The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials takes place from 4th – 8th May preceded by the renamed Mitsubishi Motors Cup. The International 4* event begins on Thursday although all horses must first pass the Wednesday trot up. As always there is a star studded International entry for Badminton, which is the one all event riders want to win – even more than an Olympic Gold medal!
Once again Herefordshire International event rider Louise Harwood is competing. Louise, from Eardisley, has 2 rides this year: Whitson, owned by Roy and Emma Baker and the homebred Mr Potts, who completed last year. Mr Potts is owned by Louise’s mother Jackie and was named after the vet Graham Potts who helped bring the 4 legged Mr Potts into this world! Louise, aka Wiggy, is no stranger to Badminton having ridden her other homebreds there, full brothers Bit of a Barney and Partly Pickled.
Last year’s winner William Fox-Pitt has withdrawn which will disappoint his many fans, but a terrible fall last October delayed William’s preparations this Spring and a fall at Weston Park (although no injuries were sustained) meant time just ran out.
This year’s competition will be made all the more exciting as Michael Jung has won the Kentucky 4* horse trials this weekend and is in contention for the Rolex Grand Slam which has only been won once, by Pippa Funnell. To win it, a rider has to win Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton back to back, although in any order. The current prize for the Rolex Grand Slam is $350,000.
For all the news and results, visit the Badminton website: www.badminton-horse.co.uk
The Mitsubishi Motors Cup, formerly called the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships, has championships at BE90 and BE100, (BE = British Eventing, 90 means 90cms which is the max height, and 100 – max height of 100cms). Rider and horse combinations qualified at regional finals which took place last Autumn. Although this is thought of as an amateur championship due to the restrictions on eligibility to enter, riders can certainly use it as a stepping stone to greater things. One such rider, Ben Way from Warwickshire, rode at the Grassroots Championships a few years ago and has since progressed to compete at the 4* Badminton which he does again this year.
One local rider I’ll be supporting is Sarah Mitchell from Herefordshire, who rides Puzzel in the MMC BE90 Championship. Good luck Sarah!
Find out more about the MMC at https://mitsubishimotorscup.badminton-horse.co.uk/ and see if your friends have qualified by viewing the entries here: https://mitsubishimotorscup.badminton-horse.co.uk/index.php/2016-qualifiers/