Posted: 5th May 2022 | Back to news feed

A total of 83 horses from 12 nations will start at Badminton Horse Trials, presented by Mars Equestrian, with the first competitive combination into the dressage arena at 9.30am tomorrow – Phoebe Locke performs the ‘Guinea Pig’ test at 9.10am.

The excitement was palpable as riders, owners, spectators and officials returned to the historic venue for the first time since 2019 to watch horses being trotted up in front of Badminton House at the first horse inspection. All horses passed the trot-up, but Kristina Cook withdrew Billy The Red beforehand.

British competitor Kirsty Chabert riding Classic Vl will be first into the dressage arena tomorrow, in front of ground jury members Christian Landolt from Switzerland (President), Anne-Marie Taylor (Great Britain) and Seppo Laine (Finland).

A high-class field, competing for a £100,000 first prize and the biggest prize fund in five-star eventing this year, includes Britain’s three Olympic gold medallists from Tokyo, Tom McEwen, Oliver Townend and Laura Collett, plus the reigning world champion, Rosalind Canter, and the reigning European champion, Nicola Wilson.

Five previous Badminton winners are competing – Pippa Funnell (2002, 2003 and 2005), William Fox-Pitt (2004 and 2015), world number one Oliver Townend (2009), New Zealand’s Jonelle Price, the world number two (2018), and the defending champion, Piggy French (2019).

Photo: Defending champions Piggy French (GBR) and Vanir Kamira at the first horse inspection at Badminton Horse Trials, presented by Mars Equestrian

Badminton, which is the world’s oldest horse trials, founded in 1949, represents the pinnacle of the sport and will have been a long-held ambition for the 30-plus first-timers. These include Hazel Shannon, a three-time winner of the Australian five-star at Adelaide, Mollie Summerland, another five-star winner, at Luhmuhlen, Germany, last year, plus French team members Maxime Livio and Thomas Carlile, Britain’s national under-25 champion Bubby Upton and Alice Casburn, at 20 the youngest competitor here.

The team at Badminton has been working assiduously on the cross-country going, which should be at its peak for Saturday and, says course-designer Eric Winter, will be ‘quick’. He reports:. ‘We’ve been watering for a month and were lucky with the rain on Sunday. Mark Lucey, who is ground-testing at a wide range of events and in racing, has been here every four days recently and has pronounced it perfect.’

Admission to Saturday’s cross-country is sold out, but all the action will be shown on Badminton TV, which can be purchased online at

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