H&H’s Cathy Comerford has been exploring the shopping on offer at Badminton Horse Trials. Here’s her guide to the slightly unusual, weird and wonderful at Badminton.
My shopping adventure began at what I believe to be the best stand at Badminton: Horse & Hound, 120 Worcester Way. If half-price subscription offers, free gifts, £1 magazines and your chance to win a Horseware and Alessandro Albanese wardrobe worth £4000 isn’t enough to be awarded this title, the one and only William Fox-Pitt is doing a signing on Friday at 11.45am – the perfect excuse to pop in and say hello. To sweeten the deal we even have Mulberry the puppy keeping us company all week.
I then ventured to the Dubarry stand and was greeted with a glass of champagne – how charming. Of course I opted for an orange juice instead (working, after all…) and had a leisurely browse of the gorgeous boots on offer. However, it was a comforting thought that I don’t actually need a pair this year, for once, as the sun was shining… are you feeling okay Badminton?
The next thing to catch my eye was an array of colourful supplements on the NAF stand. I love a good supplement and I was in my element here.
I thought that these tweed clutch bags from Will Bees Bespoke were great. They are all made in England and can be personalised while you wait.
Naturally I was drawn to the Joshua Jones stand. As many of you know we love some blingy boots here, and these certainly didn’t disappoint. In line with the recent BD rule changes I thought it’d be rude not to add a pair to my wish-list.
I am a big fan of anything hand-made so adored these stocks from Mrs B’s Bespoke Stocks. You can choose from a variety of luxurious silks to make sure that you look your best in the ring.
At this point I got slightly sidetracked by a free taster (everyone loves a taster, don’t they?) from The Fudge Kitchen. This free taster just happened to change my life. I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘fudge person’, but I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.
After sampling pretty much every one on offer (they were very accommodating and offered me generously-sized portions… extra brownie points right there) I opted for a Nuttery Buttery Peanut Butter slab. This was supposed to last me the week, however it did not survive the journey back to London. Guilty.
I then stopped by the beautiful Gemma J stand to admire all of the equestrian themed jewellery. I especially liked the snaffle bracelet.
Passing by the Salamo.co.uk stand, these funky headcollars grabbed by attention. I think they’re great – anything giraffe or zebra themed is a win, so these got a thumbs up from me.
I then came across these cool breeches from Chillout Horse Wear. They feature a funky grippy pattern and are nice and stretchy. I can’t wait to get my hands on a pair.
I think that this little doggy towel rug from Ruff & Tumble is adorable. Perfect to wrap your pooch in after a bath. Perhaps I’ll bring on back to the stand for Mulberry.
Continuing my adventure I came across the Fairfax & Favor stand. They happened to be playing my favourite song at the time, and had one of the nicest bags I’ve seen in a while on display. Double win.
I then headed to Treehouse Sporting Colours for some cross-country fashion inspiration. This multi-coloured combo is top of my shopping list.
After stopping to watch a bit of the dressage I decided that it’s time to awaken my inner dressage diva, so I now have the perfect excuse to try a couple of dressage saddles. Passing the Zebra stand I immediately fell in love with what they had to offer. To make things even better they also had a selection of Italian cheeses, bubbly, biscuits and other nibbles to enjoy.
Thinking of all the dads, brothers and non-horsey boyfriends who may have been dragged along to Badminton, the Lions Rugby stand is there to keep them entertained. I may or may not have spent a little longer that necessary here…
As you’ve probably realised by now, I love a bit of colour, so fell in love with this Ifor Williams trailer. It certainly takes ‘glamping’ to a whole new level and doesn’t need plating every year, so it’s practically a bargain… My colleague and I are starting a kitty in the office. We need this.
As I was coming to the end of my shopping spree this little guy at Jack Straws Country Stores caught my eye. I feel that everyone should have a chicken shaped hanging basket in his or her life.
To end my adventure I visited Ayrequestrian to try on these gorgeous Ariat Monaco boots. It is my birthday tomorrow so I felt that this was perfectly justified… they fitted like a glove. This is rare for me as I have freakishly small ankles, so deemed it fate.
Happy shopping and enjoy Badminton!