A total of 46 combinations will go forward to the showjumping phase at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials after this morning’s final horse inspection.
Overnight leader Michael Jung’s La Biosthetique-Sam FBW looked fresh as a daisy when trotting up in front of the ground jury of Marilyn Payne, Andrew Bennie and Angela Tucker before being accepted. He has two fences in hand over his compatriot Andreas Ostholt to become both the first German to win Badminton and claim the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing.
There were worrying moments for Ireland’s Joseph Murphy and New Zealand’s Clarke Johnstone when Sportsfield Othello and Balmoral Sensation were sent to the holding box. Both horses were then accepted by the ground jury when represented.
Sadly the same could not be said for H&H blogger Simon Grieve’s Cornacrew (pictured top), who looked sore after yesterday’s exertions. Simon decided to withdraw after being sent to the holding box, bringing his first Badminton to a premature end.
Emily Gilruth, who had been in line to finish as the best British first-timer, didn’t present Topwood Beau.
The biggest cheer from the assembled crowd came for the stylishly-attired Ben Hobday when Mulrys Error got the nod to continue. Ben rode around yesterday’s cross-country phase with Wilbury the Wonder Pony – the flagbearer of Hannah Francis’s new cancer charity Willberry’s Wishes – tucked inside his number bib. Ben himself has made a remarkable recovery from cancer to be riding here this year.
Alice Naber-Lozeman’s Harry Belanfonte looked ready to go around the 11min 58sec cross-country course again, while a rather drenched Zara Phillips had her hands full containing a fresh-looking High Kingdom after the heavens unexpectedly opened in the middle of the inspection.
The morning showjumping session for riders outside the top 20 will get underway at 11.30am with Badminton first-timer Kerry Varley and Bluestone Luke first into the arena. Then the top 20 riders kick off at 2.55pm with Ben Way riding Galley Light. Follow all the showjumping action as it happens with H&H Live.
Don’t miss H&H magazine next week (12 May issue) for our full 24-page report including columns from Carl Hester, William Fox-Pitt and Mark Phillips.