Oooooh! Entries are open for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials!
As a first-class eventing geek, there’s a certain frisson for me in imagining riders all over Britain — and indeed around the world — making their entries for Badminton.
Of course, now that they’re made online there isn’t quite the same romanticism as when they were posted — there’s just something about picturing Andrew Nicholson and William Fox-Pitt sitting down with a biro and paper entry form, trotting down to the post office… (ok, I get that they perhaps didn’t do that themselves, but don’t spoil it).
Because I’m such a geek — and because I wanted to extract as much excitement as possible from this day — I took a look through the Badminton FEI schedule. It’s actually more interesting reading than you would imagine (no, honestly, bear with me), so I thought I’d share some of the gems with you.
So, here are my favourite “Did you knows” from the Badminton 2015 schedule…
1. This year’s ground jury president is Switzerland’s Christian Landolt and the other ground jury members are Britain’s Sue Baxter and Ireland’s David Lee.
2. The stables are open from 9.30am on Tuesday, 5 May. Horses have to arrive by noon on Wednesday, 6 May.
3. Riders must be 18 years old to compete and horses a minimum of eight.
4. Entry costs £425. Double entries (where riders enter two horses but will only actually compete one) cost an extra £90.
5. Refunds for withdrawn entries are offered on a sliding scale, with a full refund until close of entries (noon, Thursday, 19 March), £288 returned before the draw is done at 5pm on Monday, 20 April and £192 before noon on Sunday, 3 May.
6. Withdrawn entries are replaced from the waiting list until 2pm on Sunday, 3 May.
7. Every owner whose horse completes the competition but doesn’t win any prize money receives £750.
8. One groom per horse receives free accommodation and food. Each rider also receives vouchers for three meals a day in the stables’ canteen — or the vouchers can be used at any catering outlet on site.
9. Horses are provided with “stabling, shavings bedding and forage” — other bedding can be provided for £50 per stable.
10. Each groom whose horse starts the cross-country receives £200.
11. Riders receive three car passes and three badges/identity wristlets. Passes are also issued to owners, as recorded in the horse’s FEI passport, up to a maximum of three passes and six badges per horse. Two grooms’ badges/identity wristlets are issued per horse. Riders can apply for additional badges for “family/extra grooms etc” at the time of entry and applications will be decided by the organisers.
12. The cross-country is approximately 6.5km long, with up to 45 jumping efforts.
13. The showjumping is 500-600m long, with up to 16 jumping efforts.
14. The total prize fund is £327,250, with £80,000 to the winners and the lowest prize being £1,250. One in four starters receive a prize.
Now, who said that schedule wouldn’t be fascinating bedtime reading?