2014 Cross Country Course

2014_course_map_optimized_800 2

Optimum Time: 11 min. 30 sec.

THE COURSE DESIGNER

Guiseppe Della Chiesa

 Giuseppe Della Chiesa (Italy)

Giuseppe rode in many races in Italy, then became an event rider, competing internationally, and still goes show jumping whenever he can.  As a course designer he has worked not only in Italy but in Sweden, South Africa and in Great Britain at the Windsor Three Day Event. His most prestigious course prior to Badminton was for the European Open Championships in Rome.

More>>>

Audio Interview –  Giuseppe talks about taking over as course designer:

Course Preview

Animated Fly-Thru

Fence1

1. ASX Starter

The traditional inviting opening fence of the course.

Fence2

2. Tree Trunk

A small check that the horse is listening to the aids and a good opportunity to seek some attention from the horse not yet concentrating.

 

 

Fence3

3. John Whitaker Keepers Brush

Traditional cross country fence there to be taken in the stride and an opportunity to check on the forwardness of the horse and indeed the rider …!

 

 

Fence4

4. Little Badminton Double Rails

After some undulating ground comes the first of a number of slightly more airy fences; this open parallel is the last opportunity to check everything is warmed up and working properly before the first real questions on the course. This fence concludes the so called “opening” of the course.

 

 

Fence5

5abc. Savills Escalator

The first real test on course that, if jumped well, can really boost the confidence of riders and horses. It is for this level a relatively normal question of accuracy and direction, but riders will have to take into account the combination is quite early on the course; the wide roll top at A will create some “momentum” that will have to be managed down the turn and slope for the B and C elements.

 

 

Fence6-7

6 & 7. Team GBR Silver Birch

This is more of a typical Show Jumping question and needs accuracy and respect as the parallels have maximum top spread. The relative airy look of this fence should not be too uncommon after having practiced on fence 4 and the intention is to give another opportunity to tune up the jump before the next questions to come. Birch is a lovely material that will come up again on the course and normally jumps well specially when in shaded areas.

 

Fence8

8. Rolex Grand Slam Triple Bar

The traditional lake complex is presented this year with an inviting if also rather imposing jump into water on a slightly curved line to a boat in water and finally a jetty out. The fence into water is preceded by a straightforward oxer that, although not strictly related, might have an influence on the following test. As always the atmosphere around the lake with the huge crowds will be a test on its own especially for the combinations here for the first time. For this reason a similar alternative question is provided on a slightly more straightforward longer route.

 

 

Fence9

9abcde. The Lake

The traditional lake complex is presented this year with an inviting if also rather imposing jump into water on a slightly curved line to a boat in water and finally a jetty out. The fence into water is preceded by a straightforward oxer that, although not strictly related, might have an influence on the following test. As always the atmosphere around the lake with the huge crowds will be a test on its own especially for the combinations here for the first time. For this reason a similar alternative question is provided on a slightly more straightforward longer route.

 

 

Fence10

10. KBIS Garden Table

The traditional giants table is now part of the new garden complex where combinations will return on their way back to Huntsmans Close. The table on a slight turn coming out of the garden is meant to be a fence to restore confidence after the lake combination although this is still a spread with maximum dimensions.

 

 

Fence11
Fence12

11 & 12. Shogun Hollow

Shogun Hollow – Chase Fence (11): “I am here as a memory of the traditional competition with the steeple chase and I am a proper steeple chase fence to take in full gallop, but just be careful to decide when to apply the brakes for what comes later …”

Shogun Hollow –Brush Oxer  (12): “I am a bit of a teaser … I am a quite straight forward brush oxer, but there is a bit of a trench before me …”

 

 

Fence13

13abc. Outlander Bank

An Owl Hole as a bounce over an Irish step was quite innovative, but jumped very well last year so it is used again just adding a little directional brush to always keep everybody on their toes …

 

 

Fence14

14ab. Gatehouse New Pond

Why have a new designer if not to find some new ground ! This beautiful pond was too attractive not to force a slight diversion on the traditional route to visit this amazing different view of Badminton House and add the interest of an additional new water complex. A very traditional Birch rail into water with different grades of difficulty depending on the approach will lead to an option on exit between a birch open corner on the left and a unusual stile upright to the right. Great opportunity for the public to walk to this amazing new viewpoint.

 

 

Fence15

15ab. PHEV Vicarage Vee

The Vicarage V is back ! After many years the traditional and worldwide famous Vicarage V is back on the Badminton course with a substantial “modernizing” of the take-off and landing, but with a closely related second element again across the ditch.It is fascinating how this very old and traditional test is still so current in the modern sport being a perfect complete test of boldness, accuracy and scope. A longer time consuming alternative is provided for this test that reasonably could be felt too demanding for some of the less experienced combinations.

 

 

Fence16

16abc. Mirage Pond

Some refurbishing of the contours of this very traditional pond gave some inspiration to produce curved hedges that will provide again a test of boldness and accuracy through a one stride angled combination coming over a decent drop in water to rather straightforward narrow brush coming out.

 

Fence17

17. FEI Classics Stick Pile

In this modern age of very sophisticated fences what better than a traditional stick pile that many amateur riders must have surely jumped once in their life. But be aware that this is 3.00m wide at the base and 2.00m wide at the top !!

 

Fence18

18abc. Swindon Designer Outlet Mound

Cross country is about terrain and what better than enhancing the traditional HaHa with some more landscaping ! Cross country is also about nature and natural obstacles so logs seemed to be the natural choice here and … horses understand logs! This combination aims to test the ability of horses and riders to adapt to the particular situation that might arise. It will be difficult to make a predetermined plan and all horses will react differently on such rising and falling terrain obliging riders to ride more through feel than plan.

UPDATE: Due to the conditions Fence 18B, the approach to which required a turn on a steep slope, has been removed from the course.

No adjustment to the optimum time is required

 

 

Fence19

19. Wadworth Barrels

Traditional let up fence which might be one of the best photo opportunities with the backdrop of the House.

 

 

Fence20

20ab. World Horse Welfare Garden Gates

Is a must for a garden to have a white fence and surely to have a white gate or eventually … more than one white gate! The course turns now back to the new garden complex in this beautiful space just in front of the House and riders will have to decide when to apply the brakes galloping straight on to this classical white gate. The second gate on a slight curve might not be so worrying, but I suspect the first one might cause some nightmares at least for the less experienced combinations.

 

 

Fence21

21. L200 & Trailer

The traditional Mitsubishi fence has now slightly moved position and is now a trailer loaded with logs to be jumped from water to water at the lower end of the lake. This is typically a let up fence, but when water is involved you will always need to pay attention.

 

 

Fence22
Fence23

22ab & 23. ISH Studbook Huntsmans Close

This is probably the last real test on the course and at this end of the course, in the traditional location under the trees, with a significant change of light conditions, any kind oftest is always quite demanding. This year, after jumping the traditional logpile, riders will have to ensure forwardness and accuracy to steer their way through two new quite massive brush corners on a relatively committed striding and a gentle right bend.

 

 

Fence24
Fence25
Fence26

24, 25, 26. HorseQuest Quarry

After some time stone walls are back at the quarry like in the old days. They have been now rebuilt with a more horse friendly top, but they are still there upright and imposing to remind all riders to save some petrol in the tank for the end of the course. After a left turn to regain balance the first wall is slightly downhill leading to a right turn over an option of two houses, then down a little drop to the final wall in the traditional position at the top of the slope coming out of the quarry.

 

 

Fence27-28

27 & 28. Countryside Hedges

Now clearly in the closing of the course, no more real questions, but a couple of brush oxers on a slight curve here, naturally connected to two beautiful oaks just to keep up the attention, control the speed and shape of the jumps.

 

 

Fence29

29ab. Rolex Presentation Boxes

Last mini test! Not a real test for this level, but for those who might have pressed a bit too much on the throttle this angled combination across the road might reserve some surprises …

 

 

Fence30

30. Mitsubishi Finish

“I am the last fence and I am here to say “well done” to all who will get here !”