Badminton Horse Trials at 75 by Kate Green

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  • Badminton Horse Trials at 75



    Price as reviewed:

    £40.00 for hardback

    Title: Badminton Horse Trials at 75
    Author: Kate Green, with foreword by The Duke of Beaufort
    Published: 14 April 2024
    Available as hardback, Kindle, Kobo and iBook

    View now at amazon.co.uk

    About Badminton Horse Trials at 75

    The publishers describe this as: “A lavishly illustrated celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Badminton Horse Trials looking at its history, the notable riders and the horses from over the past seven decades.

    “In 1949, the 10th Duke of Beaufort started Badminton Horse Trials with the idea of better preparing British riders for the Olympic Games after a disastrous showing on home ground the year before. His legacy is the world’s oldest and most prestigious horse trials, which has captured the imagination of riders worldwide and in 2024 celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary.

    “Badminton is still an Olympic proving ground as well as a captivating place where dreams can be made or shattered, and the one all riders want to win. The centrepiece remains the cross-country course, a spectacle that draws thousands of spectators and is an imposing challenge for riders, no matter how experienced they are, in an egalitarian sport in which men and women compete on equal terms and the amateur can take on the Olympic gold medallist.

    “This superbly illustrated book celebrates those riders and their horses, from Sheila Willcox’s hattrick in the 1950s to New Zealander Mark Todd who came out of retirement to win three decades after his first victory; from the golden era of Richard Meade, Captain Mark Phillips, Lucinda Green and Princess Anne, to twenty-first-century heroes and heroines, including William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell, Andrew Nicholson, Michael Jung, Oliver Townend and Rosalind Canter.”


    Lovers of eventing have been crying out for a book which brings us up to date on Badminton’s history – Debby Sly’s great forerunner to this new edition, Badminton Horse Trials: The Triumphs and The Tears, covers only two-thirds of the event’s history now, having been published for the event’s 50th anniversary. This new tome answers that need.

    Kate Green, a journalist of huge experience including with Horse & Hound and currently as deputy editor of Country Life, is the ideal author to have taken up the challenge and the result is a delightful book. She takes Badminton decade by decade, giving an introduction to the period’s major changes and trends, and then breaking out into a short section on each renewal of the event. Her flowing prose and ability to pick out the best stories and summarise important themes in a succinct way make this a very easy, enjoyable read.

    It is a strength rather than a weakness that this book covers much of the history of eventing beyond Badminton, picking out important developments in the sport, and weaving the history of our major championships into the story – fitting, in the context of how Badminton came about. From the rise and fall of different nations to changes in cross-country course design, the introduction of new formats and the evolution of the modern event horse, this book gives a whistle-stop tour of eventing over the past eight decades.

    Kate also introduces us to all the major characters in the sport, bringing them to life with affection and wonderful anecdotes.

    Although the more recent history of the event will probably be familiar to many readers, the fact Kate had a front row seat at these Badminton, as either a journalist or a member of the press office team, means these sections are particularly strong.


    A lovely book to keep on your coffee table and dip into – or read straight through. Either way, Badminton Horse Trials at 75 is a book you’ll want to return to time after time. I love my Kindle, but on this occasion, do buy the hardback so you can really luxuriate in all the gorgeous archive photos.

    View now at amazon.co.uk

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