Eventing enthusiasts can register their displeasure about Badminton’s TV coverage via an email petition

Eventing enthusiasts bemoaning the poor television coverage of this year’s Badminton Horse Trials are being asked to sign an e-mail petition to send to the BBC.

The e-mail reads: “It is appalling that the BBC only showed an hour and a half. This is the same story with all major equestrian events. It’s about time something was done about this.”

Equestrians are being asked to add their name and e-mail address to the petition and forward it to their friends to sign. When the list reaches 250 names, the e-mail will be sent back to the petition’s instigator, 17-year-old Elizabeth Shaw from Newbury, Berks, who will send it to the BBC.

She said: “I don’t intend stopping with a petition. I’m working on generating interest from some of the competitors at Badminton and their sponsors, as they too are losing out.”

However, a spokesman for the BBC said: “Badminton Horse Trials has been part of the BBC sporting portfolio for many years and we hope it will continue to be so into the future. As one of the best three-dayevents in the world it provides exciting television.

“Despite this, Badminton does not attract a large television audience. In addition, live coverage of the cross-country phase, which takes 17 cameras, makes it one of the more expensive outside broadcasts.

“The change in style of our Badminton coverage does not reflect a weakening of the BBC’s commitment to three-day events and equestrianism. Burghley will be on the screens in September, Olympia at Christmas and considerable effort has been made by the BBC to encourage Spanish television to give more detailed coverage of the World Equestrian Games than it had planned.”

To add your name to the petition, e-mail Elizabeth Shaw at gooses21@hotmail.com or contact the BBC to register your disappointment (tel: 08700 100222).

Read the full story in this week’s Horse & Hound (16 May), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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