24 accepted from Badminton wait-list; Ben Hobday not among them

  • Horses down to 24th on the wait-list have been accepted into this week’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

    The final cut-off for wait-listed pairs to replace withdrawals was 2pm yesterday (Sunday, 30 April).

    The last rider to be offered the chance to run was Italy’s Pietro Sandei, with his long-term partner Mouse, a former ride of both Oliver Townend and Mark Todd. Pietro replaced Ireland’s Aoife Clark, who withdrew Richard Last’s Fernhill Adventure over the weekend.

    There were originally 36 pairs on the wait-list, but three below the cut-off withdrew, so nine riders were disappointed as they were unable to get into the event from the wait-list.

    They include Ben Hobday, who was one of the great stories of last year’s event when he returned from beating cancer to jump a double clear on Mulrys Error. He made it in from the wait-list in 2015 and 2016, but was 29th on the list this year so missed the cut.

    “I would be very disappointed not to get in, but this isn’t an Olympic year and there may be fewer withdrawals. But there are bigger problems than not getting to Badminton,” Ben told H&H a couple of weeks ago, explaining that his illness has given him perspective.

    H&H blogger Kirsty was another to miss out, writing in her diary on Friday: “I’m sitting here right now thinking we are just too far away on the list to get into the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials this year.

    “I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us on the lead-up to Badminton, especially Horse & Hound for following our journey.

    “But if we do get that last hour phone call, Bouncer [Cossan Lad] and I are ready to go; trot-up outfits will be ready courtesy of Teddy Edward – the only thing we might be rushing to get is the human food.”

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    The other pairs who didn’t make it in are Emma Hyslop-Webb (Pennlands Douglas), Dag Albert (Mitras Eminem), Alexander Bragg (Redpath Ransom; Alexander will compete on Zagreb); Arthur Duffort (Herbst Golden Eclipse), Louisa Milne Home (King Eider), Andrew Heffernan (Millthyme Corolla) and Mark Kyle (Jesmond Justice).

    Two riders still have three horses on the Badminton entries list, but they can only bring two horses to the event. The riders are Tina Cook (Star Witness, Billy The Red and Calvino II) and Oliver Townend (MHS King Joules, Samuel Thomas II and ODT Ghareeb).

    Don’t miss this week’s H&H for your 16-page pull-out guide to Badminton, including form guide for every horse and rider competing.

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