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Posted on May 3, 2019 in Articles

What lies ahead for the Badminton Riders on the Cross Country now Dressage is complete.

What lies ahead for the Badminton Riders on the Cross Country now Dressage is complete.

Article sponsored by Le Jabot and Stock Company


With dressage complete the top ten riders are :


Avg % Pens Diff Marks % Marks % Marks %
1 OLIVER TOWNEND 9CILLNABRADDEN EVO 80.26 19.7 206.0 79.23 213.0 81.92 207.0 79.62
2 OLIVER TOWNEND 97BALLAGHMOR CLASS 78.91 21.1 +1.4 210.0 80.77 211.5 81.35 194.0 74.62
3 TOM MCEWEN 42TOLEDO DE KERSER 75.26 24.7 +5.0 196.0 75.38 199.0 76.54 192.0 73.85
4 PIGGY FRENCH 32VANIR KAMIRA 74.04 26.0 +6.3 188.5 72.50 196.5 75.58 192.5 74.04
5 PIPPA FUNNELL 107BILLY WALK ON 73.53 26.5 +6.8 188.5 72.50 191.0 73.46 194.0 74.62
6 KITTY KING 46VENDREDI BIATS 72.82 27.2 +7.5 189.5 72.88 193.0 74.23 185.5 71.35
7 MILLIE DUMAS 38ARTISTIEK 72.69 27.3 +7.6 191.5 73.65 199.0 76.54 176.5 67.88
8 LAURA COLLETT 69MR BASS 72.44 27.6 +7.9 192.5 74.04 191.0 73.46 181.5 69.81
9 CHRISTOPHER BURTON 16GRAF LIBERTY 72.31 27.7 +8.0 190.0 73.08 192.5 74.04 181.5 69.81
10 ANDREW NICHOLSON 59SWALLOW SPRINGS 72.18 27.8 +8.1 190.0 73.08 191.0 73.46 182.0 70.00


Full results are here 

The most exciting phase is looming and the cross country course that awaits them is certainly no easy task, which is what makes Badminton one of the best events in the world. With £100,000 to the winner the riders will be fighting hard to get a clear cross country round and go in the time!


2019 is Eric’s third year as course designer at Badminton. He likes to change things around and describes this as a different course to what we’ve previously seen from here. One of old fashioned questions but with lots of things for the riders to do!

How big are the fences at Badminton?

The maximum dimensions of the solid obstacles have not changed for many years and are:

Height: 1.20m (3,11″)

Top Spread 2.00m (6’6″)

Base Spread 3.00m (9’9″)

Maximum Drop 2.00m (6’6″)

Brush Fences may be up to 1.45m (4’9″) in height

Many of the fences, especially those sited in “awkward places” are much smaller!

The course is 6697 metres long (about 4.1 miles) and has an optimum time of 11 minutes 45 seconds with a time limit of 23 minutes and 30 seconds. for every second over the optimum time the riders are given 0.4 penalties.

When having a lovely course drive round in one of the Mitsubishi Official Vehicles the first fence that really caught my eye was fence 4a/b/c Savills Staircase. It has an impressive dumbbell log parallel at the top which should produce some amazing jumps but after that its all about quick footwork down the two steps then three strides to the other parallel.

fence 4abc

Fence 4abc Savills Staircase


Fence 10a Shogun Sport Hollow

At Badminton lets face it there is not one small fence or easy combination but the next one that caught my eye was fence 10ab Shogun Sport Hollow.

fence 10a:b

Fence 10b Shogun Hollow

The barn roof is really just dressing but still riders will have to take this into account especially as it is after quite a long galloping stretch so a momentary loss of concentration here could cost the run. The main part of the question is to run down the steep slope over the ditch with enough power and precision to get up the hill and over one of the angled logs.

fence 11:12 second shot

Fence 11/12 KBIS Bridge

12 long route

Fence 12 at the Kbis Bridge should the riders not take the direct route

This is followed by the Kbis Bridge a traditional Badminton fence thats been jumped for years but certainly still not small! There is a longer route if riders are not keen on this type of fence but it will certainly waste time.

fence 13

Fence 13ab – Outlander PHEV Bank

fence 13b

The skinny brush part b of fence 13

Now fence 13ab has been a fence the riders have been mentioning during their interviews after the dressage. The Outlander PHEV Bank has been here a long time but it has a completely new look for Badminton’s 70th anniversary. The step up is still as big and impressive as always but now there is a brush skinny at the bottom. I think it will be one where riders will have to slip the reins and let the horse work it out. This would be a fence that is definitely one to watch and horses will either jump it clean or not.

fence 14

Fence 14 Rolex Grand Slam Trakehner

Fence 14 the Rolex Grand Slam Trakehner is an impressive looking fence and should be a nice breather after what has been a few very big fences and questions.


Fence 15a Hildon Water Pond


Fence 15B Hildon Water Pond

The Hildon Water pond at 15ab is a nice looking fence with the water cascading though it will require some precision riding after that big drop in then a turn to the trough in the middle . There could be a few run outs here if the riders don’t sit up and steer after the drop.

The next big question comes about half way round the course at fence 17abc Mirage Water with a corner over a ditch to another corner. There is a slower route here but even that involves two corners! We may well see a few run outs here as well as it will be hard to predict how the horses will jump the ditch.

fence 19

Fence 19a Nyetimber Heights from the front

19b second shot

Fence 19b Nyetimber Heights

Fence 19ab Nyetimber Heights looks very big from the bottom of the bank and the rails have been replaced with a brush. This will be a serious leap of faith for the horses and that would be ok if it wasn’t for the 4 narrow fences on the other side at a very acute angle this is a multiple choice question for the rider and I guess it will depend on their level of control.

fence 24

fence 24 World Horse Welfare Lake

Fence 24 The World Horse Welfare Lake is a new fence here at Badminton and is a big table with water running along the top and out into the lake. Round the lake there is lots to distract the horses and riders will have to take their time to get parallel to the water to jump this.

fence 26

Fence 26 Wadworth Lower Lake

Wadsworth Lower Lake fence 26 is a very impressive looking fence.

A triple bar coming out of the top of the lake, it should jump well but will certainly need attacking.

There is many more combinations to come after these fences including the Voltaire Design Huntsman Close at fence 28ab with a new look of the silver birch rails. There are three routes through here with the fastest being the right hand route which is a parallel to the big airy spread on the apex of a turn. If riders are down on the clock they may take the gamble here.


Fence 29a Eclipse Cross Chicane

Fence 29ab Eclipse Cross Chicane is another big question with two big brush fences with rugby ball shaped ditches in front of them there is two routes here one is on the angle inside of the tree or they can go a slightly longer route round the outside of the tree.

Since the horses have been galloping over ten minutes now it will depend on how fresh the horses are as to what decisions the riders make on route home to the finish.

fence 30

Fence 30a Horsequest Quarry

Fence 30ab Horsequest Quarry has been part of the Badminton fences for some time but since they are at the end of the course this will make it a very different question since to make a horse shorten and pop this type of fence is much harder towards the end of the course than it is at the beginning!


Fence 31a Hayracks

The last combination on the course is fence 31ab Hayracks. The horses and riders are now three fences from home they are not difficult but the pressure is mounting and they are still big jumping efforts.


This will be an exciting day of cross country and we wish all the riders very successful and safe rounds.

fence 31b

Fence 31b Hayracks

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