Badminton Horse Trials

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Badminton Horse Trials
Begins4 May 2023
Ends8 May 2023[1][2]
Location(s)Badminton Park
Years active70
Organised byJane Tuckwell
Gemma Tattersall and Jesters Quest jump the Open Ditch during the cross-country phase of Badminton Horse Trials 2007

The Badminton Horse Trials is a five-day event, one of only seven annual Concours Complet International (CCI) Five Star events as classified by the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI). It takes place in May each year in the park of Badminton House, the seat of the Duke of Beaufort in South Gloucestershire, England.


Badminton was first held in 1949 by the 10th Duke of Beaufort in order to let British riders train for international events, and was advertised as "the most important horse event in Britain". It was the second three-day event held in Britain, with the first being its inspiration – the 1948 Summer Olympics. The first Badminton had 22 horses from Britain and Ireland start, and was won by Golden Willow. Eight of the 22 starters failed to complete the cross-country course. Badminton was the home of the first European Championship in 1953, won by Major Laurence Rook on Starlight XV. In 1955, Badminton moved to Windsor Castle for a year, at the invitation of the Queen, in order to hold the second European Championships. Badminton was first televised in 1956.

In 1959, Badminton was held in two sections, called the Great and Little Badminton, due to the popularity of the event and the number of entries. The horses in the two sections jumped the same fences, but were separated into the two divisions based on their money winnings. This graded approach was abandoned after the 1965 event.[3] In 1989, the current director and course-designer Hugh Thomas, who rode in the 1976 Montreal Olympics,[4] took over from Francis Weldon, a former winner,[5] who is credited with bringing the event to the pinnacle it is at today.

Badminton is held in the six-square-kilometre (1,500-acre) Badminton Park, where the car parks, tradestands, arena and cross-country courses are located.

Badminton has been cancelled on several occasions – in 1966, 1975, 1987, 2001, 2012, 2020 and 2021 the event was cancelled completely, and in 1963 it was downgraded to a one-day event due to bad weather. In 2001 it was cancelled due to foot and mouth disease,[6] in 2012 due to waterlogged ground,[7] and in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[8][9]


Together with the five-star rated Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Burghley Horse Trials, Badminton forms the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Only two people have ever won the Grand Slam; Pippa Funnell in 2003 and Michael Jung in 2015/16. Australian Andrew Hoy nearly took the title in 2007 but lost it when he had a pole down at Burghley.[10] The remaining CCI***** rated events are the Luhmühlen Horse Trials, the Australian International Three Day Event, the Stars of Pau and the Maryland Five Star at Fairhill.

The cross-country day at Badminton attracts crowds of up to a quarter of a million and is the second largest in the world for money made (after the Indianapolis 500).[11][12]


2011 winners Mark Todd and NZB Land Vision at the Quarry during the cross-country phase
Paul Tapner and Inonothing, the winning combination at Badminton Horse Trials 2010, at The Lake during the cross-country phase
Year Rider Horse Notes
1949 United Kingdom John Shedden (GBR) Golden Willow
1950 United Kingdom Tony Collins (GBR) Remus
1951 Switzerland Hans Schwarzenbach (SUI) Vae Victis
1952 United Kingdom Mark Darley (GBR) Emily Little
1953 United Kingdom Laurence Rook (GBR) Starlight
1954 United Kingdom Margaret Hough (GBR) Bambi V
1955 United Kingdom Francis Weldon (GBR) Kilbarry Event held at Windsor
1956 United Kingdom Francis Weldon (GBR) Kilbarry
1957 United Kingdom Sheila Wilcox (GBR) High and Mighty
1958 United Kingdom Sheila Wilcox (GBR) High and Mighty
1959 United Kingdom Sheila Wilcox-Waddington (GBR) Airs and Graces Little Badminton
1959 United Kingdom Shelagh Kesler (GBR) Double Diamond
1960 Australia Bill Roycroft (AUS) Our Solo
1960 United Kingdom Martin Whiteley (GBR) Peggoty Little Badminton
1961 Australia Laurie Morgan (AUS) Salad Days
1961 United Kingdom Peter Welch (GBR) Mr. Wilson Little Badminton
1962 United Kingdom Anneli Drummond-Hay (GBR) Merely-a-Monarch
1962 United Kingdom Penny Crofts (GBR) Priam Little Badminton
1963 No Major Event Event downgraded due to weather
1964 United Kingdom James Templer (GBR) M'Lord Connolly
1964 United Kingdom Sheila Waddington (GBR) Glenamoy Little Badminton
1965 Republic of Ireland Eddie Boylan (IRE) Durlas Eile
1965 United Kingdom Martin Whiteley (GBR) The Poacher Little Badminton
1966 No Event Cancelled due to weather
1967 United Kingdom Celia Ross-Taylor (GBR) Jonathan
1968 United Kingdom Jane Bullen (GBR) Our Nobby
1969 United Kingdom Richard Walker (GBR) Pasha
1970 United Kingdom Richard Meade (GBR) The Poacher
1971 United Kingdom Mark Phillips (GBR) Great Ovation
1972 United Kingdom Mark Phillips (GBR) Great Ovation
1973 United Kingdom Lucinda Prior-Palmer (GBR) Be Fair
1974 United Kingdom Mark Phillips (GBR) Great Ovation
1975 No Event Cancelled due to weather
1976 United Kingdom Lucinda Prior-Palmer (GBR) Wide Awake
1977 United Kingdom Lucinda Prior-Palmer George
1978 United Kingdom Jane Holderness-Roddam (GBR) Warrior
1979 United Kingdom Lucinda Prior-Palmer (GBR) Killaire
1980 New Zealand Mark Todd (NZL) Southern Comfort III
1981 United Kingdom Mark Phillips (GBR) Lincoln
1982 United Kingdom Richard Meade (GBR) Speculator III
1983 United Kingdom Lucinda Green (GBR) Regal Realm
1984 United Kingdom Lucinda Green (GBR) Beagle Bay
1985 United Kingdom Ginny Holgate (GBR) Priceless
1986 United Kingdom Ian Stark (GBR) Sir Wattie
1987 No Event Cancelled due to weather
1988 United Kingdom Ian Stark (GBR) Sir Wattie Also came second on Glenburnie
1989 United Kingdom Ginny Leng (GBR) Master Craftsman
1990 United Kingdom Nicola McIrvine (GBR) Middle Road
1991 United Kingdom Rodney Powell (GBR) The Irishman II
1992 United Kingdom Mary Thomson (GBR) King William
1993 United Kingdom Ginny Leng (GBR) Welton Houdini
1994 New Zealand Mark Todd (NZL) Horton Point
1995 United States Bruce Davidson (USA) Eagle Lion
1996 New Zealand Mark Todd (NZL) Bertie Blunt
1997 United States David O'Connor (USA) Custom Made
1998 United Kingdom Chris Bartle (GBR) Word Perfect II
1999 United Kingdom Ian Stark (GBR) Jaybee
2000 United Kingdom Mary King (GBR) Star Appeal
2001 No Event Cancelled due to foot and mouth epidemic
2002 United Kingdom Pippa Funnell Supreme Rock
2003 United Kingdom Pippa Funnell (GBR) Supreme Rock Won as the second leg of winning the Grand Slam of Eventing
2004 United Kingdom William Fox-Pitt (GBR) Tamarillo
2005 United Kingdom Pippa Funnell (GBR) Primmore's Pride
2006 Australia Andrew Hoy (AUS) Moonfleet
2007 Australia Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) Headley Britannia
2008 France Nicolas Touzaint (FRA) Hildago de L'Ile
2009 United Kingdom Oliver Townend (GBR) Flint Curtis
2010 Australia Paul Tapner (AUS) Inonothing
2011 New Zealand Mark Todd (NZL) NZB Land Vision
2012 No Event Cancelled due to weather
2013 New Zealand Jonathan Paget (NZL) Clifton Promise
2014 Australia Sam Griffiths (AUS) Paulank Brockagh
2015 United Kingdom William Fox-Pitt (GBR) Chilli Morning
2016 Germany Michael Jung (GER) La Biosthetique-Sam Won as the final leg of winning the Grand Slam of Eventing
2017 New Zealand Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Nereo
2018 New Zealand Jonelle Price (NZL) Classic Moet
2019 United Kingdom Piggy French (GBR) Vanir Kamira First year of CCI5* designation
2020 No Event Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 No Event Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2022 United Kingdom Laura Collett (GBR) London 52
2023 United Kingdom Rosalind Canter (GBR) Lordships Graffalo



  • Wideawake ridden by Lucinda Green died of a heart attack on his victory lap.[13]


  • Desert Island ridden by Louisa Lockwood, euthanised after breaking a fetlock.[14]


  • Skwal ridden by Andrew Downes died of a suspected heart attack in the finishing ring [15]
  • Icare d’Auzay ridden by Jean-Lou Bigot died after a fence flag marker pole pierced an artery.[15]


  • Redpath Ransom ridden by Alexander Bragg, euthanised after suffering a major injury to a suspensory ligament during cross country, unrelated to a jump.[16]


In 2007, after a long period without rain, the ground was considered to be too hard, resulting in 22 withdrawals.[17]


  1. ^ "Dates". Badminton Horse Trials. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Badminton Horse Trials 2022". Horse & Hound. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  3. ^ History Archived 6 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine History of Badminton
  4. ^ 1976 Olympics 1976 Olympics
  5. ^ Wheldon Winner Archived 24 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine Previous Winners
  6. ^ Dates of Cancellations Archived 24 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine Cancellation Dates
  7. ^ "Potters Bar held to a goalless draw at Leyton – News – Exmouth Journal". Archived from the original on 31 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Cancellation Statement". Badminton Horse Trials. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Badminton Horse Trials: Covid-19 restrictions force 2021 event to be cancelled". BBC Sport. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  10. ^ FEI Eventing Page FEI Eventing Page.
  11. ^ Visitor Numbers Badminton Visitor Numbers
  12. ^ Daily Telegraph
  13. ^ "MovieTone : Search Results View".
  14. ^ Horsetalk – Horse killed on Badminton cross-country, 3 May 2010
  15. ^ a b Horsetalk – Fredericks retains Badminton lead after cross-country, 6 May 2009
  16. ^ "Redpath Ransom Euthanized at Badminton Horse Trials – Eventing Nation – Three-Day Eventing News, Results, Videos, and Commentary". Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  17. ^ The TimesPhillips puts the welfare of her horse first and withdraws, 5 May 2007

External links