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Badminton Horse Trials + Competition!

PUBLISHED: 17:35 24 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:35 24 March 2015

Jodie Amos riding Matt GBR

Jodie Amos riding Matt GBR

Kit Houghton

One of the Cotswolds’ great annual events, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, takes place in the Duke of Beaufort’s magnificent park from May 6-10.

As ever, about eighty of the top horses and riders in the world take on the challenge of the most famous competition of its type.

First run in 1949, at the invitation of the 10th Duke of Beaufort, Badminton is the ultimate test of the all-round equestrian.

On the Wednesday evening all competitors are ‘trotted up’ in public before event officials in front of Badminton House. Then on the Thursday and Friday they perform a set test of movements in the Main Arena: Dressage. This is to demonstrate obedience, accuracy and elegance of paces.

These same elegant dancers then have to undergo a personality change overnight for the thrills and spills of the Saturday Cross Country phase, as they take on the demanding four-mile course of obstacles presented by second year designer, Giuseppe Della Chiesa. These will include ditches, rails, ponds, lakes, gates and logs.

In his first year Giuseppe certainly made his mark, and knowledgeable spectators will be keen to see what he achieves going the reverse way round the park.

For those left in the competition Sunday morning sees another horse inspection in front of the House, then those with the less good scores complete the final Jumping phase in the Main Arena. This sets the scene for the afternoon climax to four days of intense sport, when the top 20 placed go, in reverse order of standing, over the knock down coloured poles.

The winner is often decided by the last pole of the last obstacle by the last horse to go.

Badminton was initially started to give British riders match practice for the Olympics. Now there is an international Champsionship each autumn and many nations use Badminton as a team trial.

This year the European Championships will be at Blair Castle in Scotland for the first time.

Badminton is a great family outing, whether for the entire season, or just for a selected day, and the massive shopping village of over 500 outlets has had a bit of a facelift this year.

The shops open at 8am. Saturday spectators need to leave in good time to enjoy breakfast, shopping and a full day’s sport starting at 11.30.

Competition!

WIN 4 Season Admission badges together with 4 Season Member badges and a Season Car Pass for the 2015 event

For your chance to win this fantastic prize send your answer to the below question along with your full name and contact details to:

Cotwold Life Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials Competition – CLBHT015,

Katie Tait,

Archant House,

Oriel Road,

Cheltenham,

GL50 1BB

or email competition@cotswoldlife.co.uk quoting code CLBHT015.

Q: Which rider won the first Badminton in 1949?

Terms & Conditions: Competition closes at midday on Monday, April 20, 2015.

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

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