March seemed to come and go at speed and here we are with only just over three weeks until the event is upon us.
The end of February and March were full of the annual meetings, with the vets, medical, traffic and media teams. I always enjoy this time as it is when the “Badminton family” really starts coming together again. We also had a visit from Andrew Temkin, our Technical Delegate who travelled over from the USA. The annual course walk with Eric Winter, our course designer, and the TD is always eye-opening. Eric has made both some fairly major changes and also more subtle ones, which gives the track a new look for this year.
The Voltaire Design Grassroots cross-country course will also reflect changes including the use of a large old fashioned log that has been hollowed out in order to accommodate the use of the Mim system which is a new innovation to accommodate safety.
This time last year, Harry Verney (Site Manager) and team were watering the course every hour of the day and night, this time all the sand/compost that has been put on the course over the years is really coming into play keeping it well drained!
There is an added excitement in the air with the Coronation falling on the weekend of the event and I hope all those that will be present at Badminton at the time of the crowning of King Charles III and the Queen Consort will take home very happy memories. The Saturday timetable will start earlier to allow for a two-hour break in the dressage, so everyone who wishes can watch the greater part of the Coronation service on the big screen. The dressage will then resume but some of the screens will continue to show the coronation proceedings for those that wish to go on watching. The catering outlets and tradestands will stay open throughout the day. The Lakeside Bar and Pig & Whistle will be playing music every evening, so those on site will be able to continue the celebrations into the late evening and no doubt plenty of Pol Roger (our Official Champagne) will be consumed! The final timetable for this day will be published on our website prior to the start of the Trials.
Those who subscribed to Badminton TV in 2022 should have received an e-mail in January notifying that we have upgraded our Badminton TV platform and detailing what you need to do in order to make the simple upgrade to our new Brightcove platform and take advantage of all the new ways to watch Badminton TV including an App for iPhone, Amazon Firestick and Android Phone (coming soon). Please, if you have not done so already, may I urge you to visit: https://www.badminton-horse.co.uk/badminton-tv-powered-by-brightcove/ for further details. On Friday, 14th April we are releasing a preview of the cross-country course, which took place last week with Eric Winter, Tina Cook and Alice Fox-Pitt.
Yesterday morning I helped move the last of the sheep to their temporary quarters in order to free up the campsite fields, on the whole they co-operated!!
All please remember that all car passes and admission tickets must be purchased in advance and there will again be strictly no tickets available at the gate on any of the days.
I and my team look forward to welcoming all those, including Mars Equestrian (Presenting Partner) and Lightsource bp (Official Partner), who will be joining us for Badminton 2023.