British overnight leader Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class will head out as the penultimate pair on course, at 4.34pm. As well as the Badminton title, Oliver is bidding to take the Rolex Grand Slam, the big-money bonus awarded to any rider who can win the four-stars at Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky consecutively.
Second-placed Mark Todd and Kiltubrid Rhapsody also head out towards the end of the day for New Zealand, at 4.14pm. Third-placed Ros Canter will start at 1.58pm on her European team gold medallist Allstar B.
Pathfinder Caroline Powell, another New Zealander, kicks off the action at 11.30am with Up Up And Away, while the final rider on course is scheduled to be Tom McEwen (Strike Smartly) at 4.38pm.
The pre-event favourite, Germany’s Michael Jung on La Biosthetique-Sam FBW, leaves the start box at 1.06pm. He sits eighth after dressage.
H&H has two bloggers in the competition — Simon Grieve (Drumbilla Metro) starts at 1.34pm and Kirsty Short (Cossan Lad) will head out at 2.30pm.
Ireland’s Jonty Evans — fourth after dressage — has 3.10pm as his start time with Cooley Rorkes Drift, the horse he secured the ride on through crowd-funding.
The defending champions, New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson and Nereo, are the fourth pair out of the start box at 11.42am.
Much of the discussion from riders over the past two days has been about the soft ground on the cross-country and it will be fascinating to see how horses cope and how the going changes through the day.
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