Defending Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Champion, Jonelle Price from New Zealand and 3 of the 4 British team gold medal winners from the 2018 World Equestrian Games head the entries for the 2019 Badminton Horse Trials, which takes place on 1st – 5th May. Jonelle’s Burghley winning husband Tim is also among the star studded line up, while absentee World Champion Ros Canter, who is due to have her first baby this summer, will be previewing the course for Horse and Hound and also joining in on site commentary.
There are seven previous winners in the field – three from New Zealand – Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson and Jonelle; one from Australia, Sam Griffiths; and three from Great Britain, Pippa Funnell with a choice of 4 possible rides, William Fox-Pitt who has two entered and Oliver Townend, who will also have to choose two from his four initial entries.
Other notable competitors are the silver and bronze individual medallists from the World Equestrian Games of 2018, Padraig McCarthy from Ireland with Mr Chunky and Ingrid Klimke from Germany with Hale Bob. Ingrid has twice been second at Badminton, in 2006 and 2015, and is keen to add the prestigious Mitsubishi Motors title to her 2017 European Championship and numerous other top finishes around the world.
The victorious British team from 2018 comprises Tom McEwen, Gemma Tattersall and Piggy French, while Tina Cook, who has completed Badminton no less than sixteen times and was highly placed at WEG, has entered three (all riders are restricted to a maximum of two actual starters and must choose their runners before the First Horse Inspection on Wednesday 1st May).
The British challenge is also strengthened by three seasoned competitors at the highest level – Kitty King who rode in the 2016 Olympic team, Harry Meade, part of the 2014 World Championship squad and Nicola Wilson, veteran of countless major Championships.
There were 114 entries in total for this year’s event, resulting in 24 being placed on the Waiting List after allowing for those riders with more than two horses. The Waiting List is determined by points won in top level international events over the past two years.
Eric Winter’s cross country course will be unveiled on the event website, on Cross Country App and to the media on 10th April; while the Draw for starting order is live on Facebook on 15th April. Online advance ticket sales are running at record levels, with the early bird discounts due to expire on 31st March.
The full list of horses and riders entered for Badminton 2019 and the current Waiting List may be found here.