William Fox-Pitt will ride at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (2-6 May) after being accepted from the wait-list.
Although William is a two-time winner of Badminton, he was wait-listed this year as the event ballot is done on the horse’s FEI points won over the past two years. William’s ride Fernhill Pimms, owned by Catherine Witt and Carol Gee, has had time off competition — he did not start in any FEI competitions in 2016 or 2017.
William’s participation at Badminton was confirmed this morning (23 April) when last year’s winner Andrew Nicholson withdrew one of his rides, Jet Set. Andrew will still compete on the 2017 champion Nereo.
“I am very pleased to say Pimms and I have a confirmed entry at Badminton Horse Trials — the team rang this morning with the good news that Pimms and I are off the waitlist,” said William. “It is going to be a busy but exciting two weeks for everyone here.”
William entered Pimms for the US four-star at Kentucky this week (26-29 April) as well as Badminton, but withdrew as the wet weather meant it was not possible to give him enough prep runs.
“He has done very little since 2015 and we have not had the runs in this country to get him back to his best,” said William. “If he had gone badly in Kentucky I would have only had myself to blame.”
Pimms has now had three runs this season, going clear across country in open intermediates at Gatcombe and Bicton, but having 40 jumping penalties in the CIC3* at Belton.
Just one pair now remain on the Badminton wait-list, Nana Dalton and Absolut Opposition. Horses are accepted from the wait-list to replace those who are withdrawn until 2pm on Sunday (29 April).
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Don’t miss H&H’s full Badminton preview in this week’s magazine (dated 26 April), including cross-country course walk with Mary King and full form guide for every horse and rider.
Our bumper 24-page Badminton report will run in the 10 May issue.