There are 14 mares entered in this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. Eventing Worldwide takes a look at the main contenders.

Sarah Wells-Gaston

Classic Moet 

Owned by Trisha Rickards, Classic Moet was only the fifth mare in history to win the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse

Trials. She was produced to two-star level by Karen Dixon then acquired by Trisha and ridden by Darrell Scaife and Elizabeth Power before the ride passed to Jonelle in 2013.

The 15-year-old British-bred mare was bred by Elaine Hepworth. She is a daughter of the graded thoroughbred stallion Classic who stood at Beechwood Stud, out of the mare Gamston Bubbles by the former HIS stallion Bohemond.

The pair contested WEG 2014 and in 2016 was third at Burghley and had twice completed Badminton before their victory, finishing 10th (2016) and 20th (2015).

Classic Moet has two foals (by the French champion Upsilon) courtesy of embryo transfer. 

2014 WINNER SAM GRIFFITHS

Paulank Brockagh 

This will be the seventh consecutive visit to Badminton Paulank Brockagh who was ridden to victory by Sam Griffiths in 2014.

Paulank Brockagh is a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare. She is by the grand prix show jumper Touchdown out of Calendar Girl by the thoroughbred Trigerrero. She was acquired from her breeder Paula Cullen, who competed her at novice level in Ireland and Sam took the ride when the mare was seven.

Following their victory, the pair returned the following year to finish 10th and were 15th last year. They were chosen to represent Australia at last year’s World Equestrian Games but a minor injury ruled them out of what would have been their third Championship team selection in a row.

 

Vanir Kamira 

Vanir Kamira, owned by Trevor Dickens, is a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by the Belgian-bred stallion Camiro de Haar out of Fair Caledonian by the thoroughbred Dixi.

Tilly was initially produced by Piggy and then ridden by Izzy Taylor and Paul Tapner with the pair completing Burghley in 2015. When Paul wanted to reduce his string, French accepted the offer of having her back and took the ride at the beginning of 2017. In September the pair completed a fairy tale Burghley to finish in second place that year, finishing fifth in 2018

Bulana 

Owned by James and Jo Lambert, Bulana is a 13-year-old mare

The pair won Bronze at the 2017 European Championships in Strzegom, also being part of the British team that claimed gold. They were longlisted for the World Equestrian Games but the mare sustained a minor injury which ruled her out of selection.

This will be their third CCI5*-L event, having finished second at Luhmühlen in 2016, retiring on the cross country in 2018.

November Night 

The 12-year-old Irish Sports Horse is owned by Susanna Francke and Peter Cole. Bred by Pat Doherty she is by the thoroughbred Bonnie Prince out of a mare by the Irish Draught Flagmount King.

She was bought at the first ‘Go for Gold’ sale as a four-year-old and has been brought on since by Ciaran Glynn. This will be the pair’s third consecutive appearance at Badminton, having finished in 25th last year, also finishing 14th at Burghley.

Call Me Maggie May 

The 12-year-old mare, owned by Tom Strong, is by KWPN stallion Hamer out of a KWPN mare Marijke (by Hemmingway).

She was bought as a just backed four-year-old, and String took her through to intermediate level before Izzy Taylor took over the ride in 2014. During their first season together they won the CCI** at Ballendenisk and finished fifth in the Seven-Year-Old Championships at Osberton. The pair were winners of the CCI*** at Tattersalls last summer and made their four-star debut at Pau, where they finished 11th.

Images courtesy of Tanzy Lee, Phil J Photos, Lorraine O Sullivan and Katie Neat Photography 

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