Badminton Horse Trials sends the deepest condolences to the Royal Family.
From 1952 and right the way through the 1970s, HM The Queen was a regular visitor to Badminton, as a guest of the 10th Duke of Beaufort, who was also Master of the Horse and who founded the Horse Trials. Those of an older generation will remember The Queen, often accompanied by the Queen Mother, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margaret and their children, hacking out in the Park with Master, attending church at Badminton and watching the cross-country from farm trailers or a rug beside the Lake, mingling with spectators and thoroughly enjoying the occasion.
HM The Queen would kindly present the prizes on the final day and, in 1974, was able to hand the trophy to her son-in-law, Capt Mark Phillips, who had won on her great grey horse, Columbus lV. In addition that year, her daughter, HRH Princess Anne, was fourth on another of her horses, Goodwill. Two years later, the Princess became the first member of the Royal Family to compete at an Olympic Games, again on Goodwill.
In addition, HM The Queen bred Doublet, ridden by HRH Princess Anne and placed five times at Badminton between 1971 and 1979 as well as winning the 1971 European title. She also owned Countryman, fourth at Badminton with Bertie Hill and a member of the gold medal team at the Olympic Games in Stockholm. The horse was subsequently owned and competed three times at Badminton by the 11th Duke of Beaufort, then David Somerset, finishing second behind Sheila Willcox in 1959.
Later, The Queen took a great interest in following the career of her granddaughter Zara Tindall, who has emulated her parents in competing at the very top level of horse trials.
Badminton Horse Trials is very privileged to have had the association with HM The Queen and the Royal Family. In the months preceding the event, the office phone would ring constantly and it was always the same question: “Will The Queen be attending Badminton this year?