Defending champions – and Zara Tindall – head up strong Badminton Horse Trials entries

  • Defending champions Piggy March and Vanir Kamira head up this year’s Badminton Horse Trials entries. The event, presented by Mars Equestrian, will run 4-8 May 2022.

    Piggy and Trevor Dickens’ mare are the most recent winners of Badminton, having triumphed in 2019. The event was cancelled owing to Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021.

    Piggy is also entered with John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn’s Brookfield Inocent, who took individual silver and team gold at last year’s European Eventing Championships in Avenches.

    A raft of strong British contenders join Piggy on the Badminton Horse Trials entries list, including all three pairs from Britain’s Olympic gold medal-winning team – Laura Collett with Karen Bartlett, Keith Scott’s and her own London 52, Tom McEwen with Fred and Penny Barker, Jane Inns and his mother Ali’s Toledo De Kerser (who also won individual silver) and Oliver Townend with Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan’s Ballaghmor Class.

    Tom is also entered with Vicky Bates and David Myers’ CHF Cooliser and Fred and Penny Barker’s Bob Chaplin, but will have to choose which two of his three entries he will start on nearer the time. Similarly Oliver Townend has five horses entered – with Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class, the Ridgeons’ Swallow Springs, the Hazeldines and Mitchell Fox Group’s Tregilder and Sophie Adams’ Ridire Dorcha all in the mix – and will only be able to start on two.

    Five of the other horses from the 2021 British European Championships squad also come forward, with entries in from individual gold medallists Nicola Wilson on Deirdre Johnston and Jo and James Lambert’s JL Dublin, individual bronze medallists Sarah Bullimore and her own and husband Brett and the Kew Jumping Syndicate’s Corouet, and team gold medallists Kitty King and Vendredi Biats (owned by Diana Bown, Sally Lloyd Baker, Sally Eyre and Samantha Wilson) and Ros Canter with her own and Caroline Moore’s Allstar B.

    Nicola also has Lady Milnes Coates and Rosemary Search’s Erano M on the list, Sarah is double-handed, with Chris and Sue Gillespie and the rider’s husband Brett’s Reve Du Rouet joining Corouet, and Ros Canter brings forward Michele Saul’s Lordships Graffalo alongside world champion Allstar B.

    Izzy Taylor is not entered with Mark Sartori’s and her own Monkeying Around, who finished in the top 10 as an individual at the Europeans, but she has Sara and Tom Strong’s Artful Trinity 10th on the waiting list, so he should make the cut to start.

    Former winners entered also include William Fox-Pitt (Jennifer Dowling’s and his own Little Fire and the syndicate-owned Oratorio) and Pippa Funnell (who will have two choose two of the Walkinshaws’ Billy Walk On, Marek Sebestak’s and her own Majas Hope and the Clarkes’ MGH Grafton Street).

    Zara Tindall is slated for her first Badminton Horse Trials start since 2016 as she is entered with Gleadhill House Stud’s Class Affair.

    The Brits won’t have it all their own way at Badminton, though. A strong international challenge is led by New Zealand’s husband and wife duo Tim Price and Jonelle Price, with Tim entered on his own and Trisha and Sophie Rickards’ Xavier Faer and the Prices’ and Sophie Hearnden’s Ringwood Sky Boy and Jonelle on her own and Therese Miller’s Grovine De Reve and her own and Trisha and Sophie Rickards’ Classic Moet, who won the event in 2018.

    A sizeable US contingent will cross the Atlantic for the British spring classic, including Phillip Dutton with his Tokyo horse Z (owned by Phillip’s wife Evie, Ann Jones, Suzanne Lacy, Caroline Moran, Simon Roosevelt and Thomas Tierney), Ariel Grald and Anne Eldridge’s Leamore Master Plan, who were third at Luhmühlen last year, and Tamie Smith with the super dressage horse Mai Baum, owned by Alexandra Ahearn and her parents Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell.

    Only one German is entered to start at Badminton this year – last year’s Luhmühlen runners-up Christoph Wahler and his own and Lena Thoenies’s Carjatan S.

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