Preparations for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials always begin in the late summer of the previous year. After the thrills and spills of the 2014 Event, course designer Giuseppe Della Chiesa will have his first attempt at producing this ultimate challenge heading the opposite way round the Duke of Beaufort’s Park. His debut featured a flowing, big and bold track that certainly caught the attention of riders and spectators alike, especially in the difficult weather conditions. The reverse route presents different challenges over the terrain, so the 2015 running will almost feel like a second ‘first time’ for the Italian designer.
Badminton is now settled into its later week and runs from Wednesday May 6th through to its Jumping conclusion on Sunday May 10th, with the Cross Country nestled back into its familiar Saturday schedule. The ticket office is now open for existing customers and will be accessible to all from 12th January; all details are on the event website www.badminton-horse.co.uk
In the 4 year Olympic cycle this year is the turn of the European Championships which will be held at Blair Castle in Scotland for the first time in September, so Badminton, as ever, will be the proving ground for riders of all the nearby nations to stake their team place with their selectors. They will however have to take on the usual truly international field to win the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy.
Six days of competition start again with the ever popular Mitsubishi Motors Grass Roots Championships before the Event proper begins.
There will also be a new look to the massive trade stand area, which after external consultancy, is being ‘smartened up’ with screens hiding the ‘backroom’ workings of the shopping outlets, more conspicuous entrances to the village and better signposting.
As some may have seen the Event was thrilled to have been voted Best Event (Eventing) of 2014 by the international publication L’Annee Hippique. It was a special honour for the organisers, as it was voted by a cross section of peers at the very top of the sport.
Every year Badminton has a dedicated charity, and this year it is Sense, which is the national charity campaigning for people who are deafblind.