THE Badminton Horse Trials could be a corker this year, with two riders eligible for the Grand Slam, another hoping to defend his title, a German debutante targeting a winning start and a host of other competitors vying to make their mark.

Here is a breakdown of some of the local and likely contenders...


Highworth’s Aussie rider, 37, has eight completions from eight starts and knows what it takes to win Badminton after piloting Inonothing to success in 2010.

He has backed first-timer Kilronan to more than hold his own against top-class opposition.

He said: “Kilronan is a great horse who's talented in all three phases, so I hope that he will cope with the atmosphere in his first time at this event.”


The Marlborough-based Kiwi comes to Badminton with a chance of winning the Grand Slam worth $350,000.

Mr Stickability will need to defy his Badminton jinx, however, having failed to win there on 31 previous completions.

Nicholson, 51, has never looked so good. The world number one has taken three four-star titles in eight months and earned team bronze and individual fourth at London 2012 - his best result in six Olympic Games.


The 57-year-old current title holder is targeting a fifth Badminton win.

Todd’s Olympic horse was withdrawn through injury, but Major Milestone has completed Badminton before and new ride Ravenstar could be a surprise contender.

While they have only had two outings together, both were impressive.

The Badgerstown rider said; “It is a very strong field and I am hoping for a top-10 finish.”


Membury’s talented 23-year-old made a successful Badminton debut with Rayef in 2011, topping the leaderboard following the dressage before finishing overall eighth.

Rayef’s recent injury leaves Collett with one shot riding Noble Bestman, but Collett is as talented and competitive as they come with experience that belies her years.


The Dorset-based rider is one half of the Grand Slam eligible duo. Career highlights include being World number one three times, winning 50 international three-day events, and 11 four-star events.

The 44-year-old Fox-Pitt won Badminton with Tamarillo in 2004 and has had six top-five placings here.

He boasts a string of horses to choose from and is in prime position to target his second Badminton title - as well as becoming the second ever rider to win the Grand Slam.


Jung is the first event rider to hold Olympic, world and European titles simultaneously, but this is his first Badminton appearance.

The German rider, 30, is trained by his father, a pure dressage rider, and is equally masterful over fences.

He already has winning form at this level with both of his Badminton mounts. Expect nothing less than a place for this rider.


The vastly-experienced King comes to her favourite event in the calendar having competed here in 18 previous years, winning twice and achieving six top-five results.

Of her two rides, Olympic horse Imperial Cavalier stands the greater chance, but homebred Kentucky winner Kings Temptress is equally capable on her day.


An Italian rider based in Gloucestershire. Panizzon finished 11th at London 2012 with the much admired grey mare Borough Pennyz.

Although she is yet to complete Badminton, her results at top level are credible and with Borough Pennyz she will surely lay down a decent challenge.