25th Apr 2019

Badminton Horse Trials: 70th Anniversary

Our countdown is on!

We’re very excited to be exhibiting at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials this year for so many reasons. Not only do we love this event, but as one of two five star horse trials in the UK, it’s also a great chance for us to catch up with our customers on our stand (no. 13 Worcester Way). We even get to see our sponsored riders, such as William Fox-Pitt. In addition to all of this, it’s Badminton Horse Trials’ 70th anniversary – how incredible is that!

What’s the timetable for Badminton Horse Trials?

So, what does this year’s Badminton Horse Trials have in store? To kick off the competition, the trot up or first horse inspection will take place in front of Badminton House on Wednesday. Here, all horses are assessed for soundness and to make sure that they’re fit to compete. Running alongside this, there’s also a best dressed competition judged and sponsored by Hiho Silver. It’s a bit of fun, but the serious matter is whether or not the horse is fit and able to compete in all three phases of the event.

On Thursday and Friday, the dressage phase takes place in the main arena. Times will be announced nearer to the time if you want to make sure you watch your favourites. If you’re not attending the event, Radio Badminton is a useful source for updates during the competition. You can also watch it via the Badminton Livestream, which you can find on the Badminton Horse Trials website.

And then we move onto Saturday, which is cross country day. This year’s course has been designed by Eric Winter. In fact, it’s Eric’s third year designing this iconic course. As usual, for all those Badminton superfans, there’s an interactive course tour online, where both Eric Winter and Lucinda Green have provided voice memos that explain a little bit more about the fence and its design.

All the phases have the ability to be hugely influential – that’s the beauty of eventing – but cross country is, of course, where you see most of the thrills and spills. There has been many a moment where people watching at home and at the event have held their breath as a horse has chipped in an extra stride, taken a long one, hit a fence, or a rider has made an unscheduled dismount in the water.

This phase is the one that generally takes it out of the horses, and the weather can be a huge factor in how the horses cope with the cross country phase. Hard or soft ground can change the leader board, as can hot weather or rain. It’s all a very fine balance. What you’ll see throughout is the finest horsemen and horsewomen in the world carefully guiding their top horses around the course, while trying to achieve the optimum time and keep them sound and happy for the final phase too.

As soon as the horses have finished their round, they are cared for in the iconic stable block that houses the horses for the week at Badminton Horse Trials. Depending on how the horse has gone, this care can vary enormously. The goal is to make sure the horse is happy, sound and hydrated, but it’s also key that he’s OK to compete on the final day, so every care is taken to ensure a speedy recovery.

Then the final day, Sunday, dawns at Badminton Horse Trials, and it’s the showjumping. The nail biter. This is usually run in reverse order with the exception being if a rider has two horses in consecutive placings. As the rounds move on, everyone gets a little more tense and the atmosphere grows. Having a single pole down in the showjumping phase can lose a rider the title. Sometimes being a little slower than the optimum can too. It’s a very tense way to spend a Sunday!

What does it mean to win Badminton Horse Trials?

As for the title itself, the winner of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials will bag a stunning trophy and a £100,000 prize. There is a large number of other monetary prizes, but there are also other accolades. These include Armada Dish for five completions, Butler Bowl for highest placed British rider, Farriers prize, and so much more.

Where can you find Albion?

During the event, we’ll be on our stand, at no 13 on Worcester Way. We’ll have products from our Equestrian Collection including saddles and bridles, as well as our Lifestyle Collection, which includes candles and silk scarves. We’ll also have products from our Sporting Collection too, which sees our gun slips and associated shooting products take centre stage.

We’re very excited to share the news that we’ll also be unveiling three new products at this year’s Badminton Horse Trials. From Albion Lifestyle, the new Amorita Clutch Bag and Adorabella Hand Bag will be available on the stand to buy. We’ve designed these so carefully, and selected the very best leathers. We couldn’t be more delighted with the results. They make great additions to the Albion Lifestyle family, and work well alongside our bucket bag, the Amalea. On the equestrian side of things, our new Evolve Saddle will be on the stand, and we’d love for you to come and see it. We thought what’s better than one new product launch on Badminton Horse Trials’ 70th anniversary? Three… that’s exactly what we’re doing!

We can’t wait to see you on our stand during the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. You’ll receive a warm welcome, and the heady aromas of beautiful leather and luxury candles on stand 13 Worcester Way!