Do you see yourself as the next Eric Winter?

The new Badminton course-designer and event organisers are inviting fans to submit designs for the final cross-country fence at next year’s four-star (3-7 May, 2017).

Applicants of any age are invited to enter the “design the final fence” competition, the first of its kind to be hosted by Badminton.

“I was delighted to be asked to design the course for Badminton, an event I have admired all my life, so it seemed apt to share the opportunity I have been given with others who both love the event as well as the idea of designing a cross-country fence for it,” said Mr Winter, who is designing the course for the first time next year.

A judging panel of Mr Winter, event director Hugh Thomas and media director Julian Seaman will select their favourite 10 designs, and a public vote will decide the winner.

“The winner not only receives the glory of their design being set into the 2017 course in its first year under Eric’s design influence but they will also be requested to attend the unveiling of the fence in April at Badminton’s invitation-only event preview day,” said a Badminton spokesman.

“The winner and runners-up will also be invited to the event.”

The design will be transformed into a fence by Olympic course-builders Willis Bros.

“We appreciate that a lot of thought and time will go into each design, so the period for design submissions runs until 9am on 29 January,” added the spokesman. “The judges will announce their top ten favourite designs on 10 February; then public voting on the Badminton website will open.”

Designs must be based on the following specifications:

  • Height: The fixed wood height should be no more than 115 cm high.
  • Decoration: There should be either flowers or brush on the top of the fence.Dimensions: The whole fence should be 3-4 metres wide excluding any wings but the part the horses jump could be as little as 115 cm wide.
  • Position: The fence should be at least a bit higher at the sides than it is in the middle (think of a smile shape) since it is the last fence on the course and will be heavily photographed. Bear in mind that most professional photographs are taken from the landing side of the fence, but the fence needs to look good from 360 degrees.
  • Design influence: the design will need to be timeless as this will be the centrepiece of the Badminton main arena for some years to come so it needs to be iconic.There should be some Mitsubishi Motors branding on the fence as the long-term partnership between Mitsubishi Motors and Badminton is very important. Badminton Horse Trials reserves the right to amend the winning design if necessary to take account of Mitsubishi Motors branding guidelines and/or constraints required by broadcast partners.

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The shortlist will be announced on 10 February, when public voting will open.

To enter, click here, and for terms and conditions, click here.