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Stay Off the Cross Country Course!

cross country course at badminton, the savills staircase

This has been something I have been umming and ahhing about writing as a blog post as it is just a massive rant! I love attending Badminton, it’s always a fantastic week and I love following all the action. Everyone there is absolutely lovely. But I am really frustrated by the amount of people ignoring the one main rule of NOT walking on the cross country course before the competition!

Yes, I know if you are there for the grassroots championship or the dressage, that this is your only chance to have a look at the course. But you don’t need to walk on the actual course. I am always shocked by the amount of people ignoring the signs to wander onto the course and sometimes even climb all over the jumps for photos! Some people are even bold enough to do this while the riders are walking the course!

This rule is there for a reason. The ground staff work really hard to give the horses and riders the best possible ground for the cross country. But all this hard work can be undone if everyone decided to walk all over the cross country course. In the wet it can cut the ground up, making it muddy and slippery. When it’s dry it can compact the ground, causing more concussive force on the horses legs. So the rule is there to try and help prevent injury.

If you really want to have a good look at the cross country course, go on the Saturday or Sunday, so you can have a good look afterwards. Or if you can’t go on those days, you don’t need to be on the course to get a good look at the jumps. I walked the course outside the ropes on the Wednesday and could see everything and got some good photos of the jumps. Don’t be selfish and ruin it for everyone.

Last Updated on 14/05/2019

2 thoughts on “Stay Off the Cross Country Course!”

  1. A valid rant. I went to Badminton many times as a photographer and a journalist, and there were always spectators doing this. The competitors of course – and their trainers etc., – plus XC officials. One would think riders not competing would respect this common sense request but some ignore that. As press, we had the press day, organised so we could in a controlled way see the fences, but not marching on the prepared going.

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