Key British contender withdraws from Badminton

  • Laura Collett has withdrawn her Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials hopeful Mr Bass from the competition in May.

    Owned by Laura, Keith Scott and Nick How, the 10-year-old has been a victim of the recent event abandonments as a result of poor weather.

    “I said at the beginning of the season that unless Mr Bass came out feeling absolutely ready for Badminton, I wouldn’t go,” Laura told H&H.

    “He was meant to run in the CIC3* at Burnham Market last weekend (29-31 March), but when that was abandoned [after the dressage], that was the last straw for me.

    “He missed a couple of fitness sessions due to the snow and with the lost run at Burnham, I don’t want to risk him at Badminton. He’s only 10 and a very exciting horse for me — it’s just one of those things and not worth it.”

    Mr Bass was the seven-year-old World Young Horse champion and finished second in the CCI3* at Blenheim last year. Badminton would have been his first attempt at four-star level.

    Laura said that Mr Bass was “totally wild” in his only full run of the season so far at Gatcombe on 24 March, when he contested the open intermediate. He was the dressage leader by four marks and showjumped clear but then ran out across country.

    “He needs a lot to keep his brain occupied and with a lack of cross country schooling due to the poor weather, he was very opinionated at Gatcombe,” explained Laura.

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    The pair were 18th after the dressage in the CIC3* at Burnham Market, but competition was abandoned on the Saturday morning before the section’s jumping phases.

    “We’re now heading for the CIC3* at Belton (if the weather ever changes!) and then Luhmuhlen CCI4* which gives me a few more weeks to prepare as it is in June,” said Laura.

    Of the 14 combinations that were originally on the Badminton wait-list, eight now remain, with Pippa Funnell topping the list on Billy Beware.

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