Xavier Faer is among the latest Badminton Horse Trials withdrawals, as the event presented by Mars Equestrian (4-8 May) draws closer.
The 16-year-old gelding, who is owned by Trisha and Sophie Rickards and his rider, New Zealand’s Tim Price, would have been a strong contender for a podium place – he was third here in 2017 and has since finished third and second at Kentucky Three-Day Event, in 2019 and 2021, and third at Maryland 5 Star last year.
Tim will still start at the event on the former Burghley Horse Trials winner Ringwood Sky Boy.
US rider Lauren Nicholson has withdrawn Vermiculus, saying in a post on Instagram that he “gave himself a good whack on the ankle recently which resulted in some uncharacteristic swelling”.
She adds that he was never lame but has always been a stoic character so “we erred on the side of caution and backed off his galloping and intense work while we made sure it was not anything serious”.
“After a lot of discussion, we decided that we had missed just a bit too much fitness work to be comfortable putting him on a plane to Badminton,” said Lauren, who says Vermiculus will now head to Kentucky for some dressage practice before being targeted at the German five-star at Luhmühlen Horse Trials in June.
“We’re very disappointed not to be able to be at the fabulous Badminton, but that is horses for you,” added Lauren.
The withdrawal of Vermiculus will be a particular sadness because he is owned by Jacqueline Mars, whose family business Mars Equestrian is Badminton’s presenting sponsor for the first time this year.
Vermiculus was due to make his Badminton debut but he has been in the top 10 at Kentucky twice and was ninth at Burghley in 2019
French rider Sidney Dufresne has withdrawn Iris De Fleurieu’s Swing De Perdriat, who was 10th at Pau Horse Trials last year on the horse’s five-star debut.
Corouet, the European individual bronze medallist with Britain’s Sarah Bullimore, has also been scratched from Badminton, but this is an expected withdrawal as he heads to Kentucky. He belongs to Sarah, her husband Brett and the Kew Jumping Syndicate.
Tom McEwen has also confirmed that his rides will be Olympic double medallist Toledo De Kerser and Pau runner-up CHF Cooliser, as he has withdrawn Fred and Penny Barker’s Bob Chaplin.
These Badminton Horse Trials withdrawals mean four more pairs have been accepted to start the competition from the waiting list – Britain’s Alex Bragg with Michael and Naomi Roe’s King Of The Mill, Gloucestershire-based Swede Sofia Sjoborg on her own and her mother Juliet’s DHI Mighty Dwight, Britain’s Nicky Hill and her own MGH Bingo Boy and Ireland’s Elizabeth Power on Soladoun, the ex-racehorse who belongs to Richard Ames and his rider.
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