A beginner’s guide to Badminton……

In the last part of Eventing Worldwide’s ‘A beginners guide to Badminton’, we provide you with all the useful information you need to know about attending Badminton for the first time.

So you’ve chosen what to wear, have a timetable in place to make sure you miss the traffic and have decided where you can get close to the action. But what else do you need to know about attending Badminton? Here’s our guide to all the useful information you need to know and how you can keep up with all the action…….

All the useful information they don’t tell you……

Inevitably, someone in your party will get lost during the course of your visit. Badminton Horse Trials covers a vast site and with more than 250,000 people attending it’s easy to do. On all days, apart from Cross Country day, lost people should be taken to the Event Organisers office. On Saturday, there is a Lost People tent where people can go to find their friends and family once the cross country has finished.

Mobile signal is hit and miss at Badminton depending on your service provider. So you might not be able to get hold of your lost friends using your mobile phone. Therefore, it’s advisable to arrange a meeting point with your group where you can meet up again at the end of the day should you become separated. And for those of you who want to keep up with all the latest news on your mobile device, and are lucky enough to get enough signal, it’s probably a good idea to take a portable power source to charge your phone on the go (such as the Kodak Smart Phone Charger (available from Maplin and other stores http://bit.ly/1ySqMyM).

Whilst there are a number of cash machines on site, it is likely there will be very long queues. And during that time you’re in the queue you’re missing all the action. Whilst the trade stands do accept major credit cards but it is advisable to make sure you bring plenty of cash in your wallet too. It’s particularly useful when buying food and that all important ice cream or sweet treat.

So you’ve spent all morning in the shops before the start of the cross country. And your car is parked at the other end of Luckington Lane. So what do you do with your shopping? Well you’re in luck. There is a drop off point for all those heavy bags. Situated near the Red Cross tent in the trade stand area, this will be manned from 10am to 5pm so you can collect your new purchases later on in the day when you are on your way back to the car.

Dogs are welcome at Badminton – but please remember to keep them on a lead at all times, and under control. No competitor likes being chased by a loose dog while they’re tacking the cross country. In 2013, a small dog famously got loose as Andrew Nicolson came through the Quarry fence on Avebury. While it didn’t seem to have any effect on the cool New Zealander who went on to complete a clear round, the consequences could have been far worse. And whatever your do, do not leave your dog in the car. Each year, the public address system are intermitted with messages of dogs in distress. The RSCPA is onsite to assist owners who have a sick or injured dog and they also have the authority to remove it from your vehicle. If you want a couple of hours dog free, the Langford Trust has a Dog Crèche, where your four legged friends can be left with them (maximum two hours per time). So if you’re going to bring your doggy friends to the world’s most famous event, make sure you have a strong lead, plenty of water and pooper scoopers. If you find a lost dog while you’re out and about they can be taken to the RSPCA compound (Stand 193) in the trade stand area.

Where to find all the latest news…………..

The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials website (www.badminton-horse.co.uk) is a haven of information for first timers and seasoned visitors alike. The official Badminton App is another great way to keep up with all news, views, interviews together with access to information about the course, the shopping village and other useful information. Available for both iPhone and Android devices, our advice would be to download it before you arrive on site as Wi-Fi connectivity is extremely limited.

You can keep up to date with what’s happening via Radio Badminton which is broadcast on 106.1FM throughout the event. It’s a great way to catch up on the previous day’s events as you’re travelling into the event in the car and find out the latest news about the day ahead. If you want to listen to Radio Badminton on site Earpieces can be purchased from sellers around the site and usually cost about £10.

And of course, the Eventing Worldwide team will be onsite throughout the event to help you keep up with everything you need to know about Badminton via www.eventingworldwide.com, @EventingWWNEWS on Twitter and our Facebook page.

So there completes your Beginner’s Guide to Badminton. We hope you enjoy your event and that it’s the first of many visits to the world’s best equestrian event.

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