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Rethink for major Badminton cross-country feature as new fence revealed

The team behind Badminton Horse Trials has revealed an “exciting” new addition to the cross-country track for this year – the “broken bridge”.

Course-designer Eric Winter and the Willis Bros course-builders are at work on the 2020 track, due to be put to the test on the Saturday of this year’s event (6 to 10 May).

Mr Winter told H&H the “show-stopper” fence is part of a new route.

It’s by the side of the sunken road,” he explained. “From there, to a new combination, then down to the broken bridge. It allows us to bring a coffin back in and make it a bit more hilly.

“We’ve all seen the iconic pictures of the old broken bridge; it’s a good old-fashioned fence, which I think will jump easily enough.”

“From the top of the rail to the landing point is three metres,” he added. “And it’s about that to the bottom of the hole if you get it wrong!

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“It’s an old-fashioned move on and gallop fence, after a long straight run through the avenue.”

Mr Winter, who said this year’s course will run anti-clockwise but with “more terrain”, and that the Vicarage Ditch line has had “a rethink and change”, had been at Badminton House this morning.

Asked how things were looking, he said: “Wet!

“A good chunk of it is under water, which is making things take longer, but I hear tickets are selling fast – and fingers crossed for some sunshine.”

Don’t miss the April 30 edition of Horse & Hound magazine for our full Badminton Horse Trials preview, and the 14 May issue for the report, and of course keep up with all the action here at horseandhound.co.uk

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