Your ultimate guide to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton

  • The Mitsubishi Motors Cup (which used to be called the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships and is known colloquially as the Badminton Horse Trials grassroots championships), is an event that a huge number of riders jumping 90-100cm dream of competing at. Here is everything you need to know about it…

    What is it?

    This competition is held at BE90 and BE100 level over the two days prior to the main four-star Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

    When is it?

    1-2 May 2018 in Badminton Park in Gloucestershire. The dressage phase takes place on the first day of competition and the morning of the second day, when the showjumping and cross-country phases also take place.

    Are you eligible?

    Horses must be grade four under British Eventing (BE) rules at the time of the ballot date. Riders must not have completed an intermediate or higher competition during the current or preceding 10 calendar seasons and must never have competed in a four-star competition. Horses must also be ridden by the same rider throughout the qualifying process, except with the permission of the chief executive of BE. Both horse and rider must still be eligible to compete in BE90 classes on the date of the BE90 championships final. Riders must still be eligible to compete at BE100 level at the time of the championship and horses must not have won more than seven BE points between the ballot date of the regional final, three-day event or BE100 Scottish Championship and the Mitsubishi Motors Cup final.

    How to qualify

    The qualifying process begins over a year before the Mitsubishi Motors Cup takes place.

    Combinations which finish in the top 10% in each normal BE90 and BE90Open held at BE events between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018 will qualify to compete at the BE90 regional finals, which take place nationwide between August and October. Combinations which finish in the top 20% in each normal BE100 and BE100Open held at BE events between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018 will qualify to compete at the BE100 regional finals.

    Combinations may only compete in one regional final for each qualifying result attained, and once qualified, are not allowed to compete in any more regional final competitions.

    The top 20% of eligible starters at each regional final will qualify for the championships. Also combinations that are placed in the top 10% in a BE100 three-day event or BE100 Open three-day event held between 1 March 2018 and 31 October 2018 will qualify directly for the championship final. In addition to this, if eligible, the winning combination of the BE100 Scottish Championship will qualify directly for the championships.

    What you can expect on the cross-country course

    The cross-country takes riders around the park of the Badminton Estate and even past the beautiful house and through the famous Lake, quarry and Huntsman’s Close. Courses are much longer than standard tests, measuring around 3000m.

    The BE90 course will be conducted in accordance with the heights of BE90 classes at a one-day event but of a championship technicality.

    The BE100 competition will be conducted in accordance with the heights of BE100 Plus classes but with championship technicality.

    Take a look at the 2017 BE90 Mitsubishi Motors Cup cross-country course

    Take a look at the 2017 BE100 Mitsubishi Motors Cup cross-country course


    On-site stabling is available and is a great way of soaking up the championship atmosphere to the maximum.


    Horseboxes and vehicles towing trailers only will be permitted to remain on-site overnight. Here is the full guide to camping at the horse trials, and you could also check out this list of nearby B&Bs and hotels.

    Are there any added extras?

    • The mounted prize-giving is quite a spectacle in front of Badminton House and the prize package is impressive and includes the chance to drive away a new car from the Mitsubishi Motors range to use for a whole year. Rosettes are awarded for those placed first to 20th and completion rosettes are also on offer.
    • Mitsubishi Motors Cup cross-country course walks are available each year with famous eventers. This year course walks will be conducted by Mary King, Tom McEwen, Yogi Breisner and Nick Gauntlett.
    • All competitors will be sent a pass for their horsebox or trailer, plus two personal admission badges for the duration of the main four-star event

    Don’t miss our bumper Badminton preview issue of Horse & Hound magazine including Mary King’s thoughts on every fence on the cross-country course and our form guide (on sale 26 April 2018), plus our special in-depth report on all the action, complete with expert analysis (on sale 10 May 2018)

    You may like...