Dressage superstar Valegro is to make an appearance at Badminton Horse Trials this year.
The former World and European, and current Olympic champion will head a “parade of champions” on the Thursday of the event (6 to 10 May).
While not quite fulfilling an H&H April Fool saying he was to turn his hoof to eventing, the 18-year-old gelding will lead the parade of British medal-winning horses on the first day of dressage. It marks the fact that the 2020 British Olympic equestrian team is the beneficiary of this year’s Badminton fundraising events, via the British Equestrian Federation and the British Equestrian Federation Fund.
A Badminton spokesman said: “Horses who have brought enormous pride to our country at past Olympics will be paraded in hand; these champions will be led in by none other than the world’s leading dressage star, Valegro – the double Olympic individual gold medallist in 2012 and 2016.”
After the parade, London 2012 team gold and individual bronze medallist Laura Tomlinson will give a display, showing off some of her string working at grand prix level, and sharing training tips for each horse.
The following day (8 May), Laura will give a dressage to music demonstration, in a session organisers promise will be “a real eye-opener”.
Event director Jane Tuckwell told H&H: “I am very excited that Valegro, who will be joined by other Olympic equine celebrities, will be paraded in hand. The parade, together with Laura’s displays, will be very special moments on the Thursday and Friday and highly appropriate in this Olympic year. I am also greatly looking forward to Peter and Anna’s commentary on Radio Badminton which I am sure will be both informative and entertaining!”
For those listening to the action via Horseware Badminton Radio, international dressage rider and coach Anna Ross, an H&H columnist, will be joining Peter Storr in the commentary box on both dressage days.
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Peter said he was delighted to be working with Anna, adding: “Badminton is always a special place with the best in the world competing there.”
Anna said: “I’m looking forward to joining the team at Badminton Radio and to bringing the action live from the dressage arena to spectators and listeners alike.”
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