Snaffle Travel has enjoyed hosting a tour of Badminton Horse Trials & Royal Windsor Show

every year since 2015 and we look forward to returning in 2023 after a break due to COVID.

Badminton Horse Trials is an iconic event and one of seven 5-star events in the world including Burghley, UK, Luhmühlen Horse Trials, Germany, Les 5 Etoiles de Pau in France, Kentucky 3 day event in the US and the latest event addition is Maryland in the US added last year in 2021.

We still think Badminton is special with all the pomp and pageantry set in the glorious English countryside with over 200,000 spectators.  It has always been one of my favourite horse events in the world.

When it comes to who will win🏆.  You might have a strong favourite but you can never guess who will win each year.  It always comes down to a dropped rail between winning and losing this major 5-star event.🐎

The shopping at Badminton Horse Trials

For those that love retail therapy, shopping is always a highlight and a top priority between watching the dressage and watching your favourite Australian and New Zealand riders compete.  Bargains can be had and the trade village showcases everything from spa baths to hoof picks.  For  Badminton merchandise, Joules offers good quality jackets, vests and clothing.  Dubarry’s is always popular for its fabulous boots and complimentary champagne.🥂

Cross country course walk

One of the highlights is the cross-country course walk and we always try and book a course walk with Lucinda Green for those that are interested.  Lucinda has won Badminton six times on six different horses which is a remarkable achievement. She sets a cracking pace with plenty of humour and provides an informative dialogue around the course.

Cross country day is always exciting and each year a different fence seems to catch a few. We will have to wait until next year to see what the bogey fence will be.

Show jumping day

Early on Sunday morning, we attend the trot up in front of the historical Badminton house.  The atmosphere can be tense when a horse is pulled aside for further examination by the vets.  Afterwards the Show jumping begins and it has proven so many times to provide a different outcome and you just do not know who will win until the very end. Sometimes all it takes is a rail down for the overnight winner to lose their top spot. Spectators sit on the edges of their seats as it is always nail-biting stuff.  I guess we will have to wait until 2023.

One of the highlights is the sightseeing

Sightseeing is another highlight with our tour groups and includes visiting the quaint Cotswold’s villages of Burton and Bourton-on-water, with a walking tour of the UNESCO spa town of Bath and a visit to the beautiful Blenheim Palace.  Sightseeing is a favourite and provides a nice break from the horse events.

London has so much to see and do

One of the highlights in London is a visit to the Royal Mews and the Changing of the Horse Guards at St James Palace. Everyone loves the obligatory photo in front of the horse in the box at the St James Palace entrance.  The Westend shows, visits to museums, more shopping, Harrods and Buckingham Palace to name a few sights in London are all very popular.

After a busy few days in London, we spend two days at the Royal Windsor Show.

Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Royal Windsor show is a little different to Badminton Horse Trials with many more events on offer including the CSI5* Show jumping, CDI4*Dressage, Driving, Showing, Endurance, Pony Club games, Shetland pony races, international entertainment and the evening Pageant* and so much more. *Pageant to be confirmed

The Royal Windsor Dressage competition attracts a stellar lineup

Our group attends on Thursday and Friday with the CDI4* Dressage, attracting riders from across Europe to compete against the best British riders. The Grand Prix, in which all the competitors ride a set test and are scored for each movement, takes place on Thursday afternoon of the Show. The top riders then progress through to the Grand Prix Special, which is set to music.  Local heroes Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin compete here each year so there is always some excitement for those seeing them in action for the first time.

The Queen and the Royal family attend the RWHS

Each year the Queen normally attends with other members of the Royal family.  You are likely to see the Queen near the showing arena watching one of her beloved horses 🐴 competing in the Showing and other members of the family are often sighted.

The 5-star Showjumping attracts the world’s best

In the main arena, the show jumping is held throughout the day and is top class, attracting some of the best riders in the world with large prize monies on offer. The CSI5 attracts many household names like the Whittakers, Scott Brash, and Ben Maher who won gold🥇in Tokyo for Great Britain. Martin Fuchs, Switzerland, Kent Farrington, USA and the world’s number one Peder Fredericson from Sweden are just a few competing here in 2022.

We are looking forward to attending in May 2023 and look forward to welcoming you on our most popular tour.

If you would like to join Snaffle Travel on our Badminton and Royal Windsor Horse show tour in 2023. Contact us by email at info@snaffletravel.com.au or call us on +64 (0) 427 286016.