This year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials will be without live TV coverage on cross-country day

Live television coverage of the cross-country phase of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials has been sidelined by the BBC, which will be showing the FA Cup final instead.

Equestrian fans wishing to watch the event on TV will be limited to the highlights of cross-country day, followed by the final show jumping rounds on Sunday.

Both Eurosport and Sky Sports (which covered the event last year) have also taken the decision not to televise the competition.

Badminton was first shown on television in 1954 and this will be the first time that live coverage from the event has been lost.

Worried fans feel that the move reflects further erosion of horse sport on TV, both in the UK and globally. However, Badminton press officer Julian Seaman is more optimistic.

A package is a good way of presenting it since, if there’s a delay, you don’t have to fill any air time. Live coverage is what we would usually go for and we hope to return to that next year,” he said.

The BBC is presently undecided as to whether it will provide coverage from this year’s World Equestrian Games in Jerez.

Don’t miss HHO’s daily coverage of Badminton Horse Trials, starting on Thursday 2 May

Traffic trouble expected

Meanwhile, fans travelling to Badminton this weekend will be subjected to further chaos caused by the huge number of football supporters making their way across the UK to Cardiff, which iswhere the Cup Final is being played.

The RAC has pinpointed the western-bound stretch of the M4 as an area which will be particularly prone to delays and has suggested that people give plenty of time for their journey. Badminton organisers will also be signposting alternative routes, exiting at earlier junctions than usual.

Read the full story in today’s Horse & Hound (18 April), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

Read more about Badminton2002: