Badminton Horse Trials organisers will “thoroughly review” procedures after some spectators experienced lengthy waits to get into the event at the weekend (1 to 5 May).
As what are thought to be record numbers of people surged to the Gloucestershire venue, there were complaints from those who faced hours of waiting in queues to get in.
A spokesman for the event said it was the first year e-tickets, which need to be scanned, had been used, and that although there had been some anecdotal evidence of “teething problems” with the system, the idea is to get people into the park more quickly.
Event director Hugh Thomas told H&H that while attendance figures had not been confirmed, it looked as though a record number of people came to watch the event this year, its 70th anniversary, and the final year of Mitsubishi Motors’ sponsorship.
“There were indeed quite serious hold-ups, especially for people coming from south of the event,” he said.
“We know of one traffic accident that had a major effect, but there were still much longer delays than we expected even from what looks like increased numbers, so we will again be thoroughly reviewing our procedures.”
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While some spectators bemoaned the queuing time on cross-country day – some citing the wait to have e-tickets scanned as an issue – others who arrived early in the morning said they had not had to wait at all.
More than 160,000 visitors attended the 2018 running of the event, putting it in Britain’s official list of top 10 most popular sporting events.
For the full report on Badminton 2019 and Piggy French and Vanir Kamira’s fantastic first CCI5* victory, don’t miss tomorrow’s (9 May) edition of the magazine, which includes 22 pages of report, comment and analysis of this year’s event from start to finish, not to mention all the usual reports, news and features.