Walk the Badminton cross-country course [PICS]

  • Take a look at every fence on the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 4-star cross-country course. This year’s course has been designed by Giuseppe della Chiesa, who has introduced a number of new fences.

    Two fences have been removed from the course due to the conditions. The course distance has been altered to 6469m. The optimum time has been altered to 11min 21sec. The time limit is 22min 42sec.

    Watch the official course preview video

    Badminton 2014 cross-country course description

    Giuseppe Della Chiesa’s cross-country course asks all the technical questions demanded in the current era of the sport, but designed to have the look and feel of Badmintons gone past. The course covers new ground in some places with obstacles looking more sympathetic to their surroundings than at some other events. There are also less long routes than in previous years.

    Starting in the main arena the first ASX Starter (1) is unchanged, before riders head right and over an imposing log Tree Trunk (2) and then the familiar John Whitaker Keepers Brush (3). Next is a large parallel, the Little Badminton Double Rails at (4) after the undulating ground where the village used to be.

    The first serious question comes at The Savills Escalator (5) next to the old staircase, a massive roll top spread to two skinnies on a downhill right-handed curve. At (6) and (7) the Team GBR Silver Birch there are two large and airy parallels on a left-handed turn before riders come to the Lake complex.

    For the direct route the first element is another big spread The Rolex Grand Slam Triple Bar (8) followed by a drop into the lake, then a boat in the water and out over a jetty The Lake (9).

    Then comes the resited KBIS Garden Table (10) set in a new garden feature in front of Badminton House, followed by a long gallop to the Shogun Hollow (11, 12), a roll top and brush spread, down a dip and up and out of the deer park to a choice of skinny brushes.

    Next is a sharp left turn to the Outlander Bank (13) with the ‘owl hole’ on the top and an accuracy question on landing.

    Riders then head out into a new area of the park up the hill by Luckington Lane to the Gatehouse New Pond (14) complex, a post and rail into the water and a choice of exits either over a corner on the left or an airy single rail on the right.

    Next come a modern version of the classic Vicarage V, asking a very similar question to its seventies inspiration, and then a left turn back over the Vicarage Ditch with a narrow spread PHEV Vicarage Vee (15). A new look final crossing of the ditch involves a curved double of upright brushes, through the water and out over another brush at the Mirage Pond (16).

    There is a very traditional island fence FEI Classics Stick Pile (17) before a brand new set of earthworks involving a steep bank with a massive raised log on the top, down into the gulley over a relatively narrow trunk and another on a left-handed turn back into the deer park at Swindon Designer Outlet Mound (18).

    The pretty Wadworth Barrels (19) is a bit of a let up before two angled, properly upright white gates at the World Horse Welfare Garden Gates (20). Riders will have to judge how late to apply the brakes on the approach. This is followed by yet more water at the lower end of the Lake with a log pile trailer towed by a Mitsubishi L200 in the pond, L200 Trailer (21).

    It is then a long gallop to the ISH Studbook Huntsmans Close (22, 23) when the quick option involves a large log followed by two massive corners of timber boxes topped with brush, on a right-hand turn. If there is still petrol in the tank, riders can make up time on their way to the revamped Horsequest Quarry (24, 25, 26), resplendent with new dry stone walls. The first element is a wall, then to a choice of portable cottages and then back up a steep slope to a wall at the top, again harking back to another era.

    Nearly home and there are a pair of sculpted brush Oxers, Countryside Hedges (27, 28) and one more serious question one from home with the Rolex Presentation Boxes (29), a double which has to be taken at an acute angle; before the last Mitsubishi Finish (30) comes into view.

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