Director’s blog, October 2022
A lot has happened since May and it goes without saying we were all much saddened by the death of Elizabeth II who enjoyed visiting the Horse Trials from its innovation right through to the late 1970s. During this period, the most regular question asked of the Horse Trials office was “will the Queen be attending?”
It has been a busy summer, with plenty to reflect on and learn from the 2022 event. I have had assurance from Vodafone and O2 that their masts will be in situ next year. The Wi-Fi will return to the same standard of service – or better – than that provided in 2019.
Both Andrew Tucker and I have enjoyed visiting other events, including Burghley, where it was wonderful to see Piggy March (Badminton’s 2019 winner) win on Vanir Kamira. Well done to Burghley for a great event. Like us, they will be relieved to have got their first one under their belt after the break of three years. We also had a happy day fence judging at Dauntsey Horse Trials, and have trips planned to the Maryland and Pau five-stars, which is exciting.
In July, I visited Nicola Wilson, and it was lovely to see her in great spirits. It is so good that she is now back at home. What an inspiration Nicola is to us all.
The wonderful summer weather has not been so good for events ever battling with hard ground, but I have enjoyed some great hacking out on Paddy in the early mornings.
We are now planning for 2023 in earnest. We will be unveiling various new ideas over the coming months, including changes to the cross-country course, which has received its autumn ground improvements, and we are working hard on plans to refine and enhance delivery of the livestream.
Another big project has been the cleaning out of the Mount Pond (which is situated in the Park). More than 700 bumper truckloads of debris was removed, which will ensure we have sufficient water for the 2023 course (it was a close-run thing in 2022!). The debris was transported across the Park and ploughed back into an arable field, which will now be rich in nutrients, so we should see a bumper crop there next autumn!
The office team is the same, i.e. Vicky Candy, Alex Harbottle, Rosie Latter and Suzy Stephens, who joined us last spring as our Digital Content Manager. Delyth Elmer, our Box Office Manager, will be assisted by her daughter, Claire. Harry Verney will once again oversee our site management and Becky Elvin is our Media Manager.
I look forward to updating you over the coming months on our journey towards Badminton 2023 which is now, remarkably, closer in days than the 2022 event!