New water jump for Badminton Horse Trials

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Work is under way on Badminton's new water complex.
Work is under way on Badminton’s new water complex.

A new water complex is being added into next year’s Badminton Horse Trials cross-country by new course designer Giuseppe della Chiesa.

The new obstacle uses a large pond at the top of the small hill next to the Luckington Lane, near the Vicarage Vee. Della Chiesa found the pond while he was scoping out the site over two days in September.

The pond is naturally fed by springs and has never dried out in the memory of the Duke of Beaufort or anyone else on the Estate. Course builder Alan Willis and his team surveyed the site to assess the its depth, and work is now under way to make a firm underwater surface and to install pipework to enable the level of water to be controlled.

Organisers say the 2014 course “as a whole is now essentially planned”.

They said landscaping features had been introduced at several fences on the course.

Giuseppe della Chiesa takes over as designer from Hugh Thomas, who was course designer and director for 25 years. Della Chiesa, who has been contracted to Badminton for three years, was Technical Delegate at the Event from 2008 to 2010 and assistant TD in 2011. He designed the Championship track at Pratoni, Italy where he was Show Director for the World Equestrian Games in 1998 and Course Designer for the European Championships in 2007.

Giuseppe was Technical Delegate for the Beijing Olympics 2008 and as a rider was Italian Champion in 1989 and Olympic reserve for Italy at the Barcelona Olympics 1992. He has designed both national and international courses in Italy and also at Windsor in Great Britain, Malmo in Sweden and in South Africa.

Della Chiesa’s course building philosophy is very much in tune with the way that Hugh Thomas worked in his 25 years as course designer in tandem with his role as Director. He said: ‘It will be evolution, not revolution.’

Another innovation at Badminton is the installation of a network of fibre optic cables under the central area of the Park.

This will “hugely reduce” the number of cables laid each year and also enable the establishment of an intranet for the sharing of information – users will include the CCTV network, Radio Badminton, the TV crews, Media Centre, Big Screens, Public Address, internal phone network and several others.

WiFi is also being enabled for tradestands, the media centre, and the organisers.

The Badminton Box Office open to those on the database on January 6, and to all newcomers a week later.

The event runs from May 7 to 11 – a week later than usual. The schedule has also reverted to the traditional timetable with cross country on Saturday and the jumping and prize presentations on Sunday.

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