This time next week we will have seen the recipients of the 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Cup presented with the prestigious trophies against the backdrop of Badminton House.
For many riders competing at BE90 and BE100, the Mitsubishi Motors Cup represents the pinnacle of eventing, as thousands of combinations every year spend the preceding 18 months following their dreams to secure a qualification spot to the championship event.
From the 230 who qualified this year, 212 riders have entered – 119 in the BE90 and 93 in the BE100. Among them are four previous winners; 2016 and 2017 BE100 champion Katie Hancock (pictured) returns on new ride Chytodden Crystal Rose along with 2015 BE90 title holders Hollie Booth and Dramatic who are back this time to take on the BE100 and Biddy Brasted-Watts who took the 2012 BE90 when it ran in 2013 due to the weather causing the cancellation of the 2012 event. Kilcandra Rambo Ray was the winning ride for Katie Hancock in 2016 but is back this year with Justine Fordham who has partnered the full Irish Draft for the past two years.
Combinations hail from 59 counties across England, Scotland and Wales plus two riders will be ferry hopping from the Isle of Wight. The furthest entered rider will be covering more than 550 miles from Dornoch in the Highlands of Scotland whilst the most local rider has less than 10 miles to travel from the village of Sherston.
Thirty is the average age of riders competing in the 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Cup but ages range from the two youngest competitors at just 13 to two in their 60s and one rider also celebrates their birthday during the 2018 event on 1st May!
The average age for horses is 11 and, at the age of 22, Rosstown Hero in the BE90 comes forward as the oldest entrant along side three others all aged 21. Helen Pavey’s ride Knockenpower Rory takes the title of tallest at 18.1hh with the smallest seven all standing at 14hh high. Geldings top the list with 153 entered against the 56 mares and three stallions. With 102 entries, nearly half of the field will be on board British-bred horses, along with 73 riding Irish horses, 11 from Germany, 11 Dutch-bred, two from Belgium and one a piece for France and Sweden.
We might not be able to predict who will take home the 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Cup, but we do know that on 1st and 2nd May an exciting competition will unfold on the beautiful Badminton Estate.
Thanks to generous title sponsor Mitsubishi Motors, along with prize money, rosettes and rugs, the winner of each section will also drive away a brand new Mitsubishi Motors vehicle for one year and enjoy the thrill of competing on the same site as the international CCI4*, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (2nd – 6th May).
Details on tickets to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials can be found HERE.