It will be a first Badminton for British rider Kerry Varley (31) who is based in Stamford Lincolnshire. With Badminton entry Bluestone Luke, Kerry has previously completed Burghley on two occasions – last year (2015) the pair jumped double clear.
A former head girl to former British team riders Piggy French and Oliver Townend, Kerry set up on her own as a freelance groom and rider and has her own yard in Ryhall, a stone’s throw from Burghley horse trials.
After a good run at Bramham in 2010 Kerry made her Burghley and four-star debut with Bluestone Luke, that year the youngest horse in the field – but withdrew before the show jumping. In 2013 the pair returned to Burghley but also had to withdraw before the showjumping – it transpired that Luke had fractured his stifle. He recovered to compete and complete in 2014. Kerry trains with Jayne White and Tim Brown. She enjoys cooking and watching Masterchef
Bluestone Luke, owned by the rider, is a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. He is by the ISH sire Highscope, a son of the grand prix jumping sire Touchdown. His dam-line is unknown. He stands just 15.2hh and is therefore one of the smallest horses in the field. He was acquired in Northern Ireland as a five-year-old has since been produced through the grades by Kerry – the pair made their three and four-star debuts together.
15.2hh , brown , gelding