German maestro returns with his 2016 winner and Olympic champion, the much-loved La Biosthetique Sam, now 17. The last back-to-back winners were Pippa Funnell and Supreme Rock in 2002– 03 and the seraphically smiling Jung has every chance of doing the same.
BBC Wiltshire was reduced to claiming the handsome Frenchman as one of its own after all other representatives of this strong eventing county failed to return from Rio with a medal. Nicolas, a team gold and individual silver medallist, once trained there with New Zealander
would also be a popular winner after 33 years of trying, more completions than anyone else (35) and heroic recovery from a serious fall in 2015.
Fellow Kiwi riders and fourtime winner are two more of Wiltshire’s finest—the latter became the oldest winner, aged 55, in 2011 and still has the magic touch—and Gloucestershirebased 55, thrice a Badminton runner-up, is back here for the first time in 13 years. Watch out, too, for Sir Mark’s Brazilian pupil one of the few genuine amateurs, in real life, he’s a doctor, anaesthetist and rubberplantation manager.