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 including Britain’s Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pitt. 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.
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. The full start list and running order can be seen at: www.badminton-horse.co.uk/index.php/entries/2018/
Gates open at Badminton on Wednesday 2nd May, when the 500 plus shops will all be open for business and the amateurs’ Mitsubishi Motors Cup concludes. The international event then runs Thursday to Sunday. www.badminton-horse.co.uk.