Great equestrian rivalries: Badminton v Burghley

  • The four-star three-day events at Badminton and Burghley are both outstanding horse trials at the pinacle of the sport, but there has long been rivalry between them to be the blue riband of eventing in Britain.

    Badminton is the oldest three-day event in the world and everyone wants to win there. And it has the biggest first prize in the sport.

    Burghley, which started 12 years later, was known as the slightly easier four-star until Mark Phillips became designer. Now it is considered the more difficult, not least because of the undulating terrain.

    Burghley HouseBadminton has history and reputation on its side and tends to have a stronger field — many top horses head to a championship rather than Burghley. But Burghley is an indisputably prettier setting, has higher-quality shopping and the first prize is now only £5,000 less than at Badminton.

    Burghley also has a better reputation for innovation; it is the only event to stick to the FEI recommendation for rotating course-designers, has spent £1million on irrigation for the cross-country, and constantly strives to improve conditions for horses and riders.

    So do you prefer Badminton or Burghley? Let us know which is your favourite and why and we may publish your views here. Email your thoughts to hheditor@ipcmedia.com

    Read about other equestrian rivalries including Anky van Grusven v Isabell Werth, William Fox-Pitt v Andrew Nicholson, Galileo v Fantastic Light and John Renwick v Guy Williams, in today’s Horse & Hound (7 December, ’06)

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