The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2018 will take place from 2 to 6 May.

Badminton Horse Trials 2018 dates: what happens when

Wednesday 2 May

The event gets underway on Wednesday 2 May with the Mitsubishi Cup competition for the best grass-roots event riders. Riders have to qualify at regional finals around the country in order to get the chance to compete on the hallowed Badminton turf in the BE90 and BE100 championships. Previously known as the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots, the championships have been rebranded for 2016 and the winners will drive away a Mitsubishi Shogun to drive for a year.

Wednesday also sees the prestigious CCI4* horses brought out for approval by the ground jury in the first horse inspection. This takes place in front of Badminton House on Wednesday afternoon and typically draws a good crowd of onlookers.

Thursday 3 May

Thursday is the first day of the dressage phase of the four-star competition. Those riders with two horses will get the action underway, followed by those with just one ride. The atmosphere is typically a little quieter on the first day, which may suit some horses better, while it’s debatable whether the judges are as generous with their marking. The extensive trade stands are open so if you fancy a break from the dressage, there is a vast amount of choice in terms of eating and shopping to keep you entertained.

Friday 4 May

Friday is the second day of the dressage phase of the four-star competition. Typically you can look forward to seeing many of the competition’s favourites in the late afternoon session, so this is a great time to take a seat in the grandstands. Otherwise the trade stands are open for those who want to shop til they drop.

Saturday 5 May

Saturday is cross-country day and the action typically gets underway around 11am, but if you don’t want to be stuck in queues of traffic for hours on end, we strongly recommend you aim to arrive between 8am and 9am. This gives you time to grab something to eat and browse the trade stands before heading out on the course to enjoy the thrilling action

Sunday 6 May

The last day of competition begins with the final horse inspection. Here the horses are presented to the ground jury to ensure they are fit and well before taking part in the final jumping phase. This takes place once again in front to Badminton House and attracts a good crowd. The jumping sessions are split into two with typically the top 20/25 jumping the afternoon, while the lower placed competitors jump in the morning.

Look out for Horse & Hound’s full preview of the spring four-star event, which will go on sale towards the end of April