William Fox-Pitt and Paul Tapner will lead fund-raising course walks at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Last year’s champion Paul Tapner will lead a walk on Friday 22 April, and William Fox-Pitt, who won in 2004, will do the same the following day.

Participants on the walks, which last about two hours and include discussions about the course and event, are encouraged to raise at least £100.

Supporting the course walk is BE-accredited coach and Armada dish winner William Miflin who is currently battling cancer.

William had planned to lead a course-walk for the second year running however his on-going treatment meant that he asked his namesake William Fox-Pitt to step in.

Badminton director Hugh Thomas said: “I am delighted two of our top riders have agreed to find the time during a really busy week to support our charity partner for 2011.

“John Hills, our chief cross-country steward and committee member, originally suggested Cancer Research UK as our Charity of the Year before he was diagnosed with cancer himself.

“John died in April 2009, just before Badminton, so this year’s choice of charity is very much as a tribute to him.”

Places on the walk are limited and walkers are urged to pre-register (at http://supportus.cancerresearchuk.org/events) as soon as possible.

Maria Gomez of Cancer Research UK said: “We hope to raise at least £5000 from both events which would have a significant impact on our work.

“People willing to support the course walks will receive a fundraising pack with hints and tips on how to raise £100.”

Cancer Research UK will also be running a raffle at Badminton, stand number 102, with prizes including an exclusive members package for Badminton 2012, with a tour of the stables, and a Gatehouse HS1 Jockey Skull signed by top riders including Mark Todd, Zara Phillips and Carl Hester.

For further information about the course walks e-mail Maria on maria.gomez@cancer.org.uk or telephone 07918 196031.