Nine New Zealand eventers have confirmed entries for the upcoming Badminton Horse Trials, with all of the country’s leading riders in with a chance, as well as several younger promising riders.
Badminton is limited to 85 starters, and riders can run a maximum of two horses apiece. So Andrew Nicholson will have to choose between Calico Joe, Nereo, and Avebury, but arch rival, Britain’s William Fix-Pitt, has a choice of four leading horses – Cool Mountain, Parklane Hawk, Bay My Hero, and Chilli Morning.
New Zealand based eventer Clarke Johnstone is still listed as an accepted entry with Balmoral Sensation, but has withdrawn because of an injury to his horse. This has allowed Dutch rider Andrew Heffernan into the field on Millthyme Corolla.
Eventing NZ also reported that Tim Price’s Wesko is instead being aimed at the Kentucky Three-Day-Event, so has been withdrawn from Badminton. It will also be the first Badminton for Jesse Campbell, riding Kappachina.
Badminton’s wait list for 2015 is among the shortest ever in recent years, with only 13 awaiting in the starting lineup.
Nine previous winners are among the starting field, headed by 2014 winner Sam Griffiths, 2010 champion Paul Tapner and 2006 winner Andrew Hoy. The last British winner, Oliver Townend, is entered on 2014 runner-up Armada, and Zara Phillips has entered High Kingdom as a precaution but hopes to take him for her first visit to Kentucky the week before Badminton.
World and Olympic team gold medallist Ingrid Klimke comes on another foray to Badminton with her Pau 4 star winner Horseware Hale Bob; the French entry is headed by former World Champion Jean Teulere while there are single entries from Brazil, Ecuador (a first), Italy, South Africa and Sweden.
As is now customary, the Trials start with the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships on Wednesday, May 6, followed by two days of dressage, cross-country on Saturday the 9th and show jumping on Sunday the 10th. Italian course designer Giuseppe Della Chiesa has been hard at work on his track, reversed in direction from last year and that will be unveiled on April 15.
The Kiwis on the entry roster are:
Jesse Campbell – Kaapachino
Lucy Jackson – Willy Do
Andrew Nicholson – Calico Joe / Nereo / Avebury
Craig Nicolai – Just Ironic
Jonathan Paget – Clifton Lush / Clifton Promise
Caroline Powell – Onwards and Upwards
Tim Price – Ringwood Sky Boy
Jonelle Price – The Deputy / Classic Moet
Mark Todd – Oloa / Leonidas II