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Badminton Horse Trials

The historic Badminton Horse Trials began in 1949, when the 10th Duke of Beaufort launched the prestigious event in his Gloucestershire park, enabling British riders to train for future international competitions.

Almost 70 years later, the annual event is still going strong. This year’s trials take place from Wednesday 3rd May until Sunday 7th May at the picturesque Manor of Badminton, which dates back to the 17th century. Badminton House is currently the family home of the 11th Duke of Beaufort, president of the Horse Trials and formerly a successful rider who was runner-up in the 1959 event.


Won by Golden Willow, the first Badminton competition saw 22 starters from two countries, Britain and Ireland. For the first 10 years, the show jumping and dressage arenas were located on the old cricket ground in front of Badminton House.

Won by Major Laurence Rook on Starlight XV, the first European Championships were held at Badminton in 1953.

The Trials were televised for the first time in 1956 by the BBC - and by 2011, cameras were covering the event for transmission to numerous countries around the world. The arenas and trade stands have remained at their present site since 1959.

Since the Trials began, Great Britain has won three team gold medals and two individual golds in the Olympics; six team and five individual golds in the World Championships; and 21 team gold and 18 individual gold medals in the European Championships.

Royal Connection

Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Tindall (nee Phillips) usually attends the event, competing in the 2016 dressage competition on her 15-year-old Olympic medal winning gelding, High Kingdom - who was recovering from an injury that had put him out of action for most of 2015.

She enjoyed earlier success at Badminton in 2008, when she rode two horses, Glenbuck and Ardfield Magic Star, who finished 16th and 19th respectively. Riders can enter up to three horses at Badminton.

Unfortunately, the Queen's granddaughter will not be competing in this year's event after recent health problems have left her out of action for some time; leaving her 35th on the "waiting list" to take part with High Kingdom.


A total of 111 riders will be competing at Badminton 2017. This year's competitors include US Olympic rider Lauren Kieffer, 29, on American-bred grey gelding Landmark's Monte Carlo and 2014 USEA Mare of the Year, Veronica.

British rider Alexander Bragg, 36, from Somerset will also be making his Badminton debut on Redpath Ransom and Zagreb, while fellow Brit Louise Harwood, 41, will be entering Mr Potts and Whitson. They are among more than 20 Brits competing at this year's event.

Badminton Timetable

This year's event begins on 2nd May, with the Mitsubishi Motors Cup dressage from 9am to 5pm. This will be followed by dressage, show jumping and cross-country on 3rd May from 9am to 5pm, culminating in the trophy presentation at 6pm.

The main event takes place from 8am on 3rd May, until the presentation of prizes at 4pm on 7th May. Thousands of people will flock to Badminton House to enjoy dressage; cross-country; show jumping; various displays, including Shetland ponies and stallions; 275 trade stands in the shopping village; a church service; the top 20 competitors' parade and the prize presentation.

Further information is available on the show's website, including the timetable.

To ensure the horses and riders arrive safely, Coruba provides a range of horse and animal matting to assure a stress-free journey.

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