As the start of the Badminton Horse Trials gets closer (4-8 May), five horses have been withdrawn from competition, adding four more pairs to the competition from the waiting list.
The latest horse to withdraw from competition was Xavier Faer, the 16-year-old gelding owned by Trisha and Sophie Rickards. Together with his rider, Kiwi rider Tim Price, they would have been a strong contender for the podium, as he was third in 2017 and has finished third and second at the Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2019 and 2021.
Instead, Tim will compete at this event with former Burghley Horse Trials winner, Ringwood Sky Boy.
Moreover, US rider Lauren Nicholson posted on Instagram that she had withdrawn Vermiculus (Bug):
According to Lauren, Bug will now head to Kentucky for dressage practice before getting ready for the German five-star at Luhmühlen Horse Trials in June. Vermiculus is owned by Jacqueline Mars, whose family business Mars Equestrian is the presenting sponsor at Badminton for the first time this year.
French rider Sidney Dufresne has withdrawn his horse Iris De Fleurieu’s Swing De Perdriat, 10th at Pau Horse Trials last year.
Moreover, the European individual bronze medallist, Sarah Bullimore, has withdrawn Corouet from competition. This is, however, an expected withdrawal, as the horse will be heading to Kentucky. The horse belongs to Sarah, her husband and the Kew Jumping Syndicate.
Tom McEwen, Olympic Individual silver medal, has confirmed instead he will be riding Toledo de Kerser, his Olympic horse, and withdrawing Bob Chaplin from competition. Owned by Fred and Penny Barker, the gelding has won in Cirencester Park with Tom McEwen and has competed with the British rider since 2019.
With these withdrawals, four additional pairs have been accepted from the waiting list. These are Britain’s Alex Bragg with King of the Mill, Swede Sofia Sjoborg on Juliet’s DHI Mighty Dwight, Nicky Hill on MGH Bingo Boy and Ireland’s Elizabeth Power on Soladoun.
Moreover, Zara Tindall has withdrawn from competition, providing US rider Emily Hamel with the opportunity to prove herself at Badminton. During the week, riders will compete in the CCI5* showpiece, and the courses have now been revealed for riders to prepare for the cross-country course.
According to course designer Eric Winter, “it is an attacking course and will suit bold horses with scope and agility, as there are a lot of big fences which befits a five-star competition.” On HorseTV we are excited to see what will happen at Badminton as eventing riders take on this five-star competition!
Images from Badminton Horse Trial's webpage