Two waitlisted New Zealand riders have made it into the field for this year’s Badminton Horse Trials, with Jesse Campbell and Megan Heath joining eight other Kiwi starters.
Ten riders at the top of the waitlist have come into the field, following several withdrawals of leading horses and riders, notably Andrew Nicholson’s Avebury, who has been retired, and Jonathan Paget’s 2013 winner Clifton Promise, who has also been retired at the age of 18 and will be officially farewelled on the final day of Badminton.
As well as his Badminton win, Clifton Promise also won the New Zealand Eventer of the Year title in 2009 and 2010, was in the bronze-medal winning team at London 2012, and finished seventh at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.
Of the decision to retire him, Paget said: “He’s done two competitions this season at Aldon and Burnham and he doesn’t feel the way he has in the past. It’s important we retire a day early rather than a day late.”
There are only three riders ahead of New Zealand’s Dan Jocelyn and Beaucatcher on the Badminton waiting list, and if he makes it into the field, along with Jesse Campbell and Kaapachino and Megan Heath and St Daniel, there will be 11 Kiwis vying for Badminton glory.
The other New Zealand starters are past winner Mark Todd with Leonidas II and NZB Campino; Blyth Tait with Bear Necessity V and Xanthus III; and Tim Price with Bango and Ringwood Sky Boy. They are joined by Lucy Jackson (Bosun), Clarke Johnstone (Balmoral Sensation), Andrew Nicholson (Nereo), Jonathan Paget (Clifton Lush), and Jonelle Price (Classic Moet).
Notable omissions to date include Chris Burton’s TS Jamaimo, leaving him with Haruzac and Nobilis 18; Sam Griffiths’ Happy Times, leaving him with 2014 winner Paulank Brockagh; Bruce Davidson’s Park Trader; and Phillip Dutton’s Indian Mill. Also not taking to the field is last year’s winner Chilli Morning, ridden by William Fox-Pitt, who will start on Parklane Hawk.
Badminton takes place this year from May 4 to May 8.