Badminton washout no Olympic obstacle

30 April 2012 / 16:25

Great Britain performance manager Yogi Breisner is confident Olympic preparations will not be adversely affected by the cancellation of this year's Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

Organisers made the call to abandon the competition on Monday morning after accepting there was "no chance" of the ground drying out in time following persistent rain.

The most prestigious four-star competition in world eventing was due to start on Friday with two days of dressage, followed by cross-country on Sunday and Monday's showjumping finale.

With British selectors due to announce a long-list of Olympic hopefuls late next month Badminton had been set to be instructive, but Breisner revealed back-up plans would be made in the "next 48 hours".

"It is a real shame that it has been called off, especially in an Olympic year when a lot of the riders and horses would have been on show," said Breisner.

"I don't think it will majorly affect the Olympic preparations, though.

"We always had contingency plans in place which you have to do with horses because there is so much uncertainty. You need to have a Plan B, C and D.

"It is a little bit early to say with any certainty what we will do now. We will have to discuss it with the riders and the owners first. We will make those plans over the next 48 hours."

Badminton's cancellation prevented Britain's world number one William Fox-Pitt from going for the £220,000 Rolex Grand Slam, a rare prize awarded for any rider that wins consecutive Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton titles.

On Sunday night Fox-Pitt added the Kentucky crown to his Burghley victory seven months ago - both aboard Parklane Hawk - but his Badminton hopes have now been dashed.