The number of mares in eventing appears to be on the rise and the past two years in particular have proved extraordinarily successful for mares. Paulank Brockagh put mares firmly back in the spotlight last year by winning Badminton with Australian Sam Griffiths.
Carole Mortimer takes a look at the 12 mares entered for this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton horse trials.
Paulank Brockagh – last year’s winner and only the fourth ever mare to win, will be back to defend her title with Sam Griffiths one of nine riders that are former winners contesting Badminton this year. The gutsy 12-year-old Irish-bred mare is by the Irish Sport Horse sire Touchdown and was acquired by Sam as a novice. The pair ended their successful 2014 season as part of the Australian team to contest the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in France where they finished another tough event in 17th place.
British team member (and Derby House Post blogger) Nicola Wilson currently has several mares in her stable. Two of them are entered for Badminton. Irish-bred Annie Clover (11yrs by Newmarket Venture) and Nicola are now into their fifth season together. Last year after fourth place at Bramham CCI3* the pair was selected to ride as an individual for team GBR at last year’s WEG where they completed in 25th. Her British-bred skewbald stablemate Beltane Queen (11yrs by Queens Soldier xx) had an unlucky Badminton in 2014 and will be returning to the venue to try and gain her first four-star completion.
British rider and former team member Izzy Taylor (another member of the Derby House Post blog team) is another with several mares in the yard. For the past two years with the British-bred KBIS Briarlands Matilda (15yrs by Miley), currently the highest ranked competing mare with British Eventing (BE), she has been seventh at Burghley. Badminton however has not been so successful; last year Matilda added 20pen to her score sheet and the year before was retired after a run-out.
Last year the British-bred mare Classic Moet (12yrs by Classic xx) ridden by New Zealand team member Jonelle Price was fourth at the WEG and the highest placed mare. It will be a first visit to Badminton for Moet who was however placed 12th in her first four-star at Luhmuhlen last year.
It will also be a Badminton debut for the successful Irish-bred chestnut mare Fenyas Elegance (11yrs by Ricardo Z). With experienced Irish rider, Aoife Clark, she already has two three-star wins under on her CV – Blenheim in 2013 and Bramham last year and the pair was also a member of the Irish team at the WEG where they finished 21st.
Millthyme Corolla and British-based Dutch team rider Andrew Heffernan have a long-standing partnership; they are in their eighth season together during which time they have contested two European Championships and the London 2012 Olympic Games and last year completed their first Badminton. The 12-year-old British-bred mare is by Millthyme Cappuccino and was acquired from her breeder as a two-year-old.
Mary King aims to be back at the event and at four-star level with her homebred mare Kings Temptress, a 15-year-old by the thoroughbred Primitive Rising who has had a year out of competition. The pair is however on the wait list but with the usual number of withdrawals should make the dressage start list. They have yet to complete the event – their last visit in 2013 ended in elimination for jumping the wrong side of a flag at a corner fence.
While Jeanette Brakewell has much experience of the Badminton track, her ride this year, Lets Dance a British-bred 12-year-old by Croft Another Love, will be making her first appearance at the event. The pair was however 18th at Burghley last year, Lets Dance’s first four-star.
It will also be a Badminton debut for Amazing a Westphalian-bred grey 11-year-old by Adelante the ride of Flora Harris who has started once before but has yet to complete.
Landine the ride of Rose Carnegie also hails from Westphalia in Germany – the 12-year-old is by Landilot. Badminton will mark an important milestone for Rose, who is one of the youngest riders. The pair will be making thier four-star and Badminton debut together.
Laurence Hunt last competed at Badminton in 2011. He marks his return with Wie Donna’s Neiiuewmoed, a 12-year-old jumping bred Dutch warmblood mare by Nobility, a son of Lux Z.
There are 12 mares entered for Badminton
6 are British-bred
3 are Irish-bred
2 are Westphalian
1 is Dutch-bred
Briarlands Matilda and Kings Temptress are the oldest at 15
6 mares, Classic Moet, Fenyas Elegance, Lets Dance, Landine, Amazing and Wie Donna’s Neiiuewmoed will be at Badminton for the first time
Four mares have previously won the event
1952 Emily Little Capt Mark Darley
1954 Bambi Margaret Hough
2007 Headley Britannia Lucinda Fredericks
2014 Paulank Brockagh Sam Griffiths