Piggy March’s ride Brookfield Inocent is among the latest Badminton Horse Trials retreats in the final run up to next week’s event presented by Mars Equestrian (May 4-8).
The 13-year-old, owned by Alison Swinburn and John and Chloe Perry, would have started as one of the favorites at the five-star Gloucestershire hotel but Piggy says he has “a very minor injury”.
He was a European team gold and individual silver medalist last autumn and had shown good form this spring, winning the CCI4*-S at Thoresby and finishing third at the same level at Burnham Market.
“Obviously I’m disappointed in ‘Arthur’, his owners John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn, myself and the whole team,” said Piggy.
“To have a horse like him in badminton is the dream for all of us and he was in the form of his life. We are all disappointed that he doesn’t get a chance this time but we all know the ups and downs horses and eventing throws at us and it’s only a minor setback so we look forward to his return soon.”
Piggy will continue to start with Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira, with whom she won the 2019 event.
Oliver Townend has withdrawn two of his five entered horses, reducing his selection to three trips, of which he can only compete in two.
He has retired Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class and Sophie Adams’ Ridire Dorcha, leaving Ballaghmor Class (owned by Angela, Karyn Shuter and Val Ryan), the Ridgeons’ Swallow Springs and the Mitchell Fox Group’s Hazeldines and Tregilder in the mix.
Harry Meade retired Tenareze owned by David Bernstein, Sophie Caruth and Nigella Hall. That means Harry’s rides will be Cavalier Crystal and Away Cruising, both owned by Charlotte Opperman.
Other recent badminton horse trials dropouts include Troubadour Camphoux by SCEA Ecurie D’Albigny Equi France ridden by Luc Chateau of France and Calmaro owned by Claire and Charlie Mayne, Joseph Murphy and Annette O’Callaghan and ridden by Joseph for Ireland will. The gray starts this week at the three-day Kentucky event instead.
Retirement beckons retirement from Badminton Horse Trials
Berkshire-based New Zealand rider Samantha Lissington has also removed Ricker Ridge Rui from the waiting list, announcing the retirement of this 14-year-old from the top-level eventing sport, which is owned by his rider, her husband Brayden, and Christine and Ken Quigley. A routine check revealed he picked up an injury while cross-country at Burnham Market earlier this month.
“He’s leaving a huge hole in our team and we’re going to miss his big white wayfinding nose terribly on Cross Country Day,” she said in a tribute on Facebook.
Brookfield Inocent, Troubadour Camphoux and Calmaro will all be replaced from the waiting list, but Oliver’s and Harry’s horses will not be, because the entry list already takes into account that the riders who have ridden twice will only start on two of them.
So these recent Badminton Horse Trials withdrawals mean that three more couples have been brought into the main draw from the waitlist: Izzy Taylor and Sara from the home team and Artful Trinity from Tom Strong, plus two for France – Arthur Duffort with his own, Julie and Paul Gatien Toronto D’Aurois and Ugo Provasi with Sophie Bonduelle and his own Shadd’oc.
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