Coeur, Leslie Law and William Fox-Pitt’s former ride whom she started competing at the start of this year. Kitty made an impressive Badminton debut when she finished seventh in 2005 on Five Boys.

Reigning under-25 champion Georgie Davies will also miss the event after withdrawing the talented mare Fachoudette, while fellow first-timers Andrew James (Ciao Mario) and Australia’s Luke Jones (Soul) have also pulled out.

For the very latest reports on the eventing action at Badminton, plus what’s going on behind the scenes, log on to Horseandhound.co.uk for updates from our on-site reporters

Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full 18-page magazine report, including fantastic photographs capturing the best of the action, a run down on the problem cross-country fences, former Badminton winner Ginny Elliot’s view of the winning performance and the final scoreboard, on sale 10 May ’07