This was Snaffle Travels third tour to Badminton Horse Trials and Windsor Castle and it always keeps getting better with 21 tour participants this year. We added the Royal Windsor Show which was also a highlight with some Royal sightings.
Blessed with beautiful weather with heavy rain the week leading up to Badminton, it was touch and go if the event would go ahead. The ground was like a spring on the cross-country day and this made interesting riding and caused many horses to tire.
The shopping is always a top priority between watching the dressage and the favourite Australian and New Zealand riders. I always like to grab a bargain at Lansdowne and I bought a Badminton vest from Joules. The suitcases were going to be laden.
Lucinda Green offered a cross-country course walk which many of the group joined in and had a great time, although she does set a cracking pace.
Cross country day was an interesting time with only 56 completing the cross-country course and no rider made the time. Scores were very close this year as the double points in the dressage were removed and this meant riders were within a point of each other. This made for interesting results leaving the cross country and show jumping to really sought the riders out.
Show jumping was close and most tipped a rail and we sat on the edges of our seats as it was nail biting stuff. It only took one rail to knock a rider completely out of the competition.
The eventual winner for 2018 was Jonelle Price and Classic Moet, New Zealand and Oliver Townsend and Ros Canter, both from Great Britain in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Princess Anne was in attendance to present the prizes. I always love coming to Badminton every year as there is always a different result. It is such a vibrant event and is one of my favourite horse events in the world.
After Badminton the group enjoyed a day in the Cotswolds, Stratford Upon Avon with a side trip to Bath en-route to London. Sightseeing is always popular for a break from the horses.
It was Royal wedding fever and It was exciting to visit the Royal Mews knowing that in two weeks’ time the horses and carriages would be used for the Royal wedding. What a buzz.
Always popular is a visit to the Changing of the Horse Guards at St James Palace with the obligatory photo in front of the horse in the box at the entrance. The Westend shows, visits to museums, more shopping, Harrods and Buckingham Palace to name a few sights in London.
After a busy few days in London we headed to Windsor this time to attend the Royal Windsor Show.
We attended the show on Friday and Saturday with seating in the main arena. There was a sighting of the Queen at the Fell pony ring on Friday and again on the Saturday which was very exciting. The Show jumping was held in the main arena and this was on during the day with the Grand Prix dressage in the evening. It was quite something to see Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester in person warming up and watching them compete. Previously most had only seen them ride on TV or on Facebook videos. Charlotte Dujardin appeared very cool and collected in the warmup arena. Her horse, Mount St John showed such elevation in the trot which just blew our breathe away. The show jumping was CSI5 and we saw household names like the Whitakers and Scott Brash from Great Britain. Bertram Allen, Ireland and Eric Lamaze, USA.
On the Saturday the Driving marathon was on in the Great Windsor Park with more hunter and hack showing and further Show jumping and excitement.
Sadly, on Sunday it was time to go home until next year…