After last year’s cancelled Badminton Horse Trials everyone at Joules HQ are super excited for this year’s event. With only a few days to go here’s our quick guide to Badminton:
Be sure to do your research, click here to visit their website where you will find everything from directions to timetables.
Decide which day to go…. Thursday through to Saturday there is a lot to see, from grass roots eventing to the top riders performing their dressage tests. Sunday is cross country and undoubtedly the busiest day with over 100,000 people walking through the gates. Despite the hustle and bustle of spectators (and their many dogs) it is definitely worth going to see both horse and rider have the courageously taking on the huge fences in this spectacular setting (the lake is a prime viewing spot for splashtastic falls.) Finally Monday is the deciding day with all the remaining riders Show Jumping in reverse order with the hope of winning.
Wellies are also highly recommended as even a small shower can turn the grounds into a swamp.
To save queuing at the numerous food vans why not take along you own picnic of yummy homemade sandwiches. Our picnic rucksack and rug are perfect for this so you can have a well-earned rest half way around the Cross Country course.
When you set off for Badminton be sure to leave plenty of time, especially if you are going on Sunday as there can be very long queues to get into the event.
Finally shop, shop, shop! Don’t miss the Official Badminton Collection from stand 108 on the day or shop now > The Official Badminton Collection The full Joules collection will be at stand 214, where Mary King will be signing on Saturday at noon. Click here to see a site map.
Team Mary King
Mary has been super busy over the last couple of weeks taking on two 4* events. Here she fills us in on the logistics of flying Urco to America and the smallest of errors which sadly saw her eliminated at Badminton.
Its been a privilege to have competed at 2 such wonderful horse trials over these last couple of weeks…but my results haven’t been as good as I had hoped! William Fox Pitt and I were the only 2 riders to compete at Rolex, the wonderful 4 star event in Kentucky.The journey to Lexington for Urco (Stanstead to Chicago by air, then Chicago to Lexington by road), being looked after by Liz Brown the team GB vet, and Williams groom Alex Van Tuyll, went smoothly. Lauren Reed my groom flew separately and met Urco at the Kentucky Horse Park. William and I flew out a couple of days later having been competing at Hambledon HTs. Urco put his best foot forward in the dressage and was lying in a competitive 5th place, but very early on the cross country I could feel things were not right. Urco lacked power and felt floppy in the way he galloped and jumped…we plugged on around the course but were loosing time and it was a real effort for him, so I had to make the sad decision to pull him up. We are waiting blood test results to see if he had a low grade virus. What a long way to go for that to happen.
Anyway, it was a quick turn around getting back from Lexington and then off to Badminton with Archie and Tess, and my other groom Emma Hartwell. What an exciting week we had… but yet more ups and downs! Archie sadly was a bit on edge in the dressage and ended in 20th place, but a superb double clear pulled us up to 13th (and 2nd best Brit!) Tess did a good dressage test for her and was going superbly across country, but we jumped a bit crooked at the Farmyard Corner and knocked the red flag down which resulted in elimination. Her head and neck went the correct side of the flag but sadly part of her shoulder went the wrong side which is not allowed. Oh dear, never mind both horses have come home very well are having a bit of a break…they are currently sunning themselves in the field!
Emily is having a good run having won the OIu21 at both Hambledon and Withington, and her 3 novice horses have all had wins this season. Emily and I now have Aston Le Walls, Chatsworth, Rockingham Castle, Houghton and then Tattersalls in Ireland….all within the next month, so fingers crossed my luck improves!