So, this year we were a little worried about what Badminton would be like for us…not only is May usually the busiest time on the farm for harvesting grass but we had committed ourselves to exhibit at both Badminton and Windsor back to back. Ensuring the team aren’t burnt out doing both shows we decided to send less people to Badminton in order to save some for Windsor and try and get all the work done at home on the farm too.
With less people and a bigger stand to put together we headed south west to the most prestigious horse trial in the world. Arriving slightly later than planned on the Tuesday afternoon the stand build up went surprisingly well, no hiccups and all looked great when we finally headed for our accommodation at 8pm. Ordering a pizza from the local takeaway and doing a mad trolley dash around Sainsburys on the way back to our home for the week we planned for the week ahead.
Wednesday came and went with nothing out of the ordinary happening on the stand we gave out goodie bags and chatted with customers while renewing acquaintances with the fellow traders around us. We love exhibiting in the World of the Horse Marquee because it all feels like one big family.
Thursday was another fairly steady day on the stand, the highlight of this day was that right at the very end of the day one of sponsored riders, Ros Canter managed to bag 1st place in the dressage.
The excitement continued right through Friday, people were popping by the stand just because of the connect with Ros and I even got to walk the course with Ros’ manager who just happened to be her mum and learn a few tips for the x country on the Saturday.
Saturday usually the busiest day of the event was going to be tough, we were two members of the team short to what we usually have so we had been busy making goodie bags up in advance and preparing during the week. The first few hours in the World of the Horse Marquee were manic goodie bags were going out left, right and centre but as soon as the x country started people flocked to the course to enjoy the glorious sunshine and the first-class entertainment of Badminton. More banter with the other traders and a flurry of visitors at the end of the day and it was time for home.
Sunday was an exciting day again, the buzz around the event was intense, would Oliver Townend win the grand slam? Could relative new coming to Badminton Ros Canter beat her previous years 5th placing? Who knew? The stand was incredibly busy for a Sunday at Badminton, and there was lots of very pink people to be seen after the beautiful sunshine we had had the day before but everyone was in great form. We abandoned the ship with a skeleton crew at 2.45pm to go and Watch Ros show jump, minutes later we were delighted to see our Brand Ambassador placed 3rd at the biggest Horse Trials in the world. The atmosphere back on the stand was fantastic and as we were all so jubilant following Ros’ success the breakdown went at treat and the prospect of the drive home didn’t bother us. In fact, we were so chilled out that we stopped at the wonderful Gloucester services on the way back to Lincolnshire and sat outside in the sunshine enjoying the lovely evening.
We were straight back to reality when we got home though, the van needed to be unloaded and repacked to head to Windsor Tuesday morning but that’s another day’s story.