Lucinda told H&H that it was a last-minute decision to enter Prada, ninth at Blenheim last year (pictured).
“It was never in my plan, but she’s suddenly turned a corner and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to ride at Badminton again,” she said.
“She cruised round Blenheim, so I’m not worried about her getting the distance or speed, although I’m not hugely hopeful about the dressage as that takes time. But I hope to give her a good run at Fontainebleau [France, 24-27 March] and hopefully be able to get her ready.
“It’ll certainly be a very different ride to ‘Brit’ [Headley Britannia, her diminutive 2007 winner] — like a Ferrari compared to a mini!”
The 11-year-old Prada is low mileage, having had most of 2008 and all of 2009 off work lame, which the Fredericks suspected was due to twisting her sacro-iliac jumping out of deep ground.
Front-runners and first-timers
William Fox-Pitt has the most horses entered this year, five. He has only won here once — in 2004 — but in Navigator, Macchiato, Idalgo, Seacookie TSF and Cool Mountain he has the luxury of five horses all with four-star experience to choose from.
Piggy French brings her World Equestrian Games (WEG) ride Jakata, but also 2009 European silver medallist Some Day Soon, who missed much of last season. And Tina Cook has entered her 2009 European champion Miners Frolic, who fell in The Lake last year but went well across country at WEG bar a technical 20pen.
Triple Badminton winner Pippa Funnell has two rides — WEG ride Redesigned and Mirage D’Elle — for her first attempt at Badminton since 2008. And fellow triple winner Mark Todd has three horses entered, Major Milestone, NZB Land Vision and NZB Grass Valley.
Oliver Townend will have to choose two from ODT Master Rose, Ashdale Cruise Master and Carousel Quest, while Mary King is also triple-handed at this stage with Kings Temptress, Imperial Cavalier and Apache Sauce.
Andrew Nicholson’s three entries include his WEG individual bronze medallist Nereo.
Badminton has attracted a particularly strong international field this year — less than half the accepted entries are British at this stage.
As well as the British-based foreigners, six riders are bidding to make the journey from the USA and three members of Canada’s silver-medal winning WEG team are also planning to cross the Atlantic: Hawley Bennett-Awad (Gin & Juice), Selena O’Hanlon (Colombo) and Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch (Port Authority).
Among the notable first-timers are H&H blogger Ben Hobday, former young rider European champion Laura Collett (accepted with Rayef and wait-listed with Ginger May Killinghurst) and Lauren Shannon, best British first-timer at Burghley last year with her Badminton entry Zero Flight. Lauren also has Quixotic third on the waiting list.