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Badminton bound – Francis Whittington shares his plans

Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials launches on Tuesday 5th May with the Grassroots event. Wednesday 6th May sees the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Class and the first Horse Inspection for the main event – Thursday 7th May and Friday 8th May are dressage days, with Saturday 9th May seeing XC day, and Sunday 10th May concluding with the show jumping and presentations.

Francis Whittington, pictured on Easy Target (photo by Lulu Kyriacou)

Francis Whittington, pictured on Easy Target (photo by Lulu Kyriacou)

WOW Saddles is proud to be sponsors of some elite riders contesting the trophy this year – we speak to Francis Whittington about his plans:

Francis Whittington has already completed at Badminton on both Sir Percival and Easy Target, but this year, he is travelling to Gloucestershire with two horses that are both new to the world famous event. Fernhill Highlight and Hasty Imp are both deserving of their places on merit, but that was not the only reason Francis decided to bring this pair from his enviable quartet of 4* rides. “Easy Target has completed here before, so when the chance came to take him to Lexington, that seemed a good idea, Westside will be more suited by Luhmuhlen. Of the two, Hasty Imp is more experienced, having completed at Burghley last year, but Fernhill Highlight was fifth at Blenheim CCI***, which was an excellent result at the level, so I think he is ready,” Francis tells us. “And it is great for the owners to go to Badminton, so being able to take two horses for two different owners is great,” added Francis. Although the riders have not seen the course in real life yet at the time of writing, Francis has been having a sneak peak online. “The changes look exciting, although you never know how a course will ride until you get there; there are so many variables like the weather and the going, but I think my horses are ready. We might not be winning this year, but it will be great experience for them both, and I am optimistic about completing on both of them,” he concludes. We wish him luck!