Nicola Wilson stays optimistic despite Badminton Horse Trials withdrawals

Nicola Wilson riding Beltane Queen GBR
Nicola Wilson riding Beltane Queen GBR

Olympian Nicola Wilson suffered a disappointing time at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, but is optimistic for the future.

Wilson took two horses to their first 4-star competition and the inexperience showed, but the Olympic silver medallist was very happy with the promise shown.

The two horses, Annie Clover and Beltane Queen appeared with Wilson instead of Opposition Buzz – her long time 4-star horse and European, World and Olympic team medallist.

Annie Clover and Beltane Queen both produced promising dressage tests, with scores of 50 and 43 respectively.

Although both showed excellent focus throughout, Annie Clover made a mistake near the end to cost her points.

With the cross-country up next, Wilson admitted she expected it to be tough: “The Badminton hype had suggested that this years Badminton cross country course was different to previous years and on my first walk I did think that it was demanding and big, but fantastic and exactly what a 4* course should be like - a challenge.”

Annie Clover was forced to withdraw from the cross-country with an injury suffered overnight, but Beltane Queen was once again excellent despite picking up 21 penalty points.

The penalty points meant that ‘Maisy’ (Beltane Queen’s nickname) fell out of the top ten and having picked up a knock, Wilson decided to pull the horse out of the show jump to preserve her.

Looking back on the event, a positive Wilson said: “Although both horses had a clean sheet in what they did, it just was not really our week in the end.

“However. I did come away feeling excited about the future with an extremely promising and now proven young horse in Beltane Queen, which is a lovely feeling”.