By Issy Carlill
Badminton Horse Trials is just one of six CCI 4* events across the world and is one of the longest running events since its inception in 1949. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights on the equestrian calendar here in the UK. I’ve been going to Badminton for the past 10 years and it’s a really special event. If you ever have the chance to go, go!
Over the years Badminton has seen many legendary horses and riders over its notoriously tough course and it is a huge achievement for any combination to complete the 3-day event. With Badminton 2017 happening this week I decided now would be the perfect time to celebrate the event by listing a few facts from over the years…
•In 1995 Mark Todd’s stirrup broke whilst riding his horse, Bertie Blunt, around the cross-country. He continued and finished the course with only one stirrup!
•In 1973 Rachel Bayliss and Gurgle the Greek went underneath the Stockholm fence and came out the other side with Rachel still on board! They ruled that she had gone between the flags so no penalty was given, but rules were then changed so no fence could be built that a horse could go under.
•Lucinda Green is an eventing legend after having the most wins at Badminton. In total, she has won the event 6 times.
•Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand holds the records for most completions at Badminton, finishing the 3-day event an incredible 35 times.
•Four horses have completed the event seven times. Ballycotton, Comanche, Lenamore and Over To You.
•The first European Championships were held at Badminton in 1953, with Major Laurence Rook on Starlight XV taking the win.
•This year 84 riders will compete at Badminton representing 13 nationalities, with 9 riders still waitlisted.
•Only 5 mares have won Badminton: Emily Little, Bambi V, Peggoty, Headley Britannia and Paulank Brockagh.
•In 1955 Badminton Horse Trials was moved to Windsor Castle for just one year at the invitation of the Queen.
•Our Solo and Our Nobby are the two smallest horses to complete Badminton standing at just 15hh!
•At the first ever Badminton Horse Trials in 1949 just 22 combinations were entered and 500 spectators attended the event. Today the event includes 84 riders, 500 journalists and TV cameras and draws crowds of over 150,000 across the 4 days.
•Along with two other 4 star events, Rolex Kentucky and Burghley Horse Trials, Badminton forms part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Only two people have won the Grand Slam, Pippa Funnell in 1993 and Michael Jung in 2016.