Lexington, KY – All 84 horses presented at the first Horse Inspection at the 2011 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials were accepted by the Ground Jury without incident. This includes three American horses: Mandiba, BallyNoe Castle RM, and The Good Witch.
With their riders, Karen O’Connor, who contested her first Badminton in 1979, Buck Davidson, whose father Bruce was the first U.S. winner in 1995, and Jennifer Wooten-DaFoe, who looks to cross Badminton off the list of CCI4*s to complete with her diminutive mare, these horses are trying to do something that has only been done twice before by Americans:
Karen O’Connor and Mandiba are the most experienced combination having represented the U.S. at both the 2008 Olympic Games and as part of the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. O’Connor’s husband David was the second U.S. rider to win the prestigious event, when he took the honor with Custom Made in 1997.
“Mandiba is in great form,” said O’Connor of the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse. “He has never had a better run up to a CCI4*. He’s fit, he’s well, he’s sound and he is ready and I am really excited about the weekend. It’s all out there for me to give this horse the chance he deserves.”