Badminton-Bound and Beaming: The Countdown Begins on the ‘Gram

 

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Imagine the butterflies and excitement you’re feeling about heading back to Badminton Horse Trials this year – or, indeed, planning your viewing parties from afar. Now multiply that by 100 and add in some serious bum-clenching, and you’re well on your way to replicating how this year’s smoking hot field of entrants are feeling about the whole thing. The countdown is officially on, and preparations are well underway – so let’s catch up with some of this year’s field and see what they’ve been up to on their way to the world’s most prestigious event.

Padraig McCarthy and HHS Noble Call nailed the publicity push before the big day:


Tim Price took Ringwood Sky Boy and Xavier Faer out for some sunny prep:

 

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Mike Winter made the most of the spring rays, too, taking El Mundo for some crucial canter work:

 

Harry Meade pulled out the scales for his trio of entrants (and, as it turns out, himself):

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum got some showjumping finessing done with Scott Keach:

 

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Now that competition season has started, we’re seeing some entrants log early runs – including Richard Jones and Alfies Clover, who was seventh at Burghley a couple of years ago:

And British-based Aussie Sammi Birch, who has two entries this year:

 

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Reigning winners Piggy March and Vanir Kamira got some match practice in: 

 

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Three-time Adelaide CCI5* winners Hazel Shannon and Willingapark Clifford have started their year based at Kevin and Emma McNab’s yard in England, and they made their British Eventing debut at Tweseldown:

 

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Kiwi entrants Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding also settled into life in the UK:

 

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Emily King started her year well with the micro-syndicate owned Valmy Biats, whose many owners will be following his progress on tenterhooks:

 

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The youngest entrant in this year’s field, 19-year-old Alice Casburn, took the win in the OIu21 at Oasby with her homebred entrant, Topspin:

 

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Phillip Dutton and Z stormed around Ocala:

 

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Olympic team gold medallists and Pau five-star winners Laura Collett and London 52 took an early-season second: 

 

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Reigning World Champions Ros Canter and Allstar B dusted off the cobwebs at Poplar Park, scoring an impressive 17.5 in the first phase:

 

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Pippa Funnell celebrated a good start to the season with a goldfish bowl full of gin:


All around the world, members of the media have been preparing, too – starting with some spring cleaning:

 

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