William Fox-Pitt, Piggy French and Pippa Funnell — 18 Badminton entrants enjoying a spin round Belton

A host of horses enjoyed a prep run ahead of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in the Grantham Cup — a CCI4*-S (formerly CIC3*) — at Belton last weekend (29-30 April 2019).

Belton Horse Trials took place last weekend (29—31 March), against the wonderful backdrop of Belton House, near Grantham. A number of the world’s best event horses and riders were out in force, using the event as an essential prep-run before Badminton in less than a month’s time. Here we take a look at some of those contenders...

Harry Meade Away Cruising Belton

H&H columnist Harry Meade and Charlotte Opperman’s Away Cruising, who were sixth at Burghley last year.

Pippa Funnell MGH Grafton Street Belton

Pippa Funnell riding MGH Grafton Street, owned by Jonathan and Jane Clarke. He is one of three horses she has entered for Badminton.

Isabel English Feldale Mouse Belton

Australia’s Isabel English and Sarah English’s Feldale Mouse, who is by a Connemara stallion, prepare for their first Badminton with a double clear in the Grantham Cup.

Piggy French Vanir Kamira Belton

Piggy French and Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira, the 2017 Burghley runners-up, claim 11th in the Grantham Cup.

Katie Preston Templar Justice Belton

Katie Preston and Templar Justice, who are first on the waiting list so should get the opportunity to tackle their first Badminton. Katie, a vet, was named Pikeur amateur of the year at the H&H Awards last year. Templar Justice belongs to his rider and Rick and Trish Preston.

Chris Burton Cooley Lands Belton

Chris Burton riding Joe and Kate Walls’ Cooley Lands, who represented Australia at last year’s World Equestrian Games, put in a quiet double clear in the Grantham Cup.

William Fox-Pitt Oratorio II Belton

William Fox-Pitt and the syndicate-owned Oratorio II, who is a son of Oslo, with whom William won the four-star (now five-star) at Pau.

Kazuma Tomato Tacoma Dhorset Belton

Japan’s Kazuma Tomoto posts a double clear in the Grantham Cup on Tacoma D’Horset, who belongs to the Japan Racing Association. This pair competed at WEG last year.

Imogen Murray Ivar Golden Belton

Imogen Murray and Ivar Gooden, owned by Aivar Ward and the MS Team, cruise to ninth in the Grantham Cup.

Pippa Funnell Billy Walk On Belton

Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On, owned by Barbara and Nicholas Walkinshaw, land fifth place in the Grantham Cup.

Nicky Hill MGH Bingo Boy Belton

Nicky Hill and her own MGH Bingo Boy — who are on the Badminton waiting list — jump a double clear in the Grantham Cup.

Tom Crisp Coolys Luxury Belton

Tom Crisp and the Luxury Syndicate’s Coolys Luxury finish 12th in the Grantham Cup.

Laura Collett Mr Bass Belton

Laura Collett and Mr Bass, owned by Laura, Nick How and Keith Scott, en route to fourth in the Grantham Cup.

Kitty King Vendredi Biats Belton

Kitty King pilots Vendredi Biats, who is entered for Badminton alongside her 2016 Olympic horse Ceylor LAN, round the Grantham Cup. Vendredi Biats belongs to Diana Bown, Sally Lloyd Baker, Sally Eyre and Samantha Wilson.

Belton Simon Grieve Drumbilla Metro

Simon Grieve and Drumbilla Metro (owned by Merna Merrett, Catherine O’Connor and Simon), who are currently second on the Badminton waiting list, jump a clear cross-country in the Grantham Cup.

Emily Philp Camembert Belton

Emily Philp and Nigel Philp’s Camembert, who are first-timers at Badminton this year, take a spin round for 15th in the Grantham Cup.

Georgie Spence Halltown Harley Belton

Suzanne Doggett and Georgie Spence’s Halltown Harley on the way to a fast clear in the Grantham Cup under Georgie.

Pictures by Peter Nixon

Pick up a copy of this week’s H&H (issue dated 4 April) for our full Belton report, plus Harry Meade’s exclusive comment on the problems caused by the new rule on knocking flags.