Is this deja-vu, or are we actually looking at a real-life entry list for Badminton Horse Trials once again? Actually, scratch that – it can’t be deja-vu, because we can’t remember the last time an entry list was this smoking hot: with 91 entries and 33 waitlisted, the 2022 Badminton roster features a 12-nation strong line-up that’s jam-packed with eleven previous five-star winners and the podiums, in their entirety, of Burghley 2019 and Luhmühlen 2021, plus the top two each of Kentucky 2021, Badminton 2019, and Pau 2020. We’ve also got the entirety of the victorious British Olympic and Europeans teams, plus every member of the individual Europeans podium, and a whole host of four-star victors from the last year or so.
Among the notable entries are our reigning champions, Piggy March and Vanir Kamira, who lifted the trophy at the event’s last running in 2019. Piggy’s bringing forward a notable double-hander this year; also entered is her European individual silver and team gold medallist, Brookfield Inocent, who finished second on his five-star debut at Pau in 2020. In fact, we’ll get to see the entire roster of 2021 European Championships British medallists – team members Ros Canter and Allstar B return to the hallowed grounds of Badminton, while double gold medallist JL Dublin will make his five-star debut with Nicola Wilson, as will Sarah Bullimore‘s bronze medallist, the diminutive homebred Corouet and team member Kitty King and Vendredi Biats.
All three members of the victorious British Olympic team are also entered: Laura Collett‘s 2020 Pau victor London 52 will come forward for his second five-star, while Oliver Townend‘s 2017 Burghley winner and 2021 Kentucky winner Ballaghmor Class will look to add a second Grand Slam leg to the World Number One’s tally as one of his five (!) current entries. Olympic individual silver medallists and 2019 Pau winners Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser will also come forward as one of the hot favourites to take a victory – though you wouldn’t want to be a betting type with this field to choose from!
The US is enormously well-represented this spring, with seven entrants accepted so far. Phillip Dutton will make the trip with Z, joined by Will Faudree and the delicious Mama’s Magic Way, Ariel Grald and her globetrotting Leamore Master Plan, who was third at Luhmühlen last year, Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus, Sharon White and Cooley On Show, and Tamie Smith and Mai Baum, who we predict will go head to head with Ballaghmor Class and London 52 for the first-phase lead. We’ll also be cheering on Matt Flynn and Wizzerd, who’ve spent the early part of the year based in the UK in preparation.
A further three US riders are currently waitlisted: Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby sit fourth at the moment, giving them an almost certain accepted entry, while Emily Hamel and Corvett also stand a fine chance in ninth. Slightly further down is British-based Olympian Tiana Coudray, making her return to the top level with Cancaras Girl. They’re holding down the fort in 18th place on the waitlist, which will probably cause a bit of finger-biting at her Wiltshire base – but we do ordinarily see around 20 taken from the waitlist, and there have certainly been years in which every entrant has made it into the final 85 starters.
It’s not just about the USA, of course – our neighbours to the north have one entrant in the accepted entries in Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes, while British-based Mike Winter and El Mundo currently sit 16th on the waitlist.
The French entry looks particularly good this year, with eight accepted and a further three on the waitlist. Our picks of the bunch? We’re beyond excited to finally see Tom Carlile make his five-star debut; he’ll ride Zanzibar Villa Rose Z in good company with Sidney Dufresne, whose Swing de Perdriat impressed us at Pau last season. Maxime Livio will bring forward Vitorio du Montet, who has finished in the top ten in both his previous five-star starts, and Gireg le Coz will put up a strong fight with the excellent Aisprit de la Loge. Luc Chateau and Troubadour Camphoux shouldn’t be overlooked either – they were fourth at Luhmühlen last year and finished just outside the top ten at the European Championships.
Speaking of Luhmühlen, we’ve got 2021’s podium entered in full: joining aforementioned Ariel Grald is winner Mollie Summerland and Charly van ter Heiden, who will no doubt be grateful for a slightly easier journey this time, and second-placed Christoph Wahler and Carjatan S, who are Germany’s only entrants this year and are wholly capable of winning the whole thing. We’ll look to Mollie and Christoph to both fight for a top-five position after dressage, and neither have ever added time faults across the country at the level.
New Zealand’s strong entry is headed by 2018 Badminton champions Jonelle Price and Classic Moet, who also comes forward with her Tokyo mount Grovine de Reve, third at Kentucky last spring. Joining her is husband Tim Price, who will ride 2018 Burghley winner Ringwood Sky Boy and Kentucky runner-up (and Maryland podium finisher!) Xavier Faer. We’re looking forward to seeing the likes of Amanda Pottinger and Bundy Philpott make the trip over, while British-based debutante Lauren Innes and Global Fision M will step up to the level under new nationality.
Speaking of coming over from the Southern Hemisphere, we’ve got the special treat of welcoming Hazel Shannon and Willingapark Clifford, three-time winners of Adelaide CCI5*, who’ve been based with fellow Aussies Kevin and Emma McNab through the winter. They’re at the forefront of an Australian entry that includes US-based Dom Schramm and Bolytair B, making their return to England after tackling Burghley in 2019.
There’s also a great show from the Irish, who have double-handed entries from Padraig McCarthy with up-and-comers Fallulah and HHS Noble Call, and Joseph Murphy, who will ride Cesar and the former Laura Collett mount Calmaro. We’ll also see Cathal Daniels‘s ride Barrichello step up alongside Susie Berry and Johnt he Bull, who she inherited from Jonty Evans.
To check out the entries in full, click here – and keep it locked onto EN for form guides, field analyses, and at-a-glance updates of what this incredible field has to offer.
Go Eventing, and Go Badminton!