Just before the 4* competition gets underway, the Grassroots Championship - The Mitsubishi Motors Cup gets under way for the best grass-roots riders competing at BE90 and BE100, who get to ride their cross country round on the hallowed turf of the Badminton Estate.
The tradestands are open on Wednesday. This is a great day to start shopping as there is such a great atmosphere with great feeling of anticipation for the start of the main competition on the following day.
The 4* competition starts with the first horse inspection or “Trot up” which takes place on Wednesday afternoon in front of Badminton House in front of the grand jury. This always draws a large crowd who vie to see the eventing legends as well as Badminton first timers present their horses. Not only is the horse immaculately turned out, but this is a chance for the eventing competitors to strut their stuff too. Hiho Silver is proud sponsor of the Best Dressed Man or Woman at the “trot up”, where 2017 saw Australia’s Paul Tapner take the men’s prize and Britain’s Danielle Dunn take the women’s prize, as judged by a well qualified panel ranging from Mr Hiho to Mary and Emily King and Danni Evans. We are very excited to see who wins this year.
Thursday and Friday are the dressage and shopping days, where the 4* competitors complete their tests and specators take a break from watching dressage to visit the many and varied tradestands.
Saturday is cross country day and the wise will arrive early to try and beat the traffic. This is the big day for thrills and spills and is one of the top ten sporting attractions in the UK. Cross country starts around 11am, but shopping starts early and finishes late. The atmosphere is one of tense excitement during the whole day.
Sunday brings the competition to a tense finale as the competitors jump in reverse order for a nail biting finish. First the horses must pass another horse inspection on Sunday morning where the grand jury check that the horses are fit after the gruelling cross country round the day before. The competition is tense, but the shopping is much more relaxed on Sunday, with smaller crowds and a chilled Sunday atmosphere.
Needless to say the weather plays a big part in Badminton for humans and horses. Wellies and warm and waterproof clothes are essential.
We look forward to seeing you at Hiho!