Badminton Horse Trials 2024

May 10, 2024 | Equestrian | 0 comments

Come along and join me to find out what Day 1 at the iconic Badminton 5* Horse Trials looked like.

Can you believe Badminton Horse Trials is 75 this year? If you’re reading this, then I imagine you’ve either attended one of those years or been an avid fan watching on the BBC. What was your first memories of Badminton? Mine is watching Ian Stark and his famous grey Murphy Himself who was a proper cross country horse.

This year I decided to attend Day 1 of the event on Wednesday, where you’ve got it all happening from the Grassroots Championship Day – which is for amateur eventers who have qualified in the British Eventing 90 or 100, the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers where you can watch the next generation of eventers, through to the 5* trot up and of course the first day the trade stands are open for one of my favourite sports – shopping!

Right then, so here’s the low down of what my day at Badminton looked like in case you’re planning on visiting over the weekend or in the future or would just love to know what I got up to.

05:35:    Woke up feeling excited, there’s a certain buzz you get about attending Badminton Horse Trials.

05:45:    Had a panic about what to wear as compared to that very wet Badminton last year it was due to be a lovely sunny day. (Note to self – should have packed more suncream!)

What to wear

What to wear?

07:35:    Car packed, coffee at the ready and the Eventing Podcast Badminton Preview downloaded ready for the journey to Badminton begins. If you’ve listened to the podcast, you’ll know it’s all change with Ollie Townend pulling out Ballaghmor Class meaning the Grand Slam is off.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

10.45:    Arrived slightly later than planned as there was quite a bit of road works and traffic coming up from the west country. Top tip for anyone travelling over the weekend – leave earlier than you planned. However, don’t forget you can tune into Badminton radio when you’re about 3 miles away – 87.7 so you don’t miss a thing if you do happen to be in a queue. Tuning into the radio and hearing the commentators talk about the competitors – will most certainly help you get into the mood for Badders.

Welcome to Badminton

Welcome to Badminton

11:00:   Parked near the start box of the Grassroots XC, and headed straight down to the trade stands with my list!

11:30     Headed to TopSpec (#181 Swangrove Street) and chatted about feeding for both new boy Milo and Leo. They were super helpful, and always great to speak in person – plus you’ll get some feed vouchers which are always helpful.

11.45     Wandered down Deer Park Drive and popped into Hiho Silver at stand #188 to say ‘hi’ to King of the Road Andrew and check out the stand which was looking glorious in the sunshine. If you’re looking for a memento of your visit to Badminton, make sure you check out the Badminton Collection. And to celebrate Hiho’s 30th birthday they have created a new backdrop of photos from customers who entered a competition. You might even spot myself and my old horse Barley on the wall – let me know if you see us or yourself!

Hiho Silver stand - happy 30th birthday!

Hiho Silver stand – happy 30th birthday!

Celebrating 30 years customer backdrop

Celebrating 30 years customer backdrop

Hiho Silver Badminton Jewellery Collection

Hiho Silver Badminton Jewellery Collection

12:05     Popped down to the Mars scoreboard which was strange to see with no scores – the calm before the excitement and headed over to Spillers to said hello to fellow west country rider and Instagram friend Leah Grange on the stand which is prime position opposite the scoreboards.

Spillers stand with Leah

12:15     Passed the Joules stand (#20 Worcester Way) which was looking fantastic, as a keen retail marketer I was busy snapping photos of their experiential activities and admiring the sporting tennis inspired collection. Definitely one to go check out.

Joules stand looking marvellous

Joules stand looking marvellous

LOVE this collection from Joules - bravo!

LOVE this collection from Joules – bravo!

12:25     Made a beeline for the Rural Crafts to Henry James Saddlery, and with the help of the girls on the stand made up a lovely new bridle for new boy Milo, and may have bought their new neckstrap too – totally influenced by Tina Wallace from @life_on_the_left_rein

Milo treated to a new bridle

13:10     Finally had a pit stop for lunch at the lake as I waited for fellow Dorset eventing friend Chloe Marsh & Marley compete in the BE 90 Champs. I had a pasty from the Cornish Pasty shop which was £8 – probably the most expensive pasty I’ll eat all year, but was lovely.

13:25     Between lunch and watching the Grassroots I picked up a new pair of gloves from eGlove (#56 Swangrove Street) and music to my ears they have a 12 month guarantee – can’t wait to put them to the test!

Thanks eGlove - looking forward to putting them to the test

Thanks eGlove – looking forward to putting them to the test

14:00     Continued walking around the Grassroots XC course and stopped to watch some of the 5* competitors schooling before their dressage the next day – managed to see the inspirational Bubby Upton and Cola – who are in 2nd position as they head into XC. Fingers crossed they have a good weekend.

Bubby Upton & Cola - Day 1 Dressage Leaders

Bubby Upton & Cola schooling before dressage day

14:45     Super proud of watching eventing pal Tina Wallace and Banksy complete the Grassroots with a double clear to finish 7th. Managed to capture a lovely moment with her and 5* eventer/trainer Alex Bragg at the end.

That post XC feeling - lovely scenes with Tina Wallace & Alex Bragg

That post XC feeling – lovely scenes with Tina Wallace & Alex Bragg

15:00     Headed over the road to watch some of the 5 year old Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse class and refuel with a coffee.

Nick Gauntlett - showing us how to gallop in the BYEH

Nick Gauntlett – showing us how to gallop in the BYEH

15:35     Popped into World of Horse, and was like a magpie when I saw the beautiful colours on the Cotswold Fox Clothing stand. By now it was very hot at 21C – definitely not jeans weather, so I tried on a pair of navy and turquoise shorts and well, I didn’t take them off and bought them. Go check them out if you’re visiting. I also popped in to see Rebecca and her mum at Equi Light and bought one of the hi-vis led rider vests.

Can we take a moment for these shorts!

Can we take a moment for these shorts!

16:00     If you’re looking to get a new hat fitted, go see the team at Treehouse Sporting Colours #31 Allengrove Avenue – for years I’ve been wearing a HS1 Gatehouse, turns out my head isn’t shaped for a Gatehouse and I’ve now switched to Champion and downsized. Who knew?

16:40     Tried to watch the trot up but as you’ll see from the photo, everyone had descended to watch the trot up in the glorious sunshine. Who can blame them. So I decided to grab a Mr Whippy and head home – slightly pink from the Great British sunshine, a lighter bank balance, but happy and with a buzz that you can only get from Badminton Horse Trials.

Wow, this is what you get at a 5* trot up

Wow, this is what you get at a 5* trot up

I-scream, you-scream, we all scream ice-cream!

I-scream, you-scream, we all scream ice-cream!

I hope you enjoyed my review of Day 1 at Badminton and some snippets from the behind the scenes and stand recommendations. If you’re attending this weekend – have an amazing time and if you’re not, make sure you sign up to watch on Badminton TV – more details below.

More info:

Becky x

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