Excitement is reaching fever pitch at Horse & Hound HQ ahead of this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (7-11 May). Make the most of your visit with our 8 top tips — from avoiding the queues to grabbing the best bargains.
1. Agree on a meeting place
According to event director Hugh Thomas, Vodafone and EE are not putting up their usual temporary masts, so unless you are on O2, it’s unlikely your phone will work. If you’re trying to meet up with friends, you’ll have to take a step back in time, make a plan and stick to it.
2. Visit the H&H stand (no.8)
For special discounts on subscriptions and the latest issues of Horse & Hound, Eventing and Ask The Vet visit the Horse & Hound stand (no. 8). You’ll also have the chance to try the new H&H/NAF Five Star Cross-Country training app created with Yogi Breisner and Laura Collett — and you can meet Laura on the stand at 11am on Saturday (10 May).
3. Shop ‘til you drop
With acres of tradestands to explore at Badminton, payday couldn’t have come at a better time for the H&H team. Stock up on everything from tack and riding clothes to belts, baskets and books — and head to the Festival of Food tent when you start to flag. The shopping village will be open as follows:
Wednesday 7 May: 10am–6pm (free entry from 4pm)
Thursday 8 and Friday 9 May: 9am–6pm
Saturday 10 May: 9am–7pm
Sunday 11 May: 9am–4pm
Don’t forget to take our exclusive discount vouchers available in the 8 May issue of H&H, with money off brands from Musto and Estribos to Feedmark and Snuggy Hoods.
4. Keep up with all the action using H&H Live
We will be running our popular H&H Live interactive written commentary across all four days of Badminton this year, where you can take part in polls and post comments. Find out more at www.horseandhound.co.uk/badminton-horse-trials
5. Steer clear of traffic
Set off earlier than you think — there’s nothing more painful than being in sight of all the action but sitting in stationary traffic. On Saturday 10 May visitors are advised to avoid using the B4039 from Chippenham via Castle Combe and Acton Turville, because of “Japfest” — a large motoring event at Castle Combe circuit that day. Alternative routes are signed by the AA.
6. Tune into Radio Badminton
If you do get stuck in traffic, Radio Badminton will be comforting compensation for lost time. Tune into 106.1FM or on the Badminton App every day of the competition from 8.30am-5.30pm for expert opinion from Carl Hester, Pammy Hutton, Matt Ryan and Sara Squires.
7. Do your bit for charity
Always dreamed of a ride at Badminton? Henry the (mechanical) 15.2hh gelding could be the answer. For a small donation to Hoof — the British Equestrian Federation’s participation brand that aims to help more people discover horses, get fit and improve their wellbeing — you can hop on board at stand 97.
8. Walk the course with an expert
Eventing legend Lucinda Green will be hosting a coursewalk on Friday 9 May at 12.30pm — giving an insight into how the riders will tackle the iconic fences. Tickets cost £15 per person, per walk and £12 for Petplan Equine customers. Vist www.badminton-horse.co.uk for more information about available coursewalks. And if you don’t manage to bag a spot on an organised coursewalk, try walking it backwards for the best chance of bumping into friends and spotting the stars.
Don’t miss the 15 May issue of Horse & Hound magazine with our special 24-page Badminton report