Better wi-fi, more camping and a new home for riders are some of the promises for the Badminton Horse Trials 2023, and all tickets must be rebooked in advance.
Event Director Jane Tuckwell and Commercial Director Andrew Tucker spoke on the first episode of the Inside Badminton 2023 podcast, hosted by the Equiratings Eventing Podcast, reflecting on the 2022 event and looking forward to this year’s event.
Both said how delighted they were to see everyone back on site for the first time since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic, with Ms Tuckwell adding that it was “like the park was smiling”.
When asked what it took from the past year to perform, Tucker said, “Wi-fi!” He explained that the team knew this was a significant area for improvement and has appointed a new wi-fi contractor, who has been “really impressive in their planning so far.”
The hope is a much better phone signal this year; Ms Tuckwell apologized for the “mobile phone system failure” in 2022, which “was not for a lack of trying”. She said that Vodafone has been in contact, following earlier communication, and is “talking about retaining two masts”, that it is talking to and trusts O2, and that the EE signal was good in 2022.
Badminton TV’s platform will change this year, to what Tucker described as a more personalized one; Existing subscribers were due to receive an email this month about the change, though “nothing will change” other than the need to create a new password, and subscriptions for this year will open in March.
The team has been dealing with rising costs, doing everything they can to not have to pass on a huge increase to spectators and trading posts, and the box office opens this month.
As for the change of day brought about by King Charles’ coronation, which falls on Saturday, Ms Tuckwell said, as previously confirmed, that it will all take place a day later than usual, with dressage on Friday and starting early. on Saturday to allow for a break. for the event, which will be projected on giant screens. Cross country will take place on Sunday and show jumping on Monday, which is a bank holiday.
Ms Tuckwell said she hoped those who want to see the coronation will be able to, and those who just want to see the action will be happy too.
“It will be a great weekend and I think [the coronation] it will add an ingredient,” he said.
There will be some course changes, including “going to terrain they’ve never been on before” for riders, which will be undulating.
“So those of you who come to badminton because it’s flat, might want to start doing some hill work!” said Mrs. Tuckwell.
Advance ticket sales will remain the only way to gain admission; Mr Tucker said this had a huge positive impact on traffic management last year, benefiting all concerned.
Ms. Tuckwell said the campsite has grown in size; it sold out “very early” last year, and she hopes the extra space means more people will be able to stay in the place. A new field has been designated for riders and owners to stay, with more space.
“We are going to bring owners and riders together at a new venue on a large field,” he said. “So I hope everyone can park wherever they want, and I hope everyone enjoys it.”
She added: “We can’t wait to welcome everyone who is part of our family. Roll May!”
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