Nine Irish combinations have been accepted for one of the world’s top Three Day Events, the four-star Badminton Horse Trials in England, which begins on May 2nd.
Only the world’s top riders make the cut for acceptance in the Badminton competition list, and the selection is based on each combination’s ranking points. Ireland, as well as the nine accepted entries, also has two combinations on the waiting list – riders and horses who might compete if others from any nation on the accepted list drop out before the trials begin.
Irish breeding is very well represented at Badminton, which is regarded as the UK’s largest outdoor sporting spectacle and is one of only six four-star events held globally each year. A total of 22 Irish Sport Horses are on the Accepted list for all nations, more than a quarter of all horses who will compete, and including all of Ireland’s nine accepted combinations.
Ireland’s two entries on the waiting list are also Irish Sport Horses.
Badminton, which is broadcast live every year on BBC television, attracts a quarter of a million spectators. Event Director and course designer Hugh Thomas has already said that the cross country course will be very similar to that prepared for the 2012 event cancelled at the last minute because of record breaking rainfall – but there are a few tweaks, to be unveiled in the middle of April.
Ireland’s Badminton entries are as follows:
1. Aoife Clarke (IRL) & Master Crusoe (ISH)
2. Capt. Geoff Curran (IRL) & Shanaclough Crecora (ISH)
3. Sarah Ennis (IRL) & Sugar Brown Babe (ISH)
4. Peter Hannigan (IRL) & First Mate (ISH)
5. Joseph Murphy (IRL) & Electric Cruise (ISH)
6. Jim Newsam (IRL) & Magennis (ISH)
7. Elizabeth Power (IRL) & September Bliss (ISH)
8. Michael Ryan (IRL) & Ballylynch Skyport (ISH)
9. Sam Watson (IRL) & Horseware Bushman (ISH)
1. Michael Ryan (IRL) & Ballylynch Adventure (ISH)
2. Louise Lyons (IRL) & Watership Down (ISH)