Not long now til Badminton and there will be plenty of local interest with riders from Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Shropshire!
Often well placed at Badminton with 4th, 5th and 6th (2010) placings under their girths, seasoned campaigners James Robinson and Comanche are back for the 9th time in a row – surely that deserves a special rosette! James is a vet with the Three Counties Equine Hospital. His number is 57.
Louise Skelton (no 51) is from Eardisley (Herefordshire) has been round Badminton a few times now. She rides Partly Pickled. Pickle was the winner of Blair Castle CCI*** in 2005. First timer Alice Pearson (no 56) from Bromyard, will also be flying the flag for Herefordshire with Beau Bear who went well at Burghley last autumn.
Rosie Thomas (no 85) of Grafton Farm Stables, lives right on the Worcestershire/Shropshire border and will be riding the ever popular Barry’s Best while Worcestershire’s Carolyne Ryan-Bell from Abbots Morton rides Rathmoyle King (no 69)
Shropshire based Oliver Townend needs no introduction. A previous winner at Badminton and also survivor of the horrific fall in Kentucky where he was surely saved by his air-filled body protector, Oliver has 4 horses entered and will be first to go with one of the 2 horses he will ride. (Rider’s can enter more than 2 horses, but can only ride 2). It is thought likely that Carousel Quest will be no 1. and therefore first out on the cross country. Another rider based in Shropshire is Brazilian rider Carlos Paro who is currently on the waiting list with Political Mandate
If they get in from the waiting list, Gloucestershire will be represented by Bill Levett who went so well last year. He has Political Trump entered (no 39) and Nick Gauntlett from Chipping Sodbury, has Elektron (no 105).
There are 7 previous winners riding this year and it is a very International field too, so don’t miss it! And don’t forget, the event now runs from a Friday to a Monday, so XC day is Sunday. See www.badminton-horse.co.uk for all information. Dates of main competition – 21st (First horse inspection) -25 April 2011.
The Grassroots Championships also take place at Badminton beginning on Wednesday 20 April and concluding on Thursday 21st.
Keep an eye on the Badminton blog too – http://blog.badminton-horse.co.uk/