Badminton Horse Trials entries: Oliver Townend to trailblaze on Armada

  • The Badminton Horse Trials entries draw has been published, with Oliver Townend being number one, Michael Jung taking 112 on “Sam” and Zara Phillips wearing bib 86

    Oliver Townend (pictured) is the pathfinder at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2013 (2-6 May), riding Paul Ridgeon’s Armada.

    Of the most eagerly anticipated competitors, Michael Jung starts on Leopin FST at number seven, with his Olympic, world and European champion La Biosthetique-Sam FBW drawn as number 112.

    William Fox-Pitt’s Rolex Grand Slam bid will kick off with Oslo (eight), Lionheart (nine) or Cool Mountain (10). His second horse will be Parklane Hawk (115), Lionheart (116) or Cool Mountain (117).

    William can only actually start on two horses. He has now withdrawn the fifth horse he had entered for Badminton, Chilli Morning, who has started the journey to America for the Rolex Kentucky Horse Trials along with stable-mate Seacookie.

    Mary King’s ride Fernhill Urco has also been withdrawn as he is on his way to Kentucky.

    Andrew Nicholson still has three horses in the mix for Badminton, Avebury (15), Mr Cruise Control (16 or 122) and Nereo (121). He rides Calico Joe and Quimbo at Kentucky this weekend.

    The riders still on the waiting list have also all been given a number. They continue to replace those who withdraw until 2pm on Monday, 29 April. So far, the top 10 on the waiting list have been accepted.

    Zara Phillips likely to have Saturday dressage

    The draw was published online this evening. There will be few surprises for the two-horse competitors — who know they will have one ride in the early stages and the other towards the end — but those with just one mount will be eager to see it.

    An early draw can mean a quieter dressage day with less atmosphere, but a late position is generally considered an advantage as many believe there is a “second day effect” with judges being freer with the high marks then. Later riders also have the opportunity to see more starters tackle the cross-country before they head out.

    Zara Phillips will start at number 86 with her Olympic team silver medallist High Kingdom, so is likely to do her dressage on Saturday.

    H&H eventing diarist Lauren Shannon is drawn at 52 on Zero Flight so a Friday dressage is on the cards for the former young rider team gold medallist.

    Recent Lycetts Grantham Cup winner Vittoria Panizzon (Borough Pennyz) takes number 29 for Italy, with her compatriot Stefano Brecciaroli being given number 63 with his Burnham Market CIC*** victor Apollo Van De Wendi Kurt Hoeve.

    The first part of H&H’s Badminton preview is out next Thursday, 25 April, with the second half following on Thursday, 2 May.

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