We’re heading to Badminton Horse Trials
Here at Champion HQ, we’re on the countdown to one of our favourite equestrian events in the calendar – Badminton Horse Trials! This year the prestigious three-day event, one of only six at the highest five-star level in the world, takes place from Thursday 4th of May until Monday 8th of May. Thousands of eventing fans will descend on the beautiful grounds of the Duke of Beaufort’s Badminton estate in Gloucestershire for top class equestrian sport and an unrivalled blend of horsey, pet, countryside and foodie shopping!
Badminton is starting a day later than usual this year for a very special reason… The dressage tests will take place on Friday and Saturday, instead of the usual Thursday and Friday, with the cross-country test moved to Sunday. That’s because, this year, Badminton coincides with the coronation of King Charles III, and the organisers want to make sure that the riders, staff and spectators can all watch this historic event. The dressage will begin earlier on Saturday 6th of May and the coronation will be shown on big screens around the venue. The showjumping test will take place on Monday 8th of May, which thankfully is a bank holiday and therefore making it easier for spectators to attend.
We’re looking forward to being a part of the legendary Badminton shopping village, alongside some of the most popular brands in the rural and equestrian world. You’ll find us on the Wychanger Equestrian stand, which is on 180 Deer Park Drive. We’ll be offering free hat fittings, there will be exciting new product launches, celebrity guests and more, so if you’re coming along to the event then make sure you swing by and say hello! Here’s hoping for lots of sunshine and perfect ground for the horses.
As the excitement ramps up and we look forward to the event kicking off, here are our four favourite facts about Badminton Horse Trials. We hope you find them as interesting as we do and we’d love to know – how many of them did you already know, or are they all new to you?
Lucinda Green won Badminton an amazing six times!
Lucinda, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest event riders of all time, won Badminton in 1973 on Be Fair, 1976 on Wide Awake, 1977 on George, 1979 on Killaire, 1983 on Regal Realm and 1984 on Beagle Bay. She also won a gold medal at the 1982 World Championships and a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games. Other riders with multiple wins at Badminton include Mark Todd, Ian Stark, Ginny Elliot, and Pippa Funnell, who remains the only rider to have ever won the Grand Slam of Eventing, which consists of winning the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Badminton Horse Trials, and Burghley Horse Trials in the same year.
Andrew Nicholson completed Badminton 37 times before he won…
The legendary Kiwi rider finally won Badminton on his 38th attempt with Nereo in 2017. How incredible is that? Lots of riders would love to complete Badminton once, let alone so many times! Of course, lots of riders dream about winning it too, but might not enjoy such a long career at the top as Andrew did and have to wait quite as long for their victory. He’s now stepped back from four and five-star level eventing and focuses on bringing on younger horses at the lower levels in the sport.
The total prize fund this year is £380,300
The winner takes home £105,000, the second placed rider £57,000 and the third placed rider takes home £44,000 and so on. The rider in 14th place is the final person to receive a guaranteed sum, (£6,000), with the riders finishing after that only getting prize money if there are certain numbers of starters. It costs £494.21 to enter a horse for Badminton – and the stabling is free! – but of course it costs many thousands of pounds to care for and campaign a horse all the way up to five-star level.
Badminton started in 1949
The event was founded by the 10th Duke of Beaufort, who loved watching the eventing at the 1948 Olympic Games (which were held in London!) and decided to hold an event for British riders who were keen to compete at the biggest events in the world, all in the grounds of his home – Badminton Park. Imagine being inspired by an event and being able to replicate it in your back garden?! So, who’s already planning their party to mark 100 years of Badminton Horse Trials? Only 26 years to wait!