Entries have just closed for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2018 and we are in for another thrilling event in May. Last year’s winner Andrew Nicholson (New Zealand) with the evergreen Nereo will again take on double Olympic Champion Michael Jung (Germany) and La Biosthetique – Sam FBW, 2nd twice and winners themselves in 2016.
Great Britain’s leading challenger is probably Oliver Townend, another previous Mitsubishi Motors Trophy winner, with his Burghley champion, Ballaghmor Class – he has three other horses to choose from as well. Burghley runner up Piggy French is back for another crack while three of the four members of the team that won the European gold medal in 2017, Ros Canter, Gemma Tattersall and Tina Cook will all be among the starters.
There are eight previous winners in the field – surprisingly both Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pitt are on the Wait List, but with a slightly smaller total entry than in recent years they are very likely to get a run. Paul Tapner and Sam Griffiths are back for Australia and who can ignore Mark Todd, the great New Zealander, another double Olympic Champion, 4th here last year and a four time Badminton champion.
Olympic bronze medallist Philip Dutton comes across the Atlantic to represent the USA while there are representatives of 13 overseas nations to take on the host country’s finest. Attention will undoubtedly focus once more on Yoshi Oiwa from Japan, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on the horizon, while a change of nationality has come for Lissa Green, daughter of 6 time champion Lucinda and now riding for her father David’s native Australia.
Gates open at Badminton on Wednesday 3rd May, when the 500 plus shops will all be open for business and the amateurs’ Mitsubishi Motors Cup takes place. The international event then runs Thursday to Sunday. Advance tickets have been selling in record numbers but there is still some availability via www.badminton-horse.co.uk. The full list of horses and riders entered may be found on the same website – https://www.badminton-horse.co.uk/entries/2018.