‘Today the most famous event in the world, The Mars Badminton Horse Trials, has begun. It has been a challenging start to the season, with any number of the early season events being cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. Many riders have resorted to travelling abroad in order to get the required prep runs in, and make a final attempt to tick qualification boxes for the Paris Olympics, later in the year.

Although it is only May, we have already seen two 5* events in Adelaide (AUS) and Kentucky (USA). Oliver Townend is heading to Badminton in flying form, having taken the win on Cooley Rosalent, on his 100th start, at the 5* Level at Kentucky last week. Having also won Burghley in 2023, Oliver has, for the third time, taken 2 of the 3 wins needed to secure the £230,000 prize pot, known as the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. This prize has only ever been won twice in its history. He brings forward his seasoned campaigner and last year’s Burghley winner, Ballagmoor Class. For the majority of riders, it’s hard to get even one horse qualified for 5* level, let alone winning 3 on the bounce!

Oliver currently sits as second favourite to win the Gloucestershire 5*, according to eventing’s statistics experts Equiratings, behind former World Champion Ros Canter. Ros will be riding the very talented, but quirky Izilot DHI, who was the winner of the French 5* at Pau, at the back end of 2023.

A slightly less obvious contender for the top spot, but one not to be overlooked, will be Emily King (daughter of Mary King) riding Valmy Biats. The pair are on terrific form, with multiple wins at the 4* level, including the competitive Grantham Cup at Thoresby International back in March.

From what we have seen from the XC Course Previews, and those that have had a sneaky peak, the Course Designer, Eric Winter has created a challenging, but fair track for the 2024 event. He has used some new parts of the park, but included some of the old favourites, like the broken footbridge and the Vicarage V. The ground is drying up, but still laying wet in places, with more rain forecast in the coming days.

We look forward to what will be a thrilling week of equestrian sport, and one that may change the views of the Olympic selectors. Best of luck to all those competing, Badminton is one of the most incredible, yet terrifying events in the world.

If you would like any advice on Equestrian property matters, or any related issues, do contact me, Ben Way, on 01451 9830731 or ben@butlersherborn.co.uk

Cirencester Estate Agent

Patience, Gorgs and Alex Geikie, April 2021

We are a returning client of Butler Sherborn and we would highly recommend them if you’re looking to sell your property. The two properties we sold with BS were very different, but the BS team have always been extremely professional, approachable and friendly. And their communication skills are second to none! Thank you again!
— Patience, Gorgs and Alex Geikie