The double winner was wait-listed because her mount, Derek Baden’s Kings Temptress, has been off the road injured. As a result she has not gained many FEI points during the past two years, the basis on which the Badminton ballot is done. However, she is a previous four-star winner, having won Rolex Kentucky in 2011.
Mary was the final person on the wait-list, which initially consisted of 14 pairs, but has been accepted onto the startlist today.
This is the first year since this current wait-list system came in (2008) that all the pairs on the wait-list have been given the opportunity to compete. In the past between 15 and 43 horses have been accepted from the wait-list each year.
The wait-list this year was considerably smaller than previously, perhaps because riders realised after the tough cross-country course set by Giuseppe della Chiesa last year that they should not enter the event unless they were really well prepared.
Recent withdrawals from Badminton include Zara Phillips’ ride High Kingdom, who was injured before dressage at Kentucky last week.
William Fox-Pitt has also withdrawn Bay My Hero, who finished fourth at Kentucky and was only entered for Badminton as a back-up, and Parklane Hawk. He therefore has only one ride, the stallion Chilli Morning.
Francis Whittington and Nicola Wilson have withdrawn their rides Easy Target and Annie Clover, who both competed at Kentucky.
Britain-based Australian Kevin McNab has pulled out Clifton Pinot, who has not had an ideal preparation for the event.
Germany’s Claas Hermann Romeike (Cato 60) is another who will not be starting. The son of 2008 Olympic champion Hinrich Romeike was due to make his Badminton debut.
Irish pair Elizabeth Power and September Bliss, plus Britain’s Laurence Hunt (Wie Donna’s Niieuwnmoed) and Sarah Stretton (Skip On) are among other pairs recently accepted for Badminton from the wait list.