Zara out, but 81 horses ready for Badminton Horse Trials

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Mulry's Error plays it straight while Ben Hobday plays up for the first horse inspection at Badminton.
Mulry’s Error plays it straight while Ben Hobday plays up for the first horse inspection at Badminton. 

Just one of the 82 horses presented has failed to pass the first veterinary inspection at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

It was to have been the first tilt at Badminton for Britain’s Matthew Heath and The Lion, who did not pass inspection by the Ground Jury of Christian Landolt, Sue Baxter and David Lee.

Four other British horses were withdrawn before the trot up.

Michael Jackson withdrew Kangasong after an x-ray revealed that Jackson had a broken tibia following a fall at Ballindenisk in Ireland last weekend.

Nick Gauntlett’s Crown Talisman is out after suffering from a high temperature, and Paul Sims withdrew Calador, whom he said was “not 100%”.

Zara Phillips
Zara Phillips

And Zara Phillips withdrew her Olympic horse High Kingdom, after he failed to recover from a stable injury sustained during the Kentucky Three-Day-Event last month.

Two other horses were also held after their first presentation, with Aoife Clark with Vaguely North and Tom Crisp with Cooleys Luxury having a nervous wait before being passed on re-presentation.

In a chilly, gusting wind several riders had their hands full as horses played to the crowds; Paul Sims’s Glengarnock put on a particularly good show. In contrast Chilli Morning, in the capable hands of William Fox-Pitt, seemed a little reluctant to return back through the archway to the stables – perhaps the applause for this final combination wasn’t loud enough for the British team medal winning stallion.

As usual, the ladies were making more of a fashion statement than the men – with the possible exception of Ben Hobday and Paul Tapner, who looked to be trying to ‘out-cool’ each other with almost identical ‘edgy’ hair cuts and shades.

Jonelle Price sported a burnt orange jersey mini dress with patterned tights and knee length black boots. In contrast, Charlotte Agnew showed her Scottish grit in the plummeting temperatures by trotting up in a navy blue, short sleeved, crocheted mini dress with pink flowers in her hair.

Louisa Milne-Holme wore an eye-catching tweed suite with an orange trilby, but our pick of the ladies outfits was that worn by Camilla Speirs; a stunning full skirted, thigh-length tweed coat over a black and white spotted skirt.

Hats were very much in vogue, despite the wind. Tina Cook’s ended up on the ‘runway’ on her return trip with De Novo News; Lucy Jackson, going later in the afternoon, had firmly secured her fascinator-type design.

Dressage starts on Thursday with David Doel performing the ‘Guinea Pig’ test at 9.10am before Paul Tapner opens the main competition riding Kilronan at 9.30.

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