Friday 1 April 2011


Walk The Course With Badminton 2010 Winner Paul Tapner
Two of Britain’s top riders will lead course walks during this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

Wiltshire-based Paul Tapner - last year’s Badminton winner on Inonothing- and Dorset-based William Fox-Pitt - one of Britain’s most successful event riders of all time - are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK along the way.

Volunteers are encouraged to raise £100 in sponsorship to take part in the walks which will give them a unique insight into one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events.

Paul heads the first walk on Friday 22nd April at 5:30pm, followed by William on Saturday 23rd April at 11am.

Also supporting a course walk is trainer/coach William Miflin, from Malmesbury, who is currently battling cancer.

William, 43, who has competed at Badminton six times - the first in 1991 when he was just 23 - had planned to lead a walk. But when on-going treatment prevented that, his friend William Fox-Pitt stepped in.

William Miflin, who has raised hundreds of pounds in recent years for research through course walks, hopes to attend on the day.

He said: “I hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to support Cancer Research UK”.

The charity has been chosen as Badminton’s 2011 charity of the year and the course walks could raise valuable funds for Cancer Research UK’s life saving work.

Paul Tapner, who with his wife, Georgina, runs stables at Highworth, near Swindon, raised hundreds of pounds for the charity with a similar walk last year after the young sister of one of his groom’s was diagnosed with cancer.

William Fox-Pitt, winner of a record 40 Three Day Events, started eventing when he was just 15. His achievements have since made him one of the most successful British event riders of all time. He first completed Badminton aged just 20 and won the event in 2004.

Forty-three-year-old William and his wife - Channel 4 Racing presenter Alice Plunkett – run a 28 stable state of the art training centre in Hinton St Mary, Dorset.

Hugh Thomas, Director of The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, says: “I am delighted that these riders have agreed to find the time during a really busy week to support our charity partner for 2011.

“John Hills, our chief cross country steward and committee member, originally suggested Cancer Research UK as our Charity of the Year before he was diagnosed with cancer himself.

“John died in April 2009, just before Badminton, and this year’s choice of charity is very much as a tribute to him”.

Maria Gomez, Area Volunteer Manager for Cancer Research UK said “We are very grateful to Paul and both Williams for their support.

“We hope to raise at least £5000 from both events which would have a significant impact on our work”.

People willing to support the course walks will receive a fundraising pack with hints and tips on how to raise £100.

Maria added: “The £5,000 target would enable Cancer Research UK to cover the cost of five women to participate in a trial investigating whether the breast cancer treatment drug anastrozole can prevent the disease in some women.”

Cancer Research UK spent over £1 million last year in Bristol on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research, including a team of international experts in bowel cancer who hope to discover new ways of preventing and treating the disease.

The charity also supports around 200 clinical trials, many of which involve people in the South West.

Places on the walks are limited and walkers should pre-register via the Cancer Research UK website as soon as possible.

The Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials take place from Thursday 21st April to Monday 25th April. Visit for more information.

For more information about the course walks, please contact Maria Gomez, Area Volunteer Manager for Cancer Research UK on 07918 196 031 or

To book a place visit

For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work to find out how to support the charity, please call 08701 60 20 40 or visit

For media enquiries, please call Helen Johnstone on 07768 987 925

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