A total of 57 combinations will go forward to the showjumping finale of this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
New Zealander Andrew Nicholson leads the field with Nereo in pursuit of a first Badminton title, but he has an advantage of just 1.2 penalties for former world number one William Fox-Pitt (Chilli Morning), while Oliver Townend and Armada lie third.
Only three penalties – less than the value of having one showjumping fence down – separate the top five riders, with Germany’s Ingrid Klimke (Horseware Hale Bob) fourth and 2013 Badminton champion Jonathan Paget (Clifton Lush) fifth.
Sunday morning’s final horse inspection produced no real dramas, although Elizabeth Power’s September Bliss was sent to the holding box before being accepted on reinspection.
There were two notable withdrawals, though, with Paget opting not to present his Badminton winner of two years ago Clifton Promise, while Britain’s Izzy Taylor did not present KBIS Briarlands Matilda.
Three other combinations withdrew before the final trot-up – Beanie Sturgis (Lebowski), Flora Harris (Amazing VIII) – pictured above – and Lucy Jackson (Willy Do).
The leading 20 challengers will showjump in reverse order this afternoon, with Nicholson and Nereo last to go on what is sure to be a day of high drama.