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Kiwis among top Badminton Horse Trials chances

April 22, 2011

» Pictures from the trot-up
» Badminton field strongest in years

Three New Zealand riders are among the favourites to take the 2011 Badminton Horse Trials, which started on Thursday (GB time).


Mark Todd (NZ) and NZB Land Vision. © Mike Bain

British-based New Zealanders Andrew Nicholson, Mark Todd and Caroline Powell - who were all part of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky - can't be overlooked in the 85-strong field in the prestigious event.

Nicholson, who also won an individual bronze at the World Games, has completed the event a record 29 times, with his best finish to date being fifth in 2007. But this year Nicholson has a string of four-star horses, and he's picking his World Games horse Nereo to be the one to beat. He is also starting Avebury.

Powell will start Lenamore, on whom she won the Burghley Horse Trials last year. They have twice finished fourth at Badminton. She is also starting Boston Two Tip.

Todd, the only Kiwi to have ever won Badminton, won in 1980, 1994 and 1996, and probably has his best bet on NZB Land Vision, who is his pick for the London Olympics. Major Milestone is his other starter.

New Zealand eventing high performance leader Erik Duvander says the nation heads to Badminton with four very highly ranked horses in Nereo, Avebury, NZB Land Vision and Lenamore.

"If things go the right way for these very competitive riders, we are looking forward to a great weekend," he says. "All of the riders are very pleased with their horses going into the event."

The dressage phase takes place on Friday and Saturday (GB time), with the cross country on Sunday. The event finishes with the showjumping on Monday.

Badminton is one of just five four-star events held around the world and is part of the HSBC FEI Classics series.

 

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