Badminton Horse Trials 2013 entries includes Olympic champion Michael Jung
EXCITEMENT is building in the equestrian community in the run up to Badminton, the CCI4* event which takes place at the Duke of Beaufort’s Estate, 2-6 May, with the publication of an all-star entry list headed by reigning Olympic, World and European Champion Michael Jung and three of his four fellow German team gold medallists.
The entire British silver medal team is also intending to take part - Zara Phillips, Tina Cook, Mary King, William Fox-Pitt and Georgina ’Piggy’ French - together with all five members of the New Zealand bronze medal team. While Michael Jung on all his form must start favourite, William Fox Pitt has five horses to choose from in his attempt to pick up the Rolex Grand Slam by adding the Mitsubishi Motors title to his wins at Burghley 2011 and Kentucky 2012; while Andrew Nicholson, the man with by far the most Badminton completions to his name but without a win so far, was on a roll at the end of 2012 with his wins at the HSBC FEI Classics at Burghley and Pau.
Seven previous winners entered for the 2013 event include reigning champion Mark Todd, Lucinda Fredericks, Paul Tapner, Mary King, Oliver Townend, Pippa Funnell – the only winner of the Rolex Grand Slam to date – and of course William Fox Pitt.
Nearly 150 would be entrants put their names forward to take part, so once again the leading 85 horses on recent form have been accepted, with the remainder put on a waiting list. History indicates that many of these will eventually get a run, but by no means all.
Event Director and course designer Hugh Thomas has already said that the cross country course will be very similar to that prepared for the 2012 event cancelled at the last minute because of record breaking rainfall – but there are a few tweaks, to be unveiled mid-April.
Advance ticket sales have even exceeded last year’s record levels. While basic admission and car parking can be purchased at the gate on the day, the camping site and the grandstands are nearly sold out and so should be booked now online at www.badminton-horse.co.uk , where the full list of entries and the waiting list can also be seen.