Badminton Horse Trials

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Badminton Horse Trials
Begins1 May 2019
Ends5 May 2019
Location(s)Badminton Park
Years active70
Organised byHugh Thomas
Gemma Tattersall and Jesters Quest jump the Open Ditch during the cross-country phase of Badminton Horse Trials 2007

The Badminton Horse Trials is a 5 day event, one of only six annual Concours Complet International (CCI) Five Star ***** events as classified by the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI). It takes place in April or May each year in the park of Badminton House, the seat of the Duke of Beaufort in South Gloucestershire, England.


Badminton was first held in 1949 by the 10th Duke of Beaufort in order to let British riders train for international events, and was advertised as "the most important horse event in Britain". 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. Eight of the 22 starters failed to complete the cross-country course. 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 was first televised in 1956.

In 1959, Badminton was held in two sections, called the Great and Little Badminton, due to the popularity of the event and the number of entries. The horses in the two sections jumped the same fences, but were separated into the two divisions based on their money winnings. This graded approach was abandoned after the 1965 event.[1] In 1989, the current director and course-designer Hugh Thomas, who rode in the 1976 Montreal Olympics,[2] took over from Frank Weldon, a former winner,[3] who is credited with bringing the event to the pinnacle it is at today.

Badminton is held in the 6 square kilometre (1500 acre) Badminton Park, where the car parks, tradestands, arena and cross country courses are located.

Badminton has been cancelled on several occasions – in 1966, 1975, 1987 and 2012 the event was cancelled completely, and in 1963 it was downgraded to a one-day event due to bad weather. In 2001 it was cancelled due to foot and mouth disease.[4] In 2012 it was cancelled due to waterlogged ground. [5]


Together with the five-star rated Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Burghley Horse Trials, Badminton forms the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Only two people have ever won the Grand Slam; Pippa Funnell in 2003 and Michael Jung in 2015/16. Australian Andrew Hoy nearly took the title in 2007 but lost it when he had a pole down at Burghley.[6] The remaining CCI***** rated events are the Luhmühlen Horse Trials, the Australian International Three Day Event and the Stars of Pau. It is also now part of the HSBC FEI Classics—a points-based system containing the CCI***** events.[7]

The cross-country day at Badminton attracts crowds of up to a quarter of a million and is the second largest for money made in the world (after the Indianapolis 500).[8][9]


2011 winners Mark Todd and NZB Land Vision at the Quarry during the cross-country phase
Paul Tapner and Inonothing, the winning combination at Badminton Horse Trials 2010, at The Lake during the cross-country phase
Year Rider Horse Notes
1949 United KingdomJohn Shedden (GBR) Golden Willow
1950 United KingdomTony Collins (GBR) Remus
1951 SwitzerlandHans Schwarzenbach (SWI) Vae Victis
1952 United KingdomMark Darley (GBR) Emily Little
1953 United KingdomLaurence Rook (GBR) Starlight
1954 United KingdomMargaret Hough (GBR) Bambi V
1955 United KingdomFrank Weldon (GBR) Kilbarry Event held at Windsor
1956 United KingdomFrank Weldon (GBR) Kilbarry
1957 United KingdomSheila Wilcox (GBR) High and Mighty
1958 United KingdomSheila Wilcox (GBR) High and Mighty
1959 United KingdomSheila Wilcox-Waddington (GBR) Airs and Graces Little Badminton
1959 United KingdomShelagh Kesler (GBR) Double Diamond
1960 AustraliaBill Roycroft (AUS) Our Solo
1960 United KingdomMartin Whiteley (GBR) Peggoty Little Badminton
1961 AustraliaLaurie Morgan (AUS) Salad Days
1961 United KingdomPeter Welch (GBR) Mr. Wilson Little Badminton
1962 United KingdomAnneli Drummond-Hay (GBR) Merely-a-Monarch
1962 United KingdomPenny Crofts (GBR) Priam Little Badminton
1963 No Major Event Event Downgraded due to weather
1964 United KingdomJames Templer (GBR) M'Lord Connolly
1964 United KingdomSheila Waddington (GBR) Glenamoy Little Badminton
1965 Republic of IrelandEddie Boylan (IRE) Durlas Eile
1965 United KingdomMartin Whiteley (GBR) The Poacher Little Badminton
1966 No Event Cancelled due to weather
1967 United KingdomCelia Ross-Taylor (GBR) Jonathan
1968 United KingdomJane Bullen (GBR) Our Nobby
1969 United KingdomRichard Walker (GBR) Pasha
1970 United KingdomRichard Meade (GBR) The Poacher
1971 United KingdomMark Phillips (GBR) Great Ovation
1972 United KingdomMark Phillips (GBR) Great Ovation
1973 United KingdomLucinda Prior-Palmer (GBR) Be Fair
1974 United KingdomMark Phillips (GBR) Great Ovation
1975 No Event Cancelled due to weather
1976 United KingdomLucinda Prior-Palmer (GBR) Wide Awake
1977 United KingdomLucinda Prior-Palmer George
1978 United KingdomJane Holderness-Roddam (GBR) Warrior
1979 United KingdomLucinda Prior-Palmer (GBR) Killarie
1980 New ZealandMark Todd (NZL) Southern Comfort III
1981 United KingdomMark Phillips (GBR) Lincoln
1982 United KingdomRichard Meade (GBR) Speculator III
1983 United KingdomLucinda Green (GBR) Regal Realm
1984 United KingdomLucinda Green (GBR) Beagle Bay
1985 United KingdomGinny Holgate (GBR) Priceless
1986 United KingdomIan Stark (GBR) Sir Wattie
1987 No Event Cancelled due to weather
1988 United KingdomIan Stark (GBR) Sir Wattie Also came second on Glenburnie
1989 United KingdomGinny Leng (GBR) Master Craftsman
1990 United KingdomNicola McIrvine (GBR) Middle Road
1991 United KingdomRodney Powell (GBR) The Irishman II
1992 United KingdomMary Thomson (GBR) King William
1993 United KingdomGinny Leng (GBR) Welton Houdini
1994 New ZealandMark Todd (NZL) Horton Point
1995 United StatesBruce Davidson (USA) Eagle Lion
1996 New ZealandMark Todd (NZL) Bertie Blunt
1997 United StatesDavid O'Connor (USA) Custom Made
1998 United KingdomChris Bartle (GBR) Word Perfect II
1999 United KingdomIan Stark (GBR) Jaybee
2000 United KingdomMary King (GBR) Star Appeal
2001 No Event Cancelled due to foot and mouth epidemic
2002 United KingdomPippa Funnell Supreme Rock
2003 United KingdomPippa Funnell (GBR) Supreme Rock Won as the second leg of winning the Grand Slam of Eventing
2004 United KingdomWilliam Fox-Pitt (GBR) Tamarillo
2005 United KingdomPippa Funnell (GBR) Primmore's Pride
2006 AustraliaAndrew Hoy (AUS) Moonfleet
2007 AustraliaLucinda Fredericks (AUS) Headley Britannia
2008 FranceNicolas Touzaint (FRA) Hildago de L'Ile
2009 United KingdomOliver Townend (GBR) Flint Curtis
2010 AustraliaPaul Tapner (AUS) Inonothing
2011 New ZealandMark Todd (NZL) NZB Land Vision
2012 No Event Cancelled due to weather
2013 New ZealandJonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Promise
2014 AustraliaSam Griffiths (AUS) Paulank Brockagh
2015 United KingdomWilliam Fox-Pitt (GBR) Chilli Morning
2016 GermanyMichael Jung (GER) La Biosthetique-Sam Won as the final leg of winning the Grand Slam of Eventing
2017 New ZealandAndrew Nicholson (NZL) Nereo
2018 New ZealandJonelle Price (NZL) Classic Moet
2019 United KingdomPiggy French (GBR) Vanir Kamira First year of CCI5* designation



  • Wideawake ridden by Lucinda Green died of a heart attack on his victory lap. [10]


  • Skwal ridden by Andrew Downes died of a suspected heart attack in the finishing ring [11]
  • Icare d’Auzay ridden by Jean-Lou Bigot died after a fence flag marker pole pierced an artery [11]


  • Desert Island ridden by Louisa Lockwood, euthanised after breaking a fetlock [12]


  • Redpath Ransom ridden by Alexander Bragg, euthanised after suffering a major injury to a suspensory ligament during cross country, unrelated to a jump[13]


In 2007, after a long period without rain, the ground was considered to be too hard, resulting in 22 withdrawals. [14]


  1. ^ History Archived 2008-10-06 at the Wayback Machine History of Badminton
  2. ^ 1976 Olympics 1976 Olympics
  3. ^ Wheldon Winner Archived 2008-04-24 at the Wayback Machine Previous Winners
  4. ^ Dates of Cancellations Archived 2008-04-24 at the Wayback Machine Cancellation Dates
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ FEI Eventing Page FEI Eventing Page.
  7. ^ HSBC Classics FEI Site HSBC Classics FEI Site.
  8. ^ Visitor Numbers Badminton Visitor Numbers
  9. ^ Daily Telegraph
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Horsetalk – Fredericks retains Badminton lead after cross-country, 6 May 2009
  12. ^ Horsetalk – Horse killed on Badminton cross-country, 3 May 2010
  13. ^ "Redpath Ransom Euthanized at Badminton Horse Trials - Eventing Nation - Three-Day Eventing News, Results, Videos, and Commentary". Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  14. ^ The TimesPhillips puts the welfare of her horse first and withdraws, 5 May 2007

External links[edit]