Badminton Horse Trials things to do: your complete guide

  • If you are lucky enough to travel to the Badminton Horse Trials presented by Mars Equestrian this week (May 4-8, 2022) and perhaps have never been there before or the event has not been held since 2019 you may have forgotten the Covid Pandemic what’s on offer for you, here’s our full guide to what you really need to check out while you’re there.

    Walk the cross-country route

    Make sure, no matter what day you visit Badminton, that you take a stroll down the legendary five-star cross-country course – until you’ve seen these fences in person, you don’t get a real sense of how huge they are! Just make sure you stand behind the cordoned off areas of the court and don’t go to the fences as badminton works very hard to ensure the best ground for the five star competitors. Alternatively, take part in a pre-arranged cross-country course hike, where a range of experts will explain fence by fence how to negotiate each obstacle and provide fascinating insight. Find out more about the course hikes available.

    Check out the Voltaire Design Grassroots Championship

    The BE90 and BE100 badminton championships take place on Tuesday and Wednesday and feature some of the best grassroots horses and riders in the country. You can catch their cross-country action Wednesday around the badminton parkland.

    Visit at least one of the more than 500 booths

    Well, it would be rude not to do it, wouldn’t it? Badminton’s giant shopping village is one of the many highlights of the event each year, attracting a huge collection of many well-known brands. There is a large selection of equestrian fashion and lifestyle brands. The opening hours of the shopping village are as follows:

    Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m
    Saturday: 9am-7pm
    Sunday: 9am – 5pm

    Oh, and don’t forget to take a stroll around the food stalls too

    There will be a selection of food stalls to wander around, from delicious smoked fish to a wine selection there is something for everyone.

    Watch potential stars of the future in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse class

    Badminton will host a qualifier for the finals, which will be held in Burghley in September, for four- and five-year-old potential eventing stars. This will take place just behind the main arena and the contestants will be showing off their young stars throughout the day.

    Watch an Olympic dressage rider in action

    Both Thursdays and Fridays at 12.30pm in the main arena, British Olympic dressage riders and H&H Columnist Laura Tomlinson will give an exhibition. Laura is joined by a rider from her home team, with the display culminating in a freestyle-to-music performance.

    Check out a range of stallions currently standing in the UK

    On Friday evening, after the end of the dressage, there will be a stallion show in the main arena, at which some of the best in British sport horse breeding will be on display. Twelve stallions will be exhibiting including Tomatillo, clone of Finn and Mary Guinness’ 2004 badminton winner Tamarillo, and Britannia’s Mail out of Lucinda Fredericks’ 2007 badminton winning mare, Headley Britannia, plus Tiger Attack, Pennineview Bee Spritely, Ashway Laurenzo, KL Mac and Catherine Oakley.

    Try some dog agility

    Bring your dog to badminton near the main arena and new each day of the 2022 event and try your hand at canine agility – just make sure you don’t leave your dog in the car if you bring them and that When you walk around the premises, it’s always on a short leash.

    The Shetland Pony Grand National

    This brilliant extravaganza takes place in the main arena at 10.30am on Badminton Saturday before the cross-country action begins. Make sure you give them all a good cheer!

    Say hello to the hounds of the Duke of Beaufort Hunt

    At 4.30pm on Badminton Sunday, shortly after the winner has been determined, the Duke of Beaufort Hounds, whose kennels are on Badminton Estate, will parade in the main arena. They are sure to be a sight to behold and always worth raising the metaphorical roof.

    And finally, of course, check out all the five-star action

    Regardless of whether you are there in person (and don’t forget that you must buy tickets for each day you wish to visit before midnight the night before the day you wish to attend – there are absolutely no tickets available at the gate, and she’s turned away) or via Badminton TV, don’t miss a moment of five-star action as some of the world’s best horses and riders compete for glory.

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