Happy New Year and here’s to Badminton 2022!!
Sadly I was unable to visit The London International Horse Show at ExCel last month, but Andrew [Tucker – Badminton’s Commercial Director] was stewarding there for the week and tells me it was a great show – well done that team!
Here at Badminton, there is now real excitement in the air; we are all refreshed from the break and it is full steam ahead towards May.
The Box Office opened earlier this week to our regular customers and then opens up to all on 12th January. Please note: all parking and admission tickets are only available in advance of the Event and there will be none available at the gate. As always, the most sought after grandstand seats and campsite pitches will sell quickly, so please make sure you do not miss out!
The Badminton TV page on the website is also now live. Please visit it to find out more about our new, comprehensive live-streaming service and how to purchase.
This month, course designers Eric Winter and James Willis will be looking at both the International and Grassroots cross-country courses in earnest and thoughts will start to be put into practice. The cross-country track, main arena, collecting ring and warm up areas were verti-drained during December and the ground is looking fantastic. Our workshop boys are also back in harness, sprucing up all the various programme huts, scoreboard, dressage arenas, pegs, posts and so on.
Simon Dring (Agent to the Badminton Estate), Margaret Hopkins (Stable Manager) and the estate team have started to make sure the stables will be in supreme condition for the wonderful equine athletes that will occupy them in May.
We have had a very good response from our established Trade Stand holders but, as always, some are not returning for one reason or another, so this is the month we will be inviting new ones to attend. There are definitely some interesting and different exhibitors who are interested in coming to Badminton.
Andrew and I spent a happy morning with presenter Nicole Brown last month, to create the first of the #BehindBadminton podcasts that we have planned during the run up to May, which I hope you will enjoy listening to. You can find episode 1 here.
The team from Mars Equestrian, our presenting sponsor are due to visit from the USA this month, so it will make Badminton 2022 very real for them! In addition, we are delighted to have the RDA as our Charity of the Year for 2022 and know everyone’s support will be most welcome as it has been such a hard time for all charities. And, last but not least, I am so grateful to the wonderful team of volunteers that will be in place in May, as their help and assistance is invaluable in every way.
I have been getting to know Paddy Too, my new horse (photographed above), who arrived from Ireland at the beginning of December. A view from horseback of the Park is a very good way to survey all, but Paddy is not quite sure about the red deer yet – they have funny things on their heads!