A festive post from Hugh Thomas, Event Director
What a busy autumn it has been! We may be 70 years old but as with every year, we still have to agree terms with our many contractors and invite our officials and volunteers for the 2019 event. But this year we also have several new initiatives planned and have been changing to a new Bank – so far, so good!
E Ticketing is not new to many but new to us in 2019. We hope this will speed up entry to the event because tickets will be scanned – and also let our customers buy tickets right up to the time they are driving towards Badminton which can then be scanned from their smartphone on arrival.
The large and very successful Camping Site will now have a luxurious glamping cousin in the new Badminton Retreat, sited next to the cross country course at Huntsmans Close.
Our food and drink offering continues to expand and be refined, with The Lakeside under new management and The World of Food and Drink, new in 2017, also enlarging to allow a sitting area to try the varied and specialist suppliers’ wares. We are going to run a comprehensive feature on the catering here on our website in the spring.
Our interactive cross country course partnership with CrossCountry App continues to develop and this year will feature a re-creation of the course from 50 years ago, 1969, when our youngest ever winner, Richard Walker, triumphed.
Preparation of the 2019 course continues apace (see photo)– we always try to get any groundworks finished before Christmas and we have just had the first visit by the FEI Technical Delegate, Marcin Konarski from Poland – his role is to check over Eric Winter’s design, offer some advice and make sure we are complying with the rules! Mark Phillips as our Course Adviser was also on hand to bring his vast experience to bear on the demanding task of testing the very best horses and riders in the world in as safe a way as possible. Visit our photo galleries page to see a few behind the scenes images from the day.
The aim of this post is also to say thank you and farewell to our friends and sponsors at Mitsubishi Motors with a bumper Badminton in just over four months time – in the meantime, a very Happy Christmas to Mitsubishi and all of our supporters.