Here at The Horse Exchange, Badminton Horse Trails is a highlight of our calendar. We pack up the lorry and spend the week camping – supporting the top eventers from around the world from the first trot up in front of the stunning Badminton House to the final fence on the show jumping and presentations. The history, the tradition and the whole experience of Badminton Horse Trials is hard to describe, in our opinion – it really is the best event in the world.
This year, 2020, the event is unfortunately cancelled due to the global pandemic. However with this being “Badminton week” we bring you our 12 unforgettable highlights of the horse trials from over the years.
- The first event was held in 1949 by the 10th Duke of Beaufort whose idea it was to run the event at his Gloucestershire Park home so that British riders could train and gain experience for future international events and Olympic selection.
- Lucinda Green (Nee Prior-Palmer) has won the competition the most times with 6 wins in 1973 with Be Fair, 1976 with Wide Awake, 1977 with George, 1979 with Kildare, 1983 with Regal Realm and 1984 with Beagle Bay.
- In 1995, Mark Todd who was riding Bertie Blunt rode two-thirds of the cross-country course with only one stirrup. The pair went on to win the competition in 1996.
- Sheila Willcox is the only rider to have a hat-trick of wins. Winning the competition in 1957, 1958 and 1959.
- Richard Walker is the youngest rider to win Badminton at the age of 18 in 1969.
- Mark Todd is the oldest rider to win Badminton at the age of 55 in 2011.
- The oldest horse to win the title is Horton Point, aged 16 years in 1994. Ridden by Mark Todd and owned by Lynn Bevan.
- Winning Mares include: 1952 – Emily Little Ridden by Captain Mark Darley, 1954 – Bambi V ridden by Margaret Hough, 1960 – Peggoty ridden by Captain Martin Whiteley (Little Badminton) , 2007 – Headley Britannia ridden by Lucinda Fredericks, 2014 – Paulank Brockagh ridden by Sam Griffiths, 2018 – Classic Moet ridden by Jonelle Price, 2019 – Vanir Kamira ridden by Piggy French.
- Mitsubishi Motors sponsored the event from 1992 – 2019.
- The event has been cancelled 6 times in 1966, 1975, 1987 and 2012 due to bad weather. In 2001 due to Foot and Mouth disease and in 2020 due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.
- Any rider that completes the competition five times is awarded an Armada Dish.
- Andrew Nicholson has completed the competition 37 times – winning in 2017 riding Nereo.
Make sure you put the date in your diary for Badminton Horse Trials next year – taking place on 5th May to 9th May 2021.