Preparations for the 70th anniversary of Badminton Horse Trials are now well underway.
This year, as well as marking a milestone on the event’s history, will be the final year under the sponsorship of Mitsubishi Motors, who have supported the world-famous competition for 28 years. Having taking on the role as title sponsor in 1992, the event that year was won by Mary King (nee Thompson) riding King William.
Badminton has had its rating upgraded by the FEI and will now be classified as a CCI-L5*.
However, in practical terms, this will have no effect on Eric Winter’s cross-country course and the event remains the dream of riders the world over. Entries are expected from the victorious British world champion squad and the usual contingent of the cream of the rest of the world. Winter, who has been course designer for two years, will unveil his course in mid-April with the drawn order of competitors being made at around the same time.
It may be the 70th anniversary of the competition but innovations are made with each running. For spectators, who turned up in unprecedented numbers in 2018, there are further enhancements. The popular Lakeside area has been revitalised along with the Members and Deli enclosures, and the World of Food and Wine, a newcomer to the popular shopping village, is set to be expanded.
The camp site, which now has over 1,300 pitches, will this year be complemented by the Badminton Retreat, the official provider of luxury glamping accommodation at the event. Lending an extra sense of style to the Badminton experience, this beautiful glamping site is located right in the heart of the action by Huntsmans Close on the cross country course with facilities including a fully licensed bar with a big screen, on-site restaurant, chill-out area, pamper room and private parking.
After a successful premiere in 2018, eventing fans will be able to ask questions of the top three riders at the end of each day on the stage next to the Media Centre.
As announced at the end of 2018, the official charity of the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials will be YoungMinds, which champions the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
As ever festivities kick off with the amateurs’ championships the Mitsubishi Motors Cup on the Tuesday and Wednesday, with more than 200 combinations qualifying for this year’s grassroots championship.
The Box Office is now open for ticket sales atwww.badminton-horse.co.uk