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BADMINTON Life The official magazine of The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials May 2014

ÂŁ8.00


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FOREWORD

The very wet winter hardly hindered the course building, but certainly made other major projects here much more difficult. Who would have thought even 10 years ago, let alone when Badminton started in 1949, that we would be installing a network of underground fibre optic cables to speed communication all over the showground! Modern technology is being harnessed to help present Three Day Eventing, perhaps one of this country’s most traditional sports in appearance. I would particularly like to thank the very small permanent team in the Horse Trials Office, led by Jane Tuckwell, for their total dedication and never failing good humour, even when the pressure is piling up just before the event starts. We welcome you all to Badminton and hope that you enjoy the Park as much as we do, while appreciating both the sport and the magnificent range of shops! ,

KIT HOUGHTON

013 WAS ONE of the best ever editions of The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, with wonderful weather, record crowds and a competition that thrilled us to the very last show jump. While we can only influence some of the factors I am expecting another very good Event, thanks to the excellent team of volunteers, officials and contractors who help us stage these very complex few days. I am particularly looking forward to seeing the finished version of the cross country course, designed for the first time by Giuseppe della Chiesa from Italy – no stranger to Badminton, having been Technical Delegate here in the past. My wife and I have watched his new ideas being realised since last autumn and with the skills of the Willis Bros course building team I am sure the end result will be both attractive and a fair test for the extraordinarily talented riders who now compete here.

I am expecting another very good Event, thanks to the excellent team of volunteers, officials and contractors

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C

ontents

ONCE AGAIN THE time is upon us for another sensational Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. This year is an extra special Horse Trials for me, as I will be spending cross-country day as part of my wonderful friend Victoria’s hen weekend, and what better way to celebrate … horses, shops and champagne all a stone’s throw away from each other! It is all change this year as I have no doubt riders are intrigued and excited to ride our new cross-country course, as we welcome a new recruit to our Badminton team – the course design baton has been passed into the safe hands of Giuseppe della Chiesa, who has taken on the prestigious role. Turn to page 50 to read our exclusive interview with Giuseppe and hopefully have the majority of your questions answered. This issue is packed with fabulous exclusive interviews, as we meet the Event Coordinator of the Grassroots Event Ollie Bush on page 6 as she shares how she keeps everything in order, and we speak to three grooms on page 70, as they reveal all their tips on how they keep their horses in tip-top shape. We are also reminded how our sport is always improving its safety, as safety officers reveal how they have been making the sport safer and the technology that has been assisting them in order to so. Turn to page 20 for the full feature , Here’s to a wonderful Event! Joanne Sindall Editor

“I’M NOT ONE OF THOSE LADIES THAT LUNCH” 06 Event co-ordinator Ollie Bush talks about the busy run up to The Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Event and how she got involved in Badminton

CHOSEN CHARITY 10 Following a successful London Olympics, Equestrian Team GBR are the chosen benefactors of this year’s trials. Find out what that means here

SAFETY FIRST 14 Gillian Newsum discovers how British Eventing’s safety officers have been making the sport safer and the technology that has helped them to do so

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DOES BREEDING MATTER? 20 Is the secret to victory really all in the genes? Carole Mortimer takes a look at previous winners to find out

TRADING PLACES 26 Meet three varied tradestands heading to Badminton this year and get a preview of what the shopaholics among you can look forward to!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT! 30 What edible delights are in store at this year’s Event? Katie Roebuck tempts our taste buds with a handful of the highlights


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Publisher Archant Dialogue, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE Tel. 01603 664242 Fax: 01603 627823 email: mail@archantdialogue.co.uk Website: www.archantdialogue.co.uk Senior Editor Joanne Sindall Tel: 01603 772550 joanne.sindall@archantdialogue.co.uk Managing Art Editor Nicky Wright Junior Art Editor Abigail Burroughes Creative Director Nick Paul Account Director Catherine Goad Managing Director Mick Hurrell Publishing Director ZoĂŤ Francis-Cox Digital Editor Tom Smith For all advertising enquiries, please contact: Head of Advertising Sales Stephen Price Commercial Manager James Houlder Tel: 01603 772538 james.houlder@archantdialogue.co.uk Managing Advertising Production Controller Kay Brown Tel: 01603 772522 kay.brown@archantdialogue.co.uk

Badminton Horse Trials Office Badminton Gloucestershire GL9 1DF Tel 01454 218272 Fax 01454 218596 E-mail info@badminton-horse.co.uk Website www.badminton-horse.co.uk Š Badminton 2014 All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication is protected by copyrights and may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without prior permission from Archant Life Limited. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Archant Life Limited which accepts no responsibility for them. Badminton Life magazine does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, photos or illustrations and cannot accept responsibility for them, or for errors in articles or advertisements in the magazine.

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Front Cover photo: The Lake Complex, cross country at The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, 2013 Photographer: Leo Mason sports photos/Alamy


BADMINTON CO-ORDINATOR

‘‘I’M NOT ONE OF THOSE LADIES THAT LUNCH’’

ALL PHOTOS: MARK FAIRHURST

NO TWO DAYS ARE THE SAME FOR CONFESSED WORKAHOLIC OLLIE BUSH. THE MITSUBISHI MOTORS GRASSROOTS EVENT CO-ORDINATOR TALKS TO ELLIE HUGHES ABOUT HER INVOLVEMENT IN THE GREAT EVENT OLLIE BUSH HAS proved rather elusive to pin down. Not intentionally; it’s just that she never stays in the same place for more than ten minutes. “I like to be busy – I’m always dashing here, there and everywhere. I’m not one of those ladies that lunch,” she quips. Listening to her describe a typical working day, you can quite believe it. Most days, Ollie will be up and outside at 5.15am, helping to muck out the yard full of horses on her family’s farm in Wiltshire. The rest of the day is taken up with farm chores, riding, Horse Trials meetings, planning and admin. Ollie has been the driving force behind The Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championship since its inception at Badminton in 2010. “It’s a very important competition that’s growing in momentum,” she says. “There is more interest now than there ever has been – and for good reason. It gives amateur riders a goal. These are the people the sport needs to be looking after; they’re the ones who keep the wheels turning for those competing above them.” Ollie’s first foray onto Badminton’s hallowed turf was not as a spectator, but as a rider. “I competed there in a working hunter pony class on a little skewbald pony. I was beaten by Princess Anne,” she says matter-of-factly. “Back then

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there were lots of other classes going on in the background. It was all very relaxed and informal. You had a free rein to amble around and do what you liked.” Within the modern constraints, it is precisely this relaxed, friendly atmosphere that Ollie wanted to recreate with The Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championship. “It makes me smile when people roll up at the gate towing their horses in trailers and getting out their BBQs – it’s like Badminton was 50 years ago,” she says. “The riders have all worked extremely hard to get here and – in many cases – sacrificed a lot along the way. I want them to come and enjoy themselves.” For this reason Ollie carefully chooses the people who work with her behind the scenes. “I won’t have grumpy people. I want the competitors to be greeted at the gate with a smile,” she says. The Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championship is almost entirely selfcontained in the field on the opposite side of the lane between Huntsman’s Close and The Quarry. Ollie is based there for the duration. “There is a fantastic atmosphere in the lorry park. Many of the riders stable their horses for the whole week and stay and watch the main competition,” she says. w

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Ollie’s life has been steeped in horses, though not necessarily Eventing. “Hunting is my first love. It was through hunting with the Berkeley that I met my first husband [Nick Bush],” she explains. Nick came from a point-to-pointing family who were all very good jockeys. This gave Ollie the incentive to try her hand on the racetrack. “I wasn’t particularly good, but I wasn’t terrible. I had great fun,” she says. Eventing first entered on to Ollie’s radar “many moons ago,” unsurprisingly through hunting. “Our circle of friends at the time included Mike and Angela Tucker, who ran [the now defunct] Tetbury Horse Trials, Toby and Gail Sturgis, who organised Dauntsey Park, and Captain Phillips and Princess Anne,” Ollie explains. “I got roped into helping at Events by taking entries, drumming up helpers and sponsors, and finding fence judges.” Ollie’s two (now grown-up) children,

Fraser and Amanda, grew up with Mike and Angela’s son, Andrew, and Zara and Peter Phillips. “We all had young children around the same time, so we had a ready-made band of fence painters. We had to do something with them,” she laughs. Through Captain Phillips Ollie also became involved in the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, where she is still entries secretary. “It was actually at Gatcombe several years ago that Hugh Thomas first approached me about taking on the Grassroots Championship,” Ollie recalls. “He cornered me over a coffee and told me he’d had this great idea that he wanted me to help him with. I’d been involved at Badminton for donkey’s years, but I was still surprised when he told me about the role he wanted me to take on.” Ollie is in charge of overseeing everything to do with the Grassroots Festival, from organising stabling and dressage judges, to putting on entertainment for the competitors and

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Ollie has been the driving force behind The Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championship since its inception at Badminton in 2010


BADMINTON CO-ORDINATOR

sorting out accommodation. She liaises closely with the Director Hugh Thomas and his Assistant, Jane Tuckwell. “We run a very efficient ship,” she says. “It is hard work and time-consuming, but also incredibly rewarding. Hugh’s great to work with. He’s fair, good fun – but he’s not afraid to give your wrist a slap if you drop him in the sh*t. “And I like to think I am strict, but fair,” continues Ollie. “I don’t suffer fools and if a rider rings me up and spins me a yarn that I know is a pack of lies then they’ll be the first to know what I think. If people put their hands up and are honest, then I’m more than happy to help them.” This brings us on to Ollie’s pet hate: pretentiousness. “I don’t like people who stick a badge on and think they’re everything,” she says. “If somebody who gets given an officials’ badge abuses it or starts getting pompous, they will have me to answer to!” Away from Horse Trials, Ollie now spends much of her time helping out on the 74-acre farm where she lives with her second husband, Grant Cann, just outside Bath. “We used to farm in Devon and have only recently moved east,” explains Ollie. “Grant holds a National Hunt licence and we have a few horses in training. I still ride out most days and we’ve also dabbled in a bit of racehorse breeding.” Turns out this “dabbling” resulted in the breeding of a horse called What A Friend, who they sold as a four-yearold and went on to finish fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2011 when owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and trained by Paul Nicholls. “He’s come back to us now that he’s retired from National Hunt racing,” says Ollie. “My daughter, Amanda, rides him. She might do a few hunter chases with him this year.” Both Amanda and Ollie’s son, Fraser, are still involved in Eventing, both helping at Badminton and Gatcombe. Their friend, Andrew Tucker, is Badminton’s sponsorship consultant, while Peter Phillips has proved himself a proficient Event organiser, having

orchestrated the inaugural London leg of the showjumping Global Champions Tour last year. Seems like the next generation is waiting in the wings to take over. “I would like to think that in the not-so-distant future, the ‘old school’ will be able to hand over the reins to the young blood,” says Ollie. “With the emphasis now very much on technology and social media, we need young brains on the job.” In the meantime, however, there is still plenty of paperwork and excitement to keep this workaholic happy for the foreseeable future. ,

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I don’t suffer fools and if a rider rings me up and spins me a yarn that I know is a pack of lies then they’ll be the first to know what I think


G

oing for gold! 10

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CHOSEN CHARITY LEFT:

London Olympics 2012, the British team celebrate with a lap of honour

Since the advent of Badminton, British Eventers have won three team and two individual golds at the Olympics

“LONDON 2012 may be a distant memory but one of the memories that is always at the forefront of my mind is not the medals won or opportunities missed, but the reaction of the British public – in the stadium at Greenwich, in the Olympic Park and during the Team GB parade through London. It was an overwhelming feeling of support, a surge of loyalty to the Team and a united human ‘metamorphic mass’, willing the British athletes to win. I am certain this support was a key factor in the success of the GBR team; all the athletes spoke of it and I know it impacted on me personally.”

WILL CONNELL MBE EXPLAINS TO ELEANORE KELLY THE VITAL ROLE OF EQUESTRIAN TEAM GBR IN BRITAIN’S EVENTING SUCCESS AND TELLS YOU HOW YOU CAN HELP THIS YEAR’S CHOSEN CAUSE

SPORT IN PICTURES/ALAMY

Will Connell MBE, Equestrian Performance Director and Chef de Mission

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It was the 10th Duke of Beaufort who, in 1949, decided that an Event should be run on his Estate for British riders to train for future international Events. It therefore seems rather fitting that this year’s chosen cause is Equestrian Team GBR. Since the advent of Badminton, British Eventers have won three team and two individual golds at the Olympics, six team and five individual golds at the World Championships and 21 team and 18 individual golds at the European Championships. Original plans to support Equestrian Team GBR as Badminton’s chosen cause in 2012 before the London Olympics were thwarted when Badminton was cancelled. This year we have the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France to look forward to, hence Equestrian Team GBR seemed an obvious choice to benefit from The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. Fund-raising activities at The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials will involve a tradestand in the village incorporating both Equestrian Team GBR and Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s Olympic and Paralympic legacy brand, which aims to encourage more people to take up horse riding, driving, vaulting and volunteering. By connecting people to riding centres, schools, clubs and equestrian sporting organisations, Hoof, which is supported by Sport England, is helping more people to discover horses, get fit and improve their well-being. ‘Henry’, the mechanical horse, will be in attendance offering people the opportunity to have a go at horse riding in return for a donation. There will be a charity dinner on the Friday evening following the launch of Olympic dressage rider Carl Hester’s autobiography, with all proceeds from the dinner going w

BADMINTON LIFE


CHOSEN CHARITY BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT:

LEO MASON SPORTS PHOTOS/ALAMY

Switzerland’s vaulting team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Lexington, Kentucky, USA; The Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, Windsor Great Park, UK

ZUMA PRESS, INC./ALAMY

The brand Equestrian Team GBR was created in 2005 as there was nothing that bound the various FEI disciplines together

towards the team. There will also be course walks with team experts as well as the usual ‘bucket rattlers’. In addition the ever-popular Toggi Team GBR Supporter range of clothing will be on sale at the Event. It is hoped that at least £30,000 will be raised and the money will go entirely to supporting athletes to compete for medals in each of the eight FEI disciplines – in 2014 and at future Championships. As well as dressage, Eventing, showjumping and para-equestrian dressage, these include the non-Olympic disciplines of driving, reining, endurance and vaulting. Such sports do not have the luxury of Lottery funding and find it a struggle to attain the financial support they deserve. These non-Olympic disciplines have a successful legacy in Great Britain and include some incredibly talented athletes. An example of where funds from Badminton may be used is to help these athletes prepare for WEG and ensure that they can take support staff such as physiotherapists and vets that will assist both equine and human deliver their best performance. The cost of sending a team abroad is impossible to quantify, but the set costs will include ferry charges, entry fees and fuel. However, it is the variable costs that a successful fund-raising campaign will impact on such as employing and accommodating these extra performance-enhancing support staff. At present UK Sport is the major financial contributor to Equestrian Team GBR through the Lottery-funded World

Class Programme. This funding supports the performance and development programmes as well the teams competing across the Paralympic and Olympic sports. Additional support is provided by Team GBR’s official suppliers: Toggi (Equestrian Team GBR clothing), Nuumed (numnahs), Dodson & Horrell (feed and diet analysis), Land Rover (vehicles), Mears (riding coats), NAF (supplements) and TAGG (horse rugs). The brand Equestrian Team GBR was created in 2005 as there was nothing that bound the various FEI disciplines together. By creating a look and feel to Team GBR, the objective was to create a positive environment that allows athletes and staff to perform to their optimum. Some may argue that ‘equestrian’ is not a team sport (aside from vaulting) when compared with, say, hockey or rugby. The reality is that it is very much a team philosophy with all athletes (who spend most of the year competing against each other) and support staff working and training together in order to achieve the best possible results. Equestrian Team GBR is designed to provide a noncommercial, performance-focused team environment for all FEI related disciplines in all age groups competing at European and World Championship level. At Olympic and Paralympic Games athletes compete as Team GB and Paralympics GB under the banner of the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association respectively. The British Equestrian Federation Fund (BEFF) operates in partnership with Equestrian Team GBR to fund the

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CHOSEN CHARITY

I believe the vast majority of the British public want to see Equestrian Team GBR win medals and demonstrate that the United Kingdom is still a global power in the corridors of equestrian sport

above:

Will Connell on what your support means to Team GBR:

requirements of the team. The Trust’s objective is to assist in the provision of representation of Great Britain at international equestrian events and competitions (in particular Olympic Games), and to assist in encouraging and improving the training of horses for that purpose. Monies raised at Badminton will go to both BEFF and Equestrian Team GBR. For nearly a decade the Equestrian Team GBR brand has been worn by British team members who represent our nation and compete so successfully on the international stage. Equestrian Team GBR brings together not only Britain’s top riders, but also their dedicated support network of owners, trainers, vets and grooms, in all equestrian disciplines, all of whom play a vital role in the quest for championship glory.

“I believe the vast majority of the British public want to see Equestrian Team GBR win medals and demonstrate that the United Kingdom is still a global power in the corridors of equestrian sport. Our success in London is recognised through the UK Sport controlled Lottery funding the BEF receives and which is managed through the World Class Programme. While this makes a huge difference, we are obliged to make a significant contribution to the budget that the Lottery funding supports. Furthermore it does not support the non-Olympic disciplines that also make up the World Equestrian Games. “The riders, grooms, team staff and owners WANT AND NEED YOUR SUPPORT. Please support Equestrian Team GBR, donate what you can, buy and wear Team GBR clothing with pride and please buy Lottery tickets. Let’s all help recreate a little bit of London in Normandy!” ,

KIT HOUGHTON

Will Connell MBE

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SAFETY FIRST! IN THE LAST 10 YEARS THERE HAS BEEN A MARKED IMPROVEMENT IN THE LEVEL OF SAFETY IN EVENTING. GILLIAN NEWSUM TALKS TO TWO PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS TO HELP REDUCE SERIOUS INJURY TO RIDERS


COURSE SAFETY

ALL PHOTOS: KIT HOUGHTON

Nicola Wilson (GBR) riding Opposition Buzz at The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2013

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE a few statistics to get your average horse enthusiast hastily changing the subject, but for Jonathan Clissold, British Eventing’s National Safety Officer, they are fascinating and, more importantly, provide an essential tool for developing better cross-country courses. “Data collection has played a big part in improving the safety of courses,” he says. “But you have to be careful how you interpret the data, as there will always be an element of chance: sometimes horses just don’t read a fence the way you think they will.” Jonathan, a former Event rider, began honing his cross-country course building and design skills at local Horse Trials and hunter trials, putting to good use his training as a furniture designer and cabinetmaker. In the last 20 years he has been involved with a number of international courses including Burghley and, more recently, the London Olympic course at Greenwich, which was both technically and logistically demanding. He is an FEI course designer and technical delegate, and has been a part of Eventing’s safety team for more than 12 years. But back to the statistics, briefly: since 2002, detailed information has been gathered from cross-country courses at all BE Events – the style and dimensions of every fence on the course, the types of falls, the point of impact of the horse with the fence, the injuries sustained to horse and rider, and so on. The analysis and understanding (Jonathan’s task) of this broad spectrum of information has had an enormous influence on cross-country design, and hence the safety of courses.

And here’s a statistic to prove it: between July 2002 and June 2012, the number of falls per thousand fences jumped has dropped from 1.3 to just under 1.1. One of the most exciting safety advances during this time has been the development of the frangible pin. The idea of the pin emerged following the Hartington enquiry, which in turn had come about as a result of the unacceptably high level of fatalities (five) in 1999. One of the people brought into this far reaching enquiry was the racing driver Jackie Stewart, who introduced BE to the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), a company that had been working closely with Formula 1 racing after the sport suffered a surge in fatalities. Extensive research at TRL showed that rotational (somersaulting) falls, which often result in severe injury or even death to a rider if they are crushed under the horse, occur when a horse hits a solid fence between the knee and the elbow; it also showed that these types of falls could be prevented if the solid rail gave way on impact. Thus a frangible pin was created that would break under a given loading, and in 2002 this new pin was piloted at 13 UK Events. The results were impressive. “I can remember standing at a corner fence at Withington with Hugh Thomas when a horse put its front feet between the two sets of rails,” recalls Jonathan. “What looked liked being a serious somersault fall ended up being quite inconsequential.” It was enough to convince them both that the frangible pin was good news. w

There will always be an element of chance: sometimes horses just don’t read a fence the way you think they will

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Laura Collett (GBR) riding Noble Bestman, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2013; The Lake, cross-country


COURSE SAFETY

Frangible pins were also trialled at Badminton that year, where riders expressed concern about being penalised if their horses knocked down a frangible pin fence, whether or not the horse fell or was likely to have fallen. BE soon removed such penalties but it took the FEI until 2013 to follow suit. The FEI has also introduced a minimum standard of strength for any frangible pin, or similar device, so that fences cannot be knocked down too easily. “It was felt very strongly that the cross-country should be predominantly over fixed fences, otherwise the nature of the sport would change,” explains Jonathan. These days any fence on a BE crosscountry course that meets the criteria for having a frangible pin (normally upright rails and gates) must have one fitted. It doesn’t cost the organisers any extra, since BE pays for all the pins, and it might save someone’s life. “This is a risk sport,” says Jonathan. “But if something like the frangible pin can just save one person from being seriously injured then obviously it is worthwhile.” The same view is generally held about air jackets, another major development in safety for riders, and not just Event riders. For some, the jury is still out on the air jacket, but the majority of top Event riders will not set off on a crosscountry course without one, and plenty will vouch for their air jacket’s role in reducing the seriousness of injuries sustained from a fall. When Laura Collett went into a coma for six days after a fall at Tweseldown last summer she was told by paramedics that her air jacket had probably saved her life. The air jacket is a remarkable piece of engineering and design, and its arrival on the equestrian scene has been quite an achievement. The idea that an air bag, inflated by a canister, which is activated by a rip cord attached to the saddle, could protect a rider from serious injury in a fall was met initially with much scepticism. It took determination to see this one through. The story of the Point-Two company, the market leader in air jackets in the UK, is long and complex with enough trials and tribulations to have even the most hardened businessman weeping over his breakfast in despair. In brief, it goes like this: Helite, a French company founded

Resetting frangible pin at The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2013

Any fence on a BE cross-country course that meets the criteria for having a frangible pin (normally upright rails and gates) must have one fitted in 2002, had developed an air bag for hang gliders, followed by one for motor cyclists and then one for horse riders. In 2008 Helite agreed to sell their horse riding jackets through a British company run by the youthful Lee Middleton who, as turned out, took on a little more than he had bargained for. First, there was the small problem of not speaking French. Seeing “EN13158” on the label of the Helite jackets, Lee took this to mean that they were the correct standard for cross-country riding. What the label actually said was that the air jacket had to be worn in conjunction with an EN13158 jacket (ie a level 3 body protector). Undaunted, Lee discarded the heavy, bulky Helite jacket and produced a more lightweight shell

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that still housed the airbag technology from Helite but could be worn over the top of a body protector. Before it went on the market, the new jacket had to be approved by BE. Surgeons were consulted, tests were carried out at TRL to make sure that the inflated jacket could bear adequate loads and that the rider’s neck would not be injured on impact, and X-rays were taken at a hospital to ensure that an inflated jacket did not cause a kink to the neck. Finally, just two weeks before the start of the 2009 season, when it looked as if his jacket had got the green light, BE highlighted the possibility of horses being dangerously frightened by the noise of the canister going off, particularly if this happened in a busy collecting arena. As it turned out, the loudspeaker system registers more sound bites than an air jacket going off, so Lee got the go ahead and began selling his first air jackets at Belton, courtesy of the Tigga Saddlery stand. Sales were slow initially, even though four top riders – Piggy French, Oli Townend, Sacha Pemble and Angus Smales – had offered to wear the jackets on trial because they were keen to help promote this new safety device. But on the final day of Belton an Irish rider, Ian Olding, was killed on the cross-country, and before long there was a queue of w


COURSE SAFETY

people waiting to buy the air jackets. “It wasn’t the way I would have wanted it,” says Lee, but by the end of the year he had sold well over 2,000 jackets and was struggling to keep up with demand. Then a major problem was discovered: there was a fault in the housing of the air canister and some jackets had spontaneously inflated. So, at great expense, all the jackets were recalled and put right. “That was nearly the finish of us, to be honest,” recalls Lee. But the company was thrown a lifeline by a group of investors prepared to take a 45 per cent share and provide the finance to employ a top engineer to develop the company’s own canister trigger and airbag. Now Point-Two no longer buys any technical parts from Helite, but has complete control over its own faster and “hopefully foolproof” system. The reason it is called “Two-Point” is because the new canister can now inflate an air jacket in two tenths of a second. There are other air jackets on the market, for example Hit Air and Helite, and, as Jonathan Clissold points out, it would be good to have a minimum standard that all air jackets have to meet. The jackets cannot protect a rider in every possible circumstance (for example, if a horse comes down with the rider still in the saddle), but they are undoubtedly a valuable weapon in the battle for better safety. And in the view of BE’s Chief Medical Officer, Judith Johnson, any additional protection for riders is a good thing. “The air jacket is a great innovation.” ,

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seconds

William Moseley Assistant Site Manager

Putting together The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials every year is no mean feat, so we talked to William Moseley about what it takes What does your job involve? Assisting Site Manager Harry Verney with all aspects of the site and the Event – tradestands, loos, catering outlets, hospitality areas, all of it! I’m also specifically in charge of co-ordinating 40 Mitsubishi Motors courtesy vehicles. What’s the best bit about your job? I really enjoy being outside in the fresh air, and working with such a great team of people is a real privilege. Who do you work with day to day? Mainly Harry Verney, but also fellow Site Managers Roddy MacGregor, Barry King and Lucinda Hanbury. What is your most memorable experience of the Event? Driving very rapidly down the M5 with a police escort to Frenchay hospital! I was driving the father of a rider who had been airlifted to the hospital. Luckily, her injuries were not too serious. I can assure you the journey back to Badminton was considerably slower! Mary King (GBR) riding Imperial Cavalier Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2013; cross country

Where would you choose to spend any free time at the Event? I don’t get much free time, but when I do I like meeting up with friends and perhaps taking a short doze under a tree! How do you celebrate the end of another successful Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials? The morning after the Event the team all meet up for a hearty breakfast in the groom’s canteen in Badminton House.

I really enjoy being outside in the fresh air, and working with such a great team of people is a real privilege

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Our range of beautifully

handcrafted sterling silver jewellery includes exclusive equestrian designs especially created by country lovers for country lovers! See our collection here.

House and Wine Ltd trading as Hiho, registered in England no. 05627807


Jumbo, Thoroughbred and Irish Draught mix stallion, is the highest placed British stallion in the world sire rankings (fourth)

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BREEDING

KIT HOUGHTON

IS THERE MORE TO A SUCCESSFUL BADMINTON HORSE THAN MEETS THE EYE OR ARE THEY THE LUCKY ONES – THE HORSES THAT MET THE RIGHT RIDER AT THE RIGHT TIME AND HAD THE RIGHT LUCK ON THE RIGHT DAY? DOES THEIR BREEDING REALLY MATTER OR MAKE A DIFFERENCE? CAROLE MORTIMER INVESTIGATES

Jane HoldernessRoddam and Warrior at Badminton Horse Trials 1978

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Jane Bullen, first female member of a British Olympic equestrian team, negotiates a jump on Our Nobby as the British team move toward a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, 1968 AP/PRESS ASSOCIATION IMAGES

ON THE FACE of it, it is tempting to say not. A good Badminton horse needs more than a good pedigree; they also need a good rider and good management. Yet a look behind the names of the great Badminton horses reveals that perhaps there is more to their success than can be attributed solely to other factors. Historically and thanks to the programmes that ever since the first Event in 1949 have included the breeding of entries, a look at the horses taking part from the inaugural Event and up to quite recently reveals that the majority were, in the main, either Thoroughbred or mostly Thoroughbred. And recycling racehorses in nothing new – in the early years many also had successful racing careers. Others were bred as hunters that then exceeded expectations. Up to the late ’90s many Event horses were by the Thoroughbred stallions available through the former Hunters Improvement Society (HIS), a scheme funded by the Horseracing Betting Levy Board to provide good stallions at subsidised fees around the country. “The HIS had a huge effect,” says Jane HoldernessRoddam – winner of Badminton in 1968 and 1978. “There was little choice [of stallion] so you put your mare to an HIS Thoroughbred stallion to breed what you wanted. In general that was a hunter type that did everything, which they did,

KIT HOUGHTON

Does Breeding matter?

and when Eventing came along we all had a go. “But because of the HIS stallions our horses were well bred and often out of proven mares – as we all rode our mares – many of which were as successful as geldings.” Jane’s 1968 winner Our Nobby – often cited as a ‘oneoff’ winner in the main due to his small stature – is a good example. He was by the well-bred Thoroughbred Bewildered (also the sire of Young Pretender, who was second at Badminton in 1962 with Colonel Frank Weldon), who boasts a succession of influential stallions in his pedigree (Dark Ronald, w

BADMINTON LIFE


BREEDING

Nearco, Precipitation and Blenheim for example) out of a mare of equally good pedigree. Interestingly Bewildered is also significant in the pedigree of the mare Vickidora, the dam of Carousel Quest, winner of Burghley in 2009. Jane’s 1978 winner Warrior also had a blue-blooded sire by the Thoroughbred Warwick out of Winslade, also the dam of Dalwhinne, seventh at Badminton in 1983 with the now commentator Mike Tucker. The past programmes are littered with like examples that would in themselves take up several pages. Jane however admits that although riders had well-bred horses they were not breeding aware and horses in general were not chosen or bred because of their bloodlines. She says: “In the past we rode what we had but because our horses were mostly Thoroughbred, they were the right type and could jump – which was our starting point. Many were quality big-framed National Hunt types with plenty of bone. They were tough and strong and while they lacked

the movement seen in horses today they had stamina. In retrospect the success of those early horses can be attributed to their breeding; they were quality horses and good jumpers – Our Nobby was small but he was beautifully bred.” Badminton Director Hugh Thomas was second at Badminton in 1976 with Playamar, by the Thoroughbred HIS stallion Shelley’s Boy, not that pedigree was a reason to buy the horse. “It was important that he had the right amount of Thoroughbred blood in his make-up but what the horse looked like and what he did was far more important than who he was by when we bought him,” said Hugh. Ten years later Shelley’s Boy reappeared as the dam-sire of Night Cap II (Ginny Leng), winner of Burghley and third and fourth at Badminton 1985 and ’86, and his sister Minerva the dam of Lexington winner Welton Envoy and the stallion Welton Ambassador, still the only stallion to have completed Badminton on three occasions, and also the sire of many Event horses.

KIT HOUGHTON

Horses taking part from the inaugural Event and up to quite recently … were in the main either Thoroughbred or mostly Thoroughbred

Badminton Horse Trials, 1985; Ginny Leng (Virginia Holgate) (GBR) and Night Cap II

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BREEDING

Paul Tapner with Inonothing and his wife Georgie after winning The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. Lucinda Fredericks Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials winner 2007

“You can’t dismiss the fact that bloodlines keep re-appearing,” says Hugh. “But while I do now believe that breeding is important, what stallion and mare you breed from in order to get the right physical attributes is what matters and I would need convincing that specific bloodlines make a difference.” There are now breeders and riders who do believe that bloodlines are becoming more important. “I would love to select specific bloodlines but those that are proven to be doing well become expensive and hard to find,” says Australian rider Paul Tapner, winner of Badminton in 2010 with Inonothing. Although Inonothing’s direct sire (Basildon Bond) was little known he was, however, of mostly Thoroughbred lines and his grandsire was a former HIS stallion (Hubble Bubble). “Inonothing was not naturally talented but we had a special partnership built on trust. His Thoroughbred blood meant he could make the time and his brain and aptitude meant he was a trier and threw his heart into it,” says Paul, who is a fan of the Thoroughbred but also with a dash of Irish or Warmblood influence in the make-up. The European Warmblood has become more widely seen in the pedigree of modern Event horses for two reasons: the first that breeding technology due to Artificial Insemination has meant that sires can be sourced from around the globe, and the second was the change to Eventing when it dropped the long format in 2006. Paul says: “When the short format was adopted we all thought the Warmblood influence would be greater and indeed to a certain extent it has been, but because of the increased technicality of courses and the time constraints the Thoroughbred has come back and is now the favoured breed – you only have to look at the type and breeding of those horse that are at the top of four-star level.” Paul believes most riders are now much more aware of the breeding of their horses.

MICHAEL TUCKER/ALAMY

BARRY BATCHELOR/PA ARCHIVE/PRESS ASSOCIATION IMAGES

BELOW LEFT TO RIGHT

What stallion and mare you breed from in order to get the right physical attributes is what matters

“Most riders do put thought into the breeding of the horses they ride and each rider has his own preferred type – trying to source the right horse is now very much part of the game.” For 2007 Badminton winner Lucinda Fredericks that means finding a horse with the right bloodlines but also a sound one with a trainable brain, as well as one that can make the time. She says: “One of the reasons Brit [Headley Britannia, her Badminton winner] was so successful was due to her rideability in the dressage, which I believe came from her sire Jumbo.” w

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BREEDING

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Zara Phillips goes on a lap of honour with her horse Toytown at Burghley Horse Trials in 2006

seconds

Willa Harford Event Organiser Willa has seen The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials go from strength to strength and here tells us why she enjoys being a part of it all

GEOFF ROBINSON/REX

How did you get into your job? In 1988 I had a phone call from Jane Tuckwell, whom I already knew, asking if I knew anyone who might help part time at Badminton, so I went along. I helped for a couple of years, then ran a bloodstock business at home with my husband, brought up two children and did some medical administration work, but still helped during the Event. In 2007 I had another call from Jane asking me to work full time because the Event had grown so much – so here I am!

Jumbo, also the sire of Andrew Nicholson’s leading four-star horse Avebury, 11th at Badminton last year, is the highestplaced British stallion in the world sire rankings (fourth). He is a mix of Thoroughbred and Irish Draught and both Avebury and Headley Britannia are out of Thoroughbred mares. “Although I am happy not to ride a full Thoroughbred, you have got to have a good proportion of Thoroughbred blood,” says Lucinda, whose first Badminton horse Arctic Goose (27th in 1994) was by the respected National Hunt sire Arctic Que. “Even then knowing who he was by did make a difference to me – he was a recognisable sire of good horses and that gave me confidence,” says Lucinda, who, like Paul, believes that the bloodlines of Event horses have become more influential. She says: “As the sport has become more specialised breeding has become more important – even in the last 10 years and certainly since the Olympic Games in 2008 the quality of horses because of their breeding has got even better. The Swedes, for example, have some stunning Event horses and they have been extremely particular in their breeding programmes. I think even the likes of Toytown [World Champion in 2006 with Zara Phillips and of unknown breeding] would struggle to be competitive now.” So for those riders who want to be competitive does breeding matter. As Lucinda says: “Of course it does.” ,

Even in the last 10 years … the quality of horses because of their breeding has got even better

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What is the best bit of your job? Being part of a highly competent team with particularly nice colleagues, working in a lovely part of the country, meeting and talking to a huge variety of people, dealing with the top riders and horses in the world – and taking my dog, Otis, to work. Have you had any memorable experiences/last minute disasters?! The most memorable experience was Princess Haya of Jordan’s visit to the Event. Not only is she an Olympic rider herself, but she is a great ambassadress for equestrian sports, supports numerous charitable causes and is utterly charming. Apart from the cancellation in 2012, my worst moment was when I went to get the grooms’ prize money and it had all gone … it took some time to find out that it had been relocated without me knowing. I gained a few grey hairs that day! Which rider/horse combo do you most admire and why? Andrew Nicholson on almost anything, but particularly Nereo. Andrew is a magician, making everything look so easy, and Nereo is a lovely horse (my favourite colour too). Also William Fox-Pitt – he and Tamarillo were formidable together. In days gone by, Gill Watson did well with Shaitan and helped teach me and many others to ride at a higher level. What is your favourite thing about the Event? The start of the Event when everything comes together and all that hard work comes to fruition. Also seeing thousands of people who have come from all over the world enjoying themselves (despite the weather). So roughly how many phone calls do you make during this process?! Impossible to tell! Nearer the Event the phone seems to be clamped to my ear all day. However, over the years I have learnt to multi-task, so a lot of my time is spent with a phone in one hand while doing another job with the other. How do you celebrate the end of another successful Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials? Actually, usually rather quietly – we are all quite tired, so it’s not a riotous party, but a glass of champagne if all has gone well, and a sigh of relief!


''I love New Equine Wear 'Vent-Tex' leg wraps and have relied on their Cross Country and Brushing Boots during many years of international competition'' Mary King

To view our products on Badminton Shop click

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TRADING PLACES

BADMINTON LIFE PROFILES SOME OF THE WIDE RANGE OF TRADESTANDS THAT CAN BE FOUND IN THE SHOPPING VILLAGE THIS YEAR Picture perfect

There’s no denying that the tradestands at The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials are full of some extraordinarily talented people. Artist Daniel Crane will once again be showcasing his skilled brushwork and looks forward to welcoming the Badminton crowd: “I will be displaying some of the best paintings that I’ve produced over the year. I’m proud to show them off at Badminton and it’s always nice to see people coming back again and again, saying: ‘Last year Dan, you had this painting … have you got anything similar?’ People remember. It’s exciting and it’s pretty daunting too!”

Daniel has been trading at Badminton for 19 years and enjoys the pattern of old faces introducing new ones to his work. “I see people who have collected paintings for 20 years and now their sons and daughters collect paintings. It makes you feel very secure and that all is well with the world. “Ninety per cent of visitors that come to Badminton are interested in what I’m painting and, even if they’re not direct participants in hunting or racing, they still enjoy the scenario that is depicted. The biggest kick I can get professionally is that I made somebody happy and they go away thinking: ‘I really enjoyed that.’” It is easy to see how a visit to Daniel’s

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BADMINTON LIFE

I try to capture the broad spectrum of the country/sporting calendar and everything that goes with it


SHOPPING

stand is a highlight for any visitor, as Daniel himself is warm, friendly and quick to laugh jovially. He is a man whose genuine adoration of his craft radiates from him and draws you in. Not only is Daniel a veteran trader at Badminton, his work is a lifelong hobby as well – with “sitting at the kitchen table scribbling away” his earliest memory – and combines his twin passions of painting and hunting. “Growing up on a farm I was always close to hunting and shooting. You largely start painting what you’re surrounded by; you paint life. I have a huge passion for hunting – the humbling honesty of a good dog and a great horse that give you everything. I try to capture the broad spectrum of the country/sporting calendar and everything that goes with it.” Though he obviously enjoys the Event itself, it is the closing feeling that Daniel remembers most fondly. “The abiding memory of every year is driving home after you’ve packed up. You’re absolutely knackered because you’ve worked like mad running up to it, but you have this fantastic warm feeling of being among friends in a home environment.” As for any mishaps? “One night the whole of one wall fell down! It was particularly funny because a friend of mine was sleeping in the stand at the time, which broke the fall and didn’t ruin one painting whatsoever! He was pretty dented though. Other than that,

there’s all sorts of stuff that I could tell you, but you can’t write it!” he laughs. The bright side of life

One of the reasons shopping at Badminton is such a special experience is the eclectic mix of traders the Event attracts. One such stand is Beatrice von Tresckow Designs, whose exotic garments are influenced by Beatrice’s exciting background. Having graduated from Winchester College of Art in 1986, Beatrice started her label in South Africa before setting up her business in England in 1995. Born in India and brought up between Asia and Africa, Beatrice’s designs are inspired by her intriguing formative years: “To live among such fascinating people was so stimulating and I was allowed to roam the bazaars and souks where the amazing profusion of rich colours and textures really got under my skin.” Beatrice’s business certainly keeps her busy, with time to design a luxury: “When I am not selling or on the road I try to prioritise by putting my designing first. I need peace and quiet for it. I am blessed with a fantastic, loyal and experienced team who tackle the administration. From time to time I take on issues which require my personal attention and of course maintain and strengthen my precious relationship with my suppliers.” But her customers are what keep her motivated: “If I am honest, what I love the most is being with a customer. I’m really looking forward to showing off my latest designs at Badminton and meeting new customers, as well as greeting loyal ones when they pass by or drop in for a glass of bubbly!” Who could resist? Now in her 14th year trading at Badminton, Beatrice’s favourite memory was only last year: “2013 was so successful for traders coming in the wake of 2012’s cancellation. The boost w

One of the reasons shopping at Badminton is such a special experience is the eclectic mix of traders the Event attracts

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SHOPPING

The calibre of an Event like Badminton is an absolute must for any designer looking to showcase their product. There is always a fantastic atmosphere of enjoyment

in morale plus the brilliant weather was unforgettable … let’s hope we have the same again this year.” And the worst experience? Beatrice’s attitude, like her clothing, remains sunny: “Just thinking about foot and mouth, the recession and some very soggy Badmintons has me reaching for that bottle, but they all pale into insignificance when there is a cancellation. Too depressing to dwell on!” As Beatrice is based in Cheltenham, Badminton is right on her doorstep, but it’s not just convenience that draws her to Badminton: “The calibre of an Event like Badminton is an absolute must for any designer looking to showcase their product. There is always a fantastic atmosphere of enjoyment (even when the weather is bad) and a wonderful mix of people come to indulge in a truly international Event with its characteristic British style, all set in beautiful grounds.” So why should you go and visit Beatrice’s stand? “I offer a blaze of colour when the skies are grey, warmth when it’s cold and wet outside the stand … and a welcoming glass of champagne regardless!” All that glitters

Harriet Glen designs and manufactures her own jewellery and limited edition bronze sculptures, specialising in equine pieces. She started her business, Harriet Glen Designs, in 1978 when she came over to the UK from Australia. David Walsh has been working for Harriet for almost 30 years and never fails to be impressed by her talent:

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“I got involved in the business due to the outstanding quality of Harriet’s sculptures and her ability to accurately portray the animal form. I still think there is no one better at sculpting animals and for her to be able to sculpt on a scale for jewellery and also full size horses is amazing. “My favourite pieces are her bronze sculpture, Art of Steeplechasing, and her horse head pendant with diamond trails and sapphire.” Though David has been attending and trading at the Event with Harriet Glen Designs for more than 30 years, it never gets dull for him. “Badminton is still the most iconic of the three-day Events – you see everyone! It is held in the most wonderful location and it still attracts world-class competitors. The organisers are real professionals and have not dumbed down the Event.” This, coupled with some special memories, has kept David coming back. “I have fond memories of the crowds on cross-country day basking in the glorious sunshine one year. And I always enjoy meeting people at the Events we go to.” There are some aspects, however, that David would rather forget. “The mud sticks in my mind, but we have always survived monsoon, gales, mud, scorching heat and foot and mouth!” Not easy when you’re handling armfuls of valuable jewellery and sculptures! One thing that often seems to occur to the traders at Badminton is how lucky they are to be able to combine their work, and their passion for it, with the chance to see some life-long friends. David is no exception to this and muses that “meeting up with old friends and showing off Harriet’s new pieces” are what he is most highly anticipating for 2014. Event-goers have a lot to look forward to at Harriet Glen Designs’ stand too. Even if you’re not looking to buy, the display of – as David states – “world class jewellery and sculptures” gives the whole stand an air of an art gallery, where you are welcome to browse the masterpieces on show. But be warned – one of Harriet’s designs is sure to catch your eye! ,


FOOD & DRINK

FOOD FOR THOUGHT! BADMINTON’S FOOD STANDS DRAW EVERYONE IN, FROM THE DIE-HARD HORSE LOVER TO THE DRAGGED-ALONG PARTNER. WHEN IT COMES TO BEING FED AND WATERED THERE IS EVERYTHING YOU WOULD EXPECT AND JUST A BIT MORE. IF YOU WANT AN INDULGENT TREAT, THEN KATIE ROEBUCK OFFERS A HANDFUL OF WHAT TO FIND IN THE FESTIVAL OF FOOD AND RURAL CRAFT MARQUEES

Saint Valentines Liquorice Company

When was the last time you tasted real, quality liquorice? Earling McCracken set up Saint Valentines Liquorice in May 1994 as he saw a gap in the market. Saint Valentines were the first UK liquorice brand since Bassetts. Earling said: “I was familiar with liquorice as I had lived in Norway for a few years and Scandinavians are very keen on it. I saw products I had never seen in the UK. The sole aim was to bring liquorice to public events – there was confectionery here, but not specialised liquorice.” The company first traded at Badminton 18 years ago in 1996. Earling said: “Quite simply Badminton is good trade, it’s a busy one. Our liquorice has always been well received at Badminton, as the shoppers there are an adventurous lot. It is a quality product and we are passionate about it. People have a good rapport with it. We have an established relationship with our regular customers which has been carved through passion and a shared experience. Liquorice like

this wasn’t available when I started out.” There is a nostalgic feel about the liquorice, in particular the root sticks. Earling added: “There is a strong heritage of liquorice here in the UK. People of a certain age reminisce about liquorice from when they were children. It is very unique. Our best seller is an Italian Liquorice twist. I like liquorice root!”

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FOOD & DRINK

Fudge Kitchen

The people who come are really lovely, loyal customers who return to the stand every year

Artisan, handcrafted fudge from Fudge Kitchen now offer an alternative to hot chocolate – Drinking Fudge. This will be at Badminton – just like their wares have been the previous eight years they’ve been at the Trials. Patch Hyde, retail manager, says Badminton is a show favourite which attracts a hardy bunch in both traders and visitors. He added: “It kicks off the show season. The people who come are really lovely, loyal customers who return to the stand every year. We have become part of their tradition, which makes you feel quite special.” As a handmade product, Fudge Kitchen is based in the Rural Crafts tent. Patch said: “We are always next to the jewellery stand and within pleasing ear shot of Ron’s piano. In the past we have had to both drag our equipment through welly high quagmires and set up fans to stop the fudge getting too soft. But come hell or high water, they come and we come! It is a long, hard day, but we still have to head back every night to make more fresh fudge for the next day’s onslaught. In fact, we Condessa Welsh Liqueurs

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use it as an initiation for our new fudge makers. If they can handle Badminton, they’ve got what it takes!” Patch summed up the camaraderie among his fellow traders who have all become friends over the years – he revealed there is always a roaring trade in swapping produce. “Last year was our best year yet, with over 1,000 sales over the five days and – for the record – Belgian Chocolate Swirl is the most popular fudge flavour for Badminton visitors.” Condessa Welsh Liqueurs

Condessa Welsh Liqueurs is a family business. Sally Nelson’s father, Richard Jones, started the company in 1969 making and selling a Welsh cream liqueur. Now Sally, alongside her husband, is involved. Sally recalls how it all began when her father started experimenting with different ingredients. “Richard began with a Welsh cream liqueur. Then he started playing with fruits. He won an innovation award for how he produced the alcohol and it has all progressed from there.” Sally said Richard’s interest grew from the fruit liqueur into different products and methods of making the alcoholic drink; the cream is blended and the fruits are marinated. Richard still formulates new tastes and flavours, and the company has won many awards over the years for innovating fermentation techniques. w


FOOD & DRINK

Selling via the internet has its advantages, but it’s not possible to taste the drinks this way. It’s important for Condessa to get out to shows and events to allow customers to sample their wares and pick a favourite. Condessa has been at Badminton for the last 12 years. Lots of regular customers are from the horse world and have contributed to making Condessa’s Sloe Gin a best seller. Sally said: “We supply our sloe gin to shoot and game people. This was the reason we started going to the equine events. We also have the Sloe-gasm cocktail, which is cherry liqueur, sloe gin and Prosecco. We are known for our Sloe Gin.”

The atmosphere is great, with a super crowd and an abundance of cake lovers – perfect for wandering around the jumps and treating yourself for a good effort!

The Little Round Cake Company

Brian Crowther founded The Little Round Cake Company in 2009. As much as Brian would like to say he discovered his passion for baking while sitting on his Grandma’s knee and visiting fêtes with his mother back in Yorkshire as a boy, he didn’t. Brian said: “I have never craved the accolades of being a celebrity cake chef reminiscing fondly of my childhood days, I just

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wanted to build a team of creative and talented bakers that make mighty fine original cakes that you just want to eat ... and that taste great too!” Brian has been joined by his wife Leanne and a growing team of skilled bakers. The creativity happens at The Little Round Bakery in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, where the team bake thousands of delicious treats each week. Meanwhile, as Brian puts it, his exceptional and passionate customer service team travels up and down the country visiting some of the biggest food festivals, events and farmers’ markets, ensuring as many people as possible get to try the selection of Tweeners, Merangz, Tarts, Brownies and Little Round Cakes. “We booked to come to Badminton two years ago for the first time, unfortunately so did the rain. So last year was our first year. It was so good that we have booked two stands this year. The atmosphere is great, with a super crowd and an abundance of cake lovers – perfect for wandering around the jumps and treating yourself for a good effort!”


FOOD & DRINK

Last year Brian and his team brought their Giant Swiss Merangz to Badminton and served it with strawberries and cream – “they absolutely flew out!” He says their range of flavours is unmatched. “I have to admit, my favourite is the white chocolate and raspberry tart – anyone reading this who tried it last year will agree!” Sipsmith

In a quest for authenticity a crack team of gin experts found each other five years ago and created Sipsmith, celebrating the craft of distillation. Sipsmith has in their armoury ‘Prudence’, a picture of golden pipes and dials. Prudence is the first copper still in London for almost 200 years. She’s been joined by ‘Patience’ and soon there will be another. Sipsmith’s relationship with Badminton is a relatively new one. 2014 will be their third year – but second actually trading – thanks to the rain of 2012. While Sipsmith actively shy away from mass production it has found a home at Badminton – which does what it does on the grandest of scales. Despite the contrast Zoe Zambakides, Sipsmith’s Marketing Director, said: “We feel like there is a lot of philosophical affinity between Sipsmith and the crowd at Badminton: they appreciate labours of love born out of passion and what it truly takes to invest time to create something really special, something that we are exceptionally passionate about.” Sipsmith say there are many parallels between themselves and Badminton; Zoe said: “It’s a wonderful atmosphere, full of genuinely interesting and interested people, with discerning taste.” ,

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BADMINTON LIFE


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Badminton Life 2014  

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