SEVEN Irish riders have been accepted to compete at the 2022 Badminton Horse Trials, which takes from May 4th to 8th at the famous Gloucestershire venue, with two more on the wait list.

Nine Irish horses have been accepted, including the defending 2019 champion Vanir Kamira, ridden by Britain’s Piggy March. After finishing 12th the last time the competition ran, Clare Abbott returns to the venue with five-star first-timer Jewelent (Valent x Roselier), owned and bred by Lisa and Woods Rosbotham.

Susie Berry makes her Badminton debut aboard Helen Caton’s 11-year-old gelding John The Bull (Luidam x Houmayoun), bred by James Byrne. Dr Sarah Hughes’s 13-year-old British-bred gelding Barrichello makes his five-star debut with Cathal Daniels, as does Sarah Ennis’s Tokyo Olympic mount Woodcourt Garrison (Garrison Royal x Furisto), who was bred by Patrick J. Kearns and is owned by Breda Kennedy.

Austin O’Connor will be hoping to carry the form he showed in Tokyo last summer, where he finished 13th individually, on to Badminton where he rides the Salty Syndicate’s 13-year-old grey gelding Colorado Blue (Jaguar Mail x Rock Kind), who was bred by Kate Jarvey.

Double-handed are both Padraig McCarthy and Joseph Murphy. McCarthy rides his own 13-year-old mare Fallulah who came so close to being on the podium at Pau five-star last October before a disastrous show jumping round. The pair bounced back with a good third place in the CCI4*-L Montelibretti, Italy earlier this month.

McCarthy also pilots his own and Pearl Chaffe’s 11-year-old ISH gelding HHS Noble Call (Fortunas x Cavalier Royale), bred by Anne Hughes, who made his five-star debut at Bicton last September when finishing eighth in a strong field.

Murphy is double handed with Cesar V and Calmaro. The Way Forward Syndicate’s Cesar V, who had an unlucky fall on the flat at last summer’s European Championships, makes his five-star debut. The 11-year-old grey gelding Calmaro, owned by Murphy, Claire and Charlie Mayne and Annette O’Callaghan, made his first five-star start when finishing 14th in Pau last season.

On the wait list for Ireland are Elizabeth Power (Soladoun) and Sam Watson (Ballybolger Talisman).

The home side have a strong entry, headed up by all three of the gold medal Tokyo 2020 Olympic team of Laura Collett (London 52), Tom McEwen (Toledo de Kerser) and Oliver Townend with the Noel Hickey-bred Ballaghmor Class (by Courage II).