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Big crowds and a party atmosphere at Badminton Horse Trials

Bumper crowds headed to Badminton this year — with organisers reporting a record gate of 130,000 on cross-country day (Sunday, 5 May). That’s compared with 120,000 in 2011.

A stellar line-up and sunny skies meant that, after last year’s cancellation, fans flocked to the Gloucestershire event.

Freddie Tulloch from the Outside Chance bar, overlooking the lake, said it was packed all weekend.

“We had to send a lorry to London to restock on Pimm’s and champagne,” he said.

“Last year was very, very painful — we weren’t insured — but we thought we’d give it one more go and we were thrilled, the atmosphere was brilliant,” he added.

Tradestands reported their footfall was up considerably.

Rosalie Eustace from clothing company Timothy Foxx said it was “our best Badminton ever”, while Chloe Bernard of equestrian retailers Shadow Horse reported a “hugely successful” event in terms of sales.

Many stands ran out of bottled water on cross-country day and queues for ice creams were lengthy.

And many reported protracted journeys and long waits to get on to the site.

“We knew we would have to allow some time for queuing to get there for cross-country from Bath — but once we turned off the A46 it took us 3hr,” said one spectator, Jonnie Silver.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (9 May 2013)

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