The Burghley winner has been drawn at number 40 in a field of 69 for the American four-star, so is likely to do his dressage early on the second day (Friday, 27 April).
The other British horses flying to Kentucky are Lucy Wiegersma’s 2009 Blenheim winner Granntevka Prince (number 43) and Oliver Townend’s Pepper Anne (number 49), who recently took a CIC*** at Burnham Market.
They will be joined by California-based British rider James Alliston, who set off from his home at 2am this morning for the long drive to Kentucky. James has two rides, Jumbo’s Jake (number eight) and Parker (number 65), who finished 17th and 14th at Kentucky last year.
The 27-year-old Oxford graduate, who is originally from Gloucestershire, has been showing some good form, with Jumbo’s Jake recording three three-star wins since last October including at Galway Downs (30 March-1 April). The Telegraph reports that British performance manager Yogi Breisner has expressed an interest in him as a potential team member for the London Olympics.
British-based New Zealanders Lucy Jackson (Kilcoltrim Ambassador, number 42), Jonathan Paget (Clifton Promise, number 53) and Andrew Nicholson also make the trip. Andrew has three horses entered, but Calico Joe (number 3) and Qwanza (number 60) are likely to be the ones who board the plane.
Horses accepted from Badminton waiting list
Meanwhile, the last few days have brought a rush of withdrawals from the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (3-7 May).
Pippa Funnell has pulled all three of her rides after the news of injury to her top horse Redesigned, Clayton Fredericks has withdrawn the mare Dunges Laurent Rose and Jeanette Brakewell has taken Primitive Pistol out of the reckoning.
Two Irish riders are also out, Jayne Doherty (The Only One) and Ciaran Glynn (Killossery Kruisita), while Italy’s Fabio Magnio has withdrawn Watermark Grayson. Germany’s Simone Deitermann withdrew Free Easy NRW a few weeks ago after the pair were eliminated at Fontainebleau.
Ireland’s Declan Cullen, first on the waiting list, has withdrawn and announced the retirement from eventing of his coloured stallion Glenhill Gold, who has been injured, but may compete in dressage when he recovers.
From the main draw, William Fox-Pitt has withdrawn his new ride Chilli Morning – which was expected because he has only had the stallion on his yard a couple of weeks and does not free up any spots to the waiting list because William will still have two rides. William plans to run Seacookie and Neuf Des Coeurs, but also still has Lionheart, Parklane Hawk and Macchiato entered.
American-based Australian Peter Atkins has not yet formally withdrawn, but is expected to do so because he has broken his leg. Unfortunately his horses, four-star ride Henry Jota Hampton and youngster Firedrake, were already on their way to England at the time of the accident. Peter may now re-route to Luhm ¼hlen (14-17 June) if he is fit in time.
H&H’s Badminton preview, including course-walk with Blyth Tait, is out next Thursday (26 April).