Alice Dunsdon has been accepted into next week’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (5-8 May) from the waiting list.
Alice, a Badminton first-timer, is bidding to make history as the first person to complete all six of the world’s four-star horse trials on the same horse.
Badminton is the last of the set she has to attempt, but when she entered this year she was 22nd on the waiting list. It’s usual for the event to be over-subscribed and horses are accepted strictly on the basis of FEI points won at three- and four-star competitions over the past two years. While Alice’s ride Fernhill Present has an excellent completion rate, he has not been well-placed on his top-level runs so has few FEI points.
Horses are accepted from the waiting list to replace those who withdraw until 2pm on Sunday (1 May), so those rooting for Alice have been on tenterhooks waiting to see if she would get in. Her place was confirmed in a phone call from the Badminton office earlier this morning.
Alice blogged for H&H during her epic trip to complete the Australian four-star at Adelaide last year and has returned to our bloggers’ roster for Badminton. Having chronicled the ups and downs of being on the waiting list, she will now continue to report her progress through the event.
Ben Hobday to ride Mulrys Error
Ben Hobday, who was one place below Alice on the waiting list, has also been accepted Badminton with Mulrys Error. Ben has a huge following on social media and his fans were particularly keen to see him run as he has returned to competition this season after battling cancer last year. He posted his reaction to the news in a video on his facebook page.
There is just one rider now left on the waiting list, France’s 2002 world champion Jean Teulere with Matelot Du Grand Val. With four days still to go until the cut-off, there is a good chance he will also come off the list and be able to run.
Today’s withdrawals that have given Alice and Ben a chance to compete are Ireland’s Jim Newsam with Magennis and British-based Swedish rider Ludwig Svennerstal with King Bob.
US star Boyd Martin also had to pull out one of his two rides, Master Frisky, yesterday when the horse suffered a bout of cellulitis. Boyd still competes on Cracker Jack.
The Irish challenge has been severely been depleted over the past week, with Sam Watson (Horseware Bushman) and Aoife Clark (Wasting Light) both withdrawing as well as Jim.
UPDATE (8.45am on Thursday, 28 April): Patricia Ryan has withdrawn Tullineasky Hi Ho, another blow to the Irish. Jean Teulere has been accepted from the waiting list with Matelot Du Grand Val, meaning all the riders and horses initially on the waiting list have now been offered the chance to run.