For the first time since 2019, the Badminton Horse Trials are back! A field of 83 horse and rider combinations is set to compete. The first inspection was today and dressage begins tomorrow. Two horses were held after the jog, Jonelle Price’s Classic Moet and Shadd’OC, the mount of Frenchman Ugo Provasi. Both horses were accepted when re-presented.
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Meet the Riders
The defending Badminton winners from 2019, Great Britain’s Piggy March and Vanir Kamira, are back to try to retain their title. Several five-star winners are in the field, including Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class, Laura Collett and London 52, Tim Price with Ringwood Sky Boy and Jonelle Price with Classic Moet, and current World Champions Ros Canter and Allstar B.
Riders from 12 countries will be represented. This includes seven American combinations: Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby, Phillip Dutton and Z, Tamie Smith and Mai Baum, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan, Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way, Matthew Flynn and Wizzerd, and Emily Hamel and Corvett. U.S.-based Australian rider Dom Schramm will be taking Bolytair B, and Canada will be represented by Karl Slezak on Fernhill Wishes and British-based Mike Winter on El Mundo. Heard, Smith, Flynn, Hamel, Schramm, Winter and Slezak are all Badminton first-timers.
According to Eventing Nation, 55% of the competitors are women and 45% are male. For eight of the riders, Badminton is their 5* debut.
The two oldest riders are both 59 — Joris Vanspringel from Belgium and Bill Levett from Australia. The youngest rider is Alice Casburn, from Great Britain, who is 20.
Eight riders plan to ride multiple horses but as they are limited to two horses each, so those with multiple entries accepted will select which horses they will ride before the first horse inspection.
Meet the Horses
There are 9 5* winners among the horses. The two oldest horses are both 19 — Classic Moet, ridden by Jonelle Price and Ringwood Skyboy, ridden by Tim Price (and yes, Jonelle and Tim are married). The five youngest horses are 10 years old.
The tallest horse in the event is 17.3″ Carjatan S, a Holsteiner, ridden by Germany’s Christopher Wahler. The shortest horse is Dassett Cooley Dun, who is just 15.1″ and is ridden by Sarah Way for Great Britain. But don’t count him out. The smallest horses to win at Badminton were Our Solo, (Bill Roycroft in 1960) and Our Nobby (Jane Bullen in 1968) who were both only 15hh.