EQUESTRIAN: Badminton box office opens ahead of return of Trials

Wiltshire Times: The Badminton Horse Trials will return in May after last year's washout The Badminton Horse Trials will return in May after last year's washout

BADMINTON Horse Trials organisers have opened their box office ahead of the return of the event on May 2-6 this year.

Last year's trials were washed out by incessant rain, but most of the top international riders are expected to enter the 2013 renewal, including Germany’s dual Olympic gold medallist, World and European champion, Michael Jung.

Marlborough-based New Zealander Andrew Nicholson, who has completed Badminton more times than any rider without winning, finished 2012 in spectacular form, winning both the HSBC FEI Classics events at Burghley and Pau and will also be hoping to break his duck.

The event may also provide the elusive third leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing for Britain's William Fox- Pitt, after his victories at Burghley 2011 and Kentucky in 2012.

For the final time, the cross-country section, over a similar course to the one built but not jumped last year, will run on the Sunday of the trials after two days of Dressage.

Badminton concludes with the shojumping round on Bank Holiday Monday before the event returns to its traditional Sunday finish in 2014.

Proceedings get going on the Thursday with the recreational riders’ Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships, which will feature both the 2013 and the postponed 2012 classes.

See badminton-horse.co.uk for ticket details.

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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