‘It’s very clever’: find out what riders make of the 2019 Badminton cross-country track

Find out what some of the world’s top event riders, such as Pippa Funnell, Tina Cook and Nicola Wilson make of this year’s Badminton cross-country course

This year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials cross-country course is as big and bold as ever. The track is designed by Eric Winter, and is 6697m in length with an optimum time of 11min 45sec.

Pippa Funnell said: “I think it’s a very clever course with how the course designer has used the terrain. There are plenty of places where a horse will really have to use its footwork. The fences invite you to ride and attack the course and there are certainly places where you have got to be accurate.”

Tina Cook said: “There are a few combinations where the striding could be quite interesting where, as a rider, it’s going to be difficult to know what your horse is going to go on, jumping off the bank and out of The Lake the direct way, for example. So you will have to ride with feel and be positive with the horses.”

Gemma Tattersall said: “There are some really tricky distances where horses are going to have to have really good footwork. But, maybe it’s not as tough as past Badmintons.”

Chris Burton said: “Eric has designed a few tricky lines and a few things to make us think, so we’ll see how it goes.”

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Nicola Wilson said: “It’s massive from start to finish with questions one after the other.”

Emily King said: “It’s a really big, bold, attacking course, but with fairly-built questions for the horses. There are a couple of distances that are a bit unusual so we’ll have to work them out.”

Read our full Badminton form guide in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (issue dated 2 May 2019).

Our bumper 25-page Badminton report will be in our 9 May issue, including opinion from Mark Phillips and Peter Storr.