Who knew that shavings and hay are provided free of charge to Badminton competitors? Here are 21 fascinating facts about this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (6 – 10 May 2015):
1. Nine former winners are included in the entries. They are; William Fox-Pitt-GBR (2004), Pippa Funnell-GBR (2002& 2003), Sam Griffiths-AUS (2014), Andrew Hoy-AUS (2006), Mary King-GBR (1992 &, 2000), Jock Paget-NZL (2013), Paul Tapner-AUS (2010), Mark Todd-NZL (1980, 1994,1996& 2011), Oliver Townend, GBR (2009).
2. British rider Lucinda Green has won the event on six occasions. Mark Phillips and Mark Todd have both won four-times.
3. Italy, Ecuador, South Africa and Brazil are each represented by one rider
4. New Zealander Andrew Nicholson holds the record for the most completions – 33 – but has yet to win.
5. Four horses have completed Badminton on seven occasions; Ballycotton, Comanche, Lenamore & Over to You.
6. Ninety-nine horses are geldings and 12 are mares including last year’s winner Paulank Brockagh. Three other mares have previously won the event; 1952 Emily Little (Capt Mark Darley), 1954 Bambi (Margaret Hough), 2007 Headley Britannia (Lucinda Fredericks) 2014
7. There are two stallions entered; the German-bred Chilli Morning (William Fox-Pitt-GBR) and the Polish-bred Debiut (Regis Prud’hon-FRA). No stallion has ever won Badminton although Welton Apollo (by Welton Gameful) completed on three consecutive occasions (1990, ’89 &’ ’88) with Leslie Law and the pair was eighth in 1989. Yarlands Summersong (by Fleetwater Opposition) with Christine Duroy was also eighth in 1985.
8. The stallion Ricardo Z (Rebel II Z-Furioso II) is the sire of three entries; the mare Fenyas Elegance (Aoife Clark-IRL), The Lion (Matthew Heath-GBR) and Sportsfield Othello (Joseph Murphy-IRL). Belgian-bred Ricardo Z, stands at the Kedrah Stud in Ireland.
9. There are 12 riders entered for the first time
10. French rider and former world champion Jean Teulere (61) has the honour of being the oldest rider this year. He is three-times the age of the youngest, first-timer Niklas Borscher who is 20. Sir Mark Todd is the oldest winner (55 in 2011). His 21-year-old pupil, Brazilian first-timer Gabriel Silva Cury, will be riding his trainer’s former Badminton horse, Grass Valley.
11. German first-timer Claas Hermann Romeike (22) is the son of 2008 individual three-day event Olympic Champion Hinrich Romeike. German rider Ingrid Klimke is the daughter of 1984 individual dressage Olympic Champion Reiner Klimke
12. British first-timer and amateur rider Ben Way is a Chartered Surveyor and works full time for Butler Sherborn in Cirencester. Swiss born Nicolas Wettstein who rides for Ecuador works for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare as a pharmaceutical representative for Western Switzerland.
13. Martin Plewa (GER), Andrew Bennie (NZL) and Anne-Marie Taylor (GBR) will be the Ground Jury. All are former international competitors and have represented their country at senior championships. Former Badminton rider Tim Randle (GBR) is the FEI veterinary delegate.
14. Former rider Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA) will be designing the course for the second time – the first time in the anti-clockwise direction. He took over the course design last year from Badminton Director Hugh Thomas.
15. The entry fee is £420.00 – shavings and hay are provided free of charge
16. The groom of each horse receives free accommodation and food and £200 if their horse starts the cross country.
17. The length of the cross country is approximately 6500m and will have 30 obstacles (45 jumping efforts) and the time allowed will be approximately 11min 30secs.
18. The total prize money is £327,250. The top 20 receive prize money; first prize is £80,000 and 20th is £2,000. The winner of the inaugural event in 1949 received £150.
19. The Mitsibishi Motors Badminton trophy was designed by Wiltshire based sculptor Judy Boyt. The silver trophy of three horses representing each phase of dressage, cross country and showjumping, was first presented to the winning owner in 1992 when Mitsubishi Motors took over the title sponsorship.
20. Last year the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials was voted the ‘Best event of 2014’ by international publication L’Annee Hippique.
21. There are 99 entries representing 12 nations entered for this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. As no more than 85 will start the competition, 14 are currently on a wait list.