So, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials is over for another year. Whether you were among the crowds who descended on the park or you preferred to lock your front door and glue yourself to the television coverage, if you’re anything like us, this news will leave you with a hungover sense of bereavement – what shining social fixture are you supposed to be looking forward to, now? If you’re struggling to know what to do with yourself, here are a few suggestions to get you out of your funk…
- Ride your horse It’s a truth universally acknowledged – at least within the equestrian world – that riding your horse is a sure-fire way to cure all ills. This includes the feeling of despair that your favourite weekend of the year is now behind you. So tack up, make the most of the sunny weather and take your horse for a blast. If you want to pretend you’re Jonelle Price galloping Classic Moet around the cross-country course while you’re doing so, we won’t judge.
- Rewatch the coverage Even if you were there in person, take the opportunity to rewatch the action from the comfort of your sofa. Watching how the riders tackle each tricky question asked of them is a fantastic learning opportunity, especially when it’s combined with knowledgeable commentators who can impart their own pearls of wisdom. Doing your bit to help keep viewing figures high is also a great way to show broadcasters that there’s still a demand for equestrian sport. BBC iPlayer currently has a full, two-part highlights programme, plus extended coverage of the cross-country and showjumping phases.
- Go eventing Don’t forget that, while it’s probably the most well-known, Badminton is just one of many amazing eventing fixtures on offer each season. The season barrels on full-tilt with Chatsworth International Horse Trials (11–13 May) this weekend, which includes the first leg of the Event Rider Masters 2018 series, closely followed by numerous other fixtures up and down the country throughout the summer. Your favourite riders will be out in force almost every weekend, bringing on their stars of the future or preparing the big boys and girls for their next top-level outing, so filling that Badminton-shaped hole in your life is easier than you might think.
- Remember that next year’s Badminton is less than a year away! Next year’s competition runs from 1–5 May, so get it in your diary now to avoid any awkward double-booking. You’ll be drinking Pimm’s in the park again – or sheltering from the rain, but let’s try to be optimistic – before you know it!
If you missed any of the Badminton action, check out Horse&Rider’s end-of-day reports of each phase.
Image credit: Kit Houghton / Mitsubishi Motors