Images from Badminton Horse Trials over the last few years. If you are looking for something which predates the archives I still have online, please use the Contact link to get in touch and ask. I might still be able to help.
Badminton Horse Trials did not take place in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 Epidemic. The horse trials was also was cancelled in 2012 due to the bad weather, and I did not attend in 2016 due to another job at the same time.
Badminton was first held in 1949 by the 10th Duke of Beaufort in order to allow British riders train for international events. It was the second three-day event held in Britain, with the first being its inspiration – the 1948 Olympics. The first Badminton had 22 horses from Britain and Ireland start, and was won by Golden Willow. ridden by John Shedden.
Badminton was the home of the first European Championship in 1953, won by Major Laurence Rook on Starlight XV. In 1955, Badminton moved to Windsor Castle for a year, at the invitation of the Queen, in order to hold the second European Championships.
Badminton is held in the 6 square kilometre (1500 acre) Badminton Park in Little Badminton, Gloucestershire.
Traditionally Badminton Horse Trials starts on Wednesday afternoon with the first vets inspection or "trot-up". However, in recent years the 90cm and 100cm Grassroots competition has taken place on the Tuesday and Wednesday, with the Dressage and Showjumping phases taking place over the road from the Central Car Park and the cross country phase completing the competition alongside the fences of the main event.
On normal years the 5-star dressage would take place on Thursday and Friday, cross country on the Saturday and showjumping on the Sunday. In 2023 the coronation of King Charles III was scheduled to take place on the Saturday and it was deemed sensible to avoid that being cross country day. Instead, the event started a day later, with dressage taking place on Friday and Saturday. This meant that a break could take place in the dressage schedule to allow spectators to watch the coronation on the big screens.
In 2024 the event is moving from the traditional first week of May to the second week to accommodate BBC TV coverage which would not be possible on the usual dates.