Badminton Horse Trials to return to “front of house”

The dressage arena in front of Badminton House, in 1954. The Main Arena was moved in 1960.
The dressage arena in front of Badminton House, in 1954. The Main Arena was moved in 1960.

Dressage and showjumping at next year’s Badminton Horse Trials will return to the front of Badminton House for the first time in 60 years.

The event is being run “behind closed doors” because of Covid-19 restrictions, prompting the move of the Main Arena. For the first 10 years of the horse trials, the dressage and showjumping arena was in front of the house before moving to its current location in 1960.

Badminton, which is a 5-star international event and part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, was founded in 1949 and takes place on The Duke of Beaufort’s estate in Gloucestershire. The event was cancelled last year.

Event Director Jane Tuckwell said she was grateful to the Duke of Beaufort “for giving over his golf driving range to the event for this very special one-off occasion”.

Eric Winter’s cross-country course will start and finish in the centre of the park and will follow a similar route to previous years. All of the live competition action via the event’s social media channels and live stream.

Three-time Badminton winner Pippa Funnell said that moving the main arena to the front of the house will make the event “even more extraordinary if that is possible”.

“Badminton has a really special place in my heart. I am thrilled the event is able to go in these most difficult of times and I cannot wait to get there in May,” said Funnell, who won in 2002, 2003 and 2005.

The Badminton Horse Trials are scheduled to run from May 6 to May 9, 2021.

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