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Badminton Horse Trials was, for me, the first equestrian event I have been to, but after just day one I was hooked – and already looking forward to next year’s event!  Like many people, I’ve watched it on TV along with other equestrian events and the Olympics and loved watching it, but attending the actual event was, of course, so much better.

For those who aren’t that interested in equestrian sport, I would say give one of these events a go and enjoy the countryside and the whole atmsophere.  Badminton is more than just about the riders and horses, there is a huge traders’ area selling not just equestrian-related products and services, but also fashion, homeware and much more besides.  Ther were many exhibitors include organisations and clubs from a variety of country sports, such as shooting, to camping.

Badminton is a great family day, or 5 days out for that matter, and if you do decide to spend more than one day at the event, there is on-site camping.

This year’s results saw five Brits in the top 10 at the end of the competition, with New Zealand rider Jonelle Price winning overall.

No.HorseRiderDressageCross CountryShow JumpTotal
68CLASSIC MOETJonelle Price (NZL)27.6(22)0.4(1)28.01
10COOLEY SRSOliver Townend (GBR)25.9(=15)7.2(5)33.1+5.12
45ALLSTAR BRosalind Canter (GBR)23.9(3)6.4(3)434.3+6.33
80ARCTIC SOULGemma Tattersall (GBR)30.8(=35)4.4(8)35.2+7.24
92BALLAGHMOR CLASSOliver Townend (GBR)20.8(1)7.2(2)836.0+8.05
83KILTUBRID RHAPSODYMark Todd (NZL)23.4(2)10.0(6)437.4+9.46
3TOLEDO DE KERSERTom McEwen (GBR)28.9(=26)8.8(13)37.7+9.77
22MR CHUNKYPadraig McCarthy (IRL)28.9(=26)6.4(9)3.038.3+10.38
40VERONICALauren Kieffer (USA)25.0(=10)9.6(7)438.6+10.69
30LA BIOSTHETIQUE – SAM FBWMichael Jung (GER)24.7(8)6.0(4)838.7+10.710

So what is there to expect on each day?

Day 1 (Wednesday): 

  • The Mitsubishi Motors Cup – which includes Dressage, Showjumping and Cross Country.

Day 2: 

  • Dressage – the first day’s competition for professional riders.

Day 3: 

  • Dressage – day 2 for professional riders.

Day 4:

  • Shetland Pony Grand National.
  • Cross Country – for professional riders.

Day 5: 

  • Show Jumping – The final event for professional riders.

If, like myself, you’ve never been to Badminton, and you want to experience a couple of days, particularly the Cross Country Event, then I would go on the first day when the amateur riders compete in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup and attempt the course.  Its a great time to walk the course and check out the best spots to watch before the large number of people turn up for the main day on the Saturday.

If you are looking at just going for one day and not sure which day to chose, here are my suggestions:

If it’s your first event, and you want to watch all three events in one day and you want a more quiet relaxed day out, then go for day one, you won’t see the professional riders compete, but you will see some great riders and their horses competing in Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country.

If you’re interested in the main cross-country event, then Saturday is the day for you.

Shetland Pony Grand National

If you want a day of show jumping and soak up the atmosphere of Badminton, then Sunday is a great day, especially if you don’t want to walk around too much.  In the main arena you will see the show jumping, as well as the Shetland Pony Grand National, a fun event where children, dressed up as jockey’s, race Shetland Ponies around a copurse over jumps and hurdles.

For more details about Badminton Horse Trials – go to:

Photographs: Mike Buss









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