Recent withdrawals from the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials entries list mean a number of leading competitors will ride just one horse at the event (5-8 May).
Andrew Nicholson will compete only on Nereo (pictured top) after announcing the retirement of the triple Burghley winner Avebury this morning. He had already withdrawn the mare Qwanza from the waiting list.
Fellow Kiwi Jock Paget has pulled out the 2013 winner Clifton Promise, but still fields Clifton Lush, who was third last year.
And another former winner, Sam Griffiths, is also single-handed in his attempt to regain his title. The Australian has withdrawn veteran campaigner Happy Times and will compete only on the 2014 winner Paulank Brockagh.
Meanwhile Christopher Burton has pulled out the 2013 Adelaide CCI4* winner TS Jamaimo, but he still has two rides, Nobilis 18 and Haruzac.
For Britain, Rose Carnegie was an early withdrawal from her second Badminton attempt with Landine, while Louisa Lockwood has withdrawn Ballyfarris Flight. Georgie Spence will also not start on Wii Limbo, who has had various setback so Georgie does not think he will be fit in time for the event.
The US contenders have also been narrowed down considerably. Buck Davidson has just one ride, The Apprentice, after withdrawing Park Trader. And Phillip Dutton will not be making the trip after ruling out the former Paul Tapner ride Indian Mill.
Lynn Symansky is staying in the US for her spring four-star challenge, so has withdrawn ex-racehorse Donner from Badminton and confirmed he will start at Rolex Kentucky the week before.
Boyd Martin has also clarified plans for his big team of top-level contenders and has withdrawn Blackfoot Mystery and Shamwari 4 from Badminton, leaving Cracker Jack and Master Frisky in the frame.
Badminton Horse Trials entries: one H&H blogger is in
Ten horses have been accepted from the waiting list, including Sam Watson’s ride Horseware Bushman, who was added to the list of definite starters early after an error was found with the initial calculation of his FEI points (on which the Badminton ballot is based).
H&H blogger Simon Grieve is the most recent rider to get in and will make his Badminton debut with Cornacrew.
Nana Dalton, who has previously blogged for H&H at both Badminton and Burghley, has been accepted with Absolut Opposition.
Another 12 horses need to be withdrawn before Alice Dunsdon, who is bidding to be the first rider to complete the world’s six four-stars on one horse, is able to start on Fernhill Present.
H&H will be covering Badminton in full online with reports, blogs and our popular written commentary, H&H Live. Plus don’t miss H&H’s Badminton magazine coverage:
- 28 April: preview including course walk with triple Badminton winner Ian Stark
- 5 May: pull-out form guide with info on every horse and rider competing
- 12 May: 22-page report including full analysis and expert comment