The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials is one of the most popular and prestigious events in the equestrian calendar and BBC Sport will screen live coverage of the final two days of the 2014 event. The roll of honour at this prestigious event includes the likes of Mary King, Pippa Funnell, Sir Mark Todd and William Fox-Pitt, all of whom will be attempting to reclaim the title over the weekend of May 10-11.
With the World Equestrian Games taking place in Normandy in the summer, the British selectors will be keeping a close eye on proceedings, all staged on the grounds of the famous Badminton House in Gloucestershire.
The Games, to be held in Normandy, take place every four years and are the most prestigious championships in equestrian sport outside the Olympics, and Badminton week provides the perfect preparation.
As one of only six four-star events each year, the five-day Badminton event is one of the sport’s jewels in the crown, representing the truest test of horse and rider across a variety of disciplines, including the famous cross-country course.
With four miles of terrain, 30 fences, 45 jumping efforts and a set time to complete it, it requires speed, bravery, stamina and immense skill to negotiate in the fastest time.
Badminton begins with dressage on Thursday and Friday (May 8-9) and reaches its conclusion on Sunday, May 11 with the showjumping phase, where competitors will jump in reverse order of merit until the winner of the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy is revealed to the thousands of spectators inside the stadium.
The good news for the eighty plus riders who will start the event is that the prize money has had a considerable boost this year, in line with the extremely high standard of the international competitors.
The winner will receive £80,000, up from £65,000 in 2013, and the increases are also reflected in the lower placings, with Badminton priding itself on giving much the highest level of prizes in the world right down to last place.
Badminton has witnessed the world’s best horse and rider combinations compete over the years and 2014 is likely not to disappoint.
BBC Sport will screen extensive live coverage of the 2014 Badminton Horse Trials from Gloucestershire.
The live action begins on Saturday, May 10, with uninterrupted coverage of the cross country test from 11.50am on BBC Red Button.
Then on Sunday, Clare Balding presents a special two-hour programme on BBC Two and BBC Two HD starting at 2.30pm, featuring highlights of the cross country action, followed by live coverage of the finale to the event – the jumping test.
Michael Tucker leads the commentary team during the BBC’s coverage of the final two days of competition.
Horse & Country TV will also be showing comprehensive coverage of Badminton, including coursewalk programmes, dressage and show-jumping highlights, plus extended highlights from the thrilling cross-country phase.
There will also be a one-hour highlights show as part of the channel’s FEI Classics series, while presenter Jenny Rudall will be bringing all the backstage gossip in Rudall’s Round-Up: Badminton.
For further information about Badminton 2014, visit the official website.
.Saturday 10th May DAY 4: CROSS COUNTRY TEST LIVE: 11.50am-6.00pm BBC Red Button Sunday 11th May DAY 5: JUMPING TEST LIVE: 2.30pm-4.30pm BBC Two (Includes Cross Country highlights) Wednesday 23rd May Badminton Highlights 8.30pm-9.30pm Horse & Country TV