The final countdown is on for the return of Badminton Horse Trials (4 to 8 May), presented by Mars Equestrian, for the first time since 2019 and event organisers are predicting a potentially sell-out cross-country day.
“Final preparations are going well and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Badminton next week,” a Badminton spokesman told H&H.
“Please can we remind everyone that all tickets need to be purchased in advance and there will be no ticket sales on the gate to help ensure a speedy entry.
“Ticket sales have been good and potentially we may sell out for Saturday’s cross country day.”
A new trophy will be awarded to the winner of the 2022 Gloucestershire five-star, designed by Judy Boyt and created using materials from the Duke of Beaufort’s estate.
“We very much wanted to keep a link to the previous trophy, so you will see that it is again three horses, performing the three eventing disciplines, but with up-to-date tack and equipment,” said Judy, who also designed the last trophy. For instance, the dressage and show jumping horses are wearing ear muffs and I have re-created the modern stirrups and boots. I’ve had to do a lot of research!”
The trophy incorporates silver from Badminton house and the plinth, created by Marc Stevenson of Stevenson Brothers Rocking Horses, is made from timber from an oak tree in Badminton Park.
The winners’ names, from John Sheddon in 1949 to Piggy French (now March) in 2019, are included in a secret drawer within the plinth.
“We didn’t want the past winners to be forgotten,” said Judy. “It was very important to preserve the link with the past and with Badminton Estate.”
Reigning European Champion Nicola Wilson is among the world-class entries.
She told H&H that she is “very excited” about Badminton’s return and is looking forward to JL Dublin, her European individual and team gold medal winning campaigner, and Erano M both contesting their first five-star.
“The nerves and the excitement mean we are certainly aware that Badminton is imminent and we are so looking forward to going, settling the horses in and having a super week,” said Nicola.
“It’s really exciting for our owners, ourselves and the girls that work for us that Badminton is running. Nervous and excited and delighted to be there.
“It really is the pinnacle of the sport in this country and it is a privilege and an honour to have horses competing there.”
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s Badminton preview in this week’s issue (28 April), with all you need to know about how to following this year’s event
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