EQUESTRIAN: Big names primed for Badminton

EIGHT former winners of the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy will line up at this year's Badminton Horse Trials on May 7-11.

The past champions are headed by double Olympic Champion Sir Mark Todd, from New Zealand, based at Badgerstown north of Marlborough.

Badbury-based Australian Olympic rider Andrew Hoy, plus compatriots Paul Tapner (Highworth) and Lucinda Fredericks (Little Cheverell) will also line up.

Great Britain's challenge is led by Mary King, Oliver Townend, Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pitt.

Marlborough-based world number one Andrew Nicholson will also aim to break his Badminton duck after a record 33 completions to date.

The New Zealander has a strong chance again with a choice of two from Nereo (third at Badminton in 2013), 2013 Kentucky winner Quimbo and Avebury , who has previously been first and second at the Burghley trials.

Competitors from 14 other nations will take part, with a major focus being selection for the World Equestrian Games, in Normandy, this summer.

Thirteen Australian horses and 14 New Zealanders are in the entry list, along with a strong Irish contingent with 10 horses, eight each from France and the USA and seven from Sweden.

British favourite King will ride Imperial Cavalier, who has completed on four occasions and has been third and fourth in the past. Fox-Pitt has a choice of four, including European bronze medallist Chilli Morning.

The full entry and waiting list is at  badminton-horse.co.uk.



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