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Blow for NZ riders as Badminton cancelled

Published: 7:42AM Tuesday May 01, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

A crucial week for New Zealand's equestrian riders in the hunt for a spot at the London Olympics has been washed out.

This week's Badminton horse trials have been called off due to flooding, in what represented the last of the four star events for riders to push their case before the squad is named next month.

"The recent exceptional rainfall has left the ground at Badminton totally waterlogged and partially flooded," it said on the competition's website.

"Further rain is due this week leaving no chance of the ground drying out."

Riders will now have to ride lower three star events to impress the selectors. The cancellation alos means Mark Todd will not be defending the title he won last year on NZB Land Vision, his fourth Badminton crown.

Equestrian New Zealand High Performance Director Sarah Harris says just one of the five spots appears taken with Andrew Nicholson secured.

It's the first time Badminton has been cancelled due to rain since 1987.