Eventing enthusiasts who are unable to make the journey to Gloucestershire to watch the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials first-hand, will be able to watch live action from the ultimate four-star event on the BBC’s flagship sports show Grandstand on Saturday 6 May.
Badminton has recently signed a new contract with the BBC, which will ensure coverage for the event until 2009, bringing the corporation’s continued coverage of the event to more than 50 years.
Grandstand deputy editor, Michael Cole said: “I’m delighted that we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of TV coverage at Badminton by signing a new contract. The coverage may have changed — from the 6 cameras back in 1956 to see Colonel Frank Weldon win, to the 18 cameras we’ll use this year — but the excitement of Badminton Horse Trials remains great viewing.”
This year will see the return of live cross-country coverage on Saturday for the first time since a clash with the FA Cup Final in 2001. Last year BBC1 offered digital coverage of Saturday’s action and this proved so popular that the event has been returned to the channel’s flagship sports programme for 2006. The climax of the event, preceded by cross-country highlights, will be shown on Sunday Grandstand.
Hugh Thomas said: “We have always had a very good relationship with the BBC and appreciate the coverage they have given our great minority sport for half a century. It is very good news that the coverage is returning to prime time Saturday afternoon.”
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