WELCOME TO CROSS COUNTRY DAY AT MITSUBISHI MOTORS BADMINTON HORSE TRIALS

If today’s competition reflects the weather it will be mixed to say the least. It’s 8.35am and team EWW is sat in the press centre wellies, waterproof jackets, sunglasses and gloves intact. The weather is undecided – we’ve already seen sun, torrential rain, gales and freezing conditions. The consensus among the riders is that the course is easier than last year but we all know the famous Badminton track as a habit of lulling riders into a sense of security before catching them out. We can’t wait to see what the cross country will bring this year.

Paul Tapner and Kilronan will kick proceedings off at 11.30am closely followed by Nicola Wilson (One Two Many) who go from 21st position. Last year’s winners Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh are tenth out of the start box at 11.54am.

The one to watch is current leader Andrew Nicholson who rides Nereo at 12.14pm. Andrew is confident about the day on the chestnut gelding.

“I’ve got a big chance here so I’m very focussed on the prize. I had a great opportunity to win last year but I made a mistake, this year I have a brilliant horse and I’m going to do my best not to do that again,” said Andrew.

It’s a longer wait for second placed overnight as Chilli Morning will set out under William Fox-Pitt late in the day at 4.10pm. Yesterday William was optimistic about the day.

“I am late to go but I’ve no doubt the day will go quickly. By the time I’ve walked the course, watched a couple go and hacked out Chilli in the morning, 4 o’clock will come around before I know it,” said William.

Third place overnight Oliver Townend will ride Armada at 3.30pm. Mark Todd will have the longest wait of the day as he’s last to go with Oloa at 4.46pm.

After yesterday’s dressage Nick Gauntlett has withdrawn El Grado and Tom Crisp’s Coolys Luxury will not complete the competition.

As ever we wish every competitor good luck and hope each horse and rider comes home safely. There’s lots of action to watch today, whether you’re tucked up warm at home following on the red button or braving the wind and rain out on course, don’t forget to follow @EventingWWNews and like us on Facebook – we will keep you fully updated as the day unfolds. Don’t forget to check out our report at the end of today either.

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