Rio Olympic gold medallist Michael Jung (Germany) and silver medallist Astier Nicolas (France), with their Olympic horses, head the very high class list of entries for the 2017 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. Michael of course is also defending the title he won in 2016, when Badminton was his third and final winning leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing.
14 nations will be represented this year. In addition to Michael Jung there are 6 previous winners of the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy – Mark Todd (New Zealand), Paul Tapner, Andrew Hoy & Sam Griffiths (all Australia), Pippa Funnell and Oliver Townend (Great Britain).
As usual, the 85 horses with the most points won in top international competition over the past two years have been definitely accepted, leaving 36 on the waiting list this time.
Other entries of note include Andrew Nicholson (New Zealand) looking for his first win and 36th completion – he brings Nereo and Qwanza; Gemma Tattersall, 3rd last year with Arctic Soul; Kitty King with her Olympic ride Ceylor LAN; Tina Cook with a choice of 2 from 3 entries (Calvino II, Billy the Red and Star Witness); Nicola Wilson, for so long a member of the British team and now bringing Annie Clover; former Olympic and World Champion Blyth Tait (New Zealand); Christopher Burton (Australia) Burghley winner in 2016; Ingrid Klimke with her Rio team silver medallist Horseware Hale Bob, 2nd here in 2015.
The Draw for the Starting Order will for the first time this year be shown on Facebook Live on Tuesday 18th April. New Course Designer Eric Winter’s cross country course will be unveiled at a Preview Day and on the Badminton website on Wednesday 12th April. The event starts with the Mitsubishi Motors Cup for amateur riders on Wednesday 3rd May, followed by two days of international event dressage, the cross country on Saturday 6th May and show jumping and prizegiving on Sunday 7th May.