Leading Contender withdraws from the MARS Badminton Horse Trials

Oliver Townend has withdrawn from the Mars Badminton Horse Trials today.

Oliver said “Absolutely gutted to withdraw Ballaghmor Class from this week’s MARS Badminton Horse Trials. He had a abscess earlier in the season and consequently missed a couple of runs and gallops. This morning he went for his final gallop and with the 11.5 mins cross country course combined with the possible soft ground we don’t feel he’s at his normal 5* fitness right now. This is the first time in his career he’s missed a 5* and with the Rolex Grand Slam being at stake (for the 3rd time for me!) and Thomas’s record with 10 top-5 placings at 5*, 4 of which from Badminton including twice 2nd place, and his 3 wins at Burghley and Kentucky, we really hoped he would finally get the Badminton trophy he so badly deserves.

He’s fit and well, and knowing his huge heart he’d give us his all, but it’s simply not in his best interest to run this week and his welfare is our top priority.

Thomas will be rerouted to plan B but for now we’d like to give a huge thanks to his owners, our sponsors and our team who are all equally gutted but support us to make this call to look after our superstar.

Event Director Jane Tuckwell commented “we are all devastated for Oliver and highly respect his decision not to run. We look forward to welcoming Oliver and Thomas back to Badminton in 2025.”

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