Preparing for the unexpected at a major equestrian event

There is more to the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials than dressage, showjumping and cross country, although that is the main pull for the 160,000 people who visited in 2016.

There are opportunities to climb aboard a lakeside bus for a bite to eat, over 275 stalls to shops around, and the option to make a weekend of the whole jaunt with campervans to hire and a host of B&B’s and Hotels to welcome the annual flurry.

Nearly 70 years since the first event took place on the grounds of Badminton House & Estate in 1949, there has been plenty of time to iron out any logistical or operational creases that are to be expected. But what of those that aren’t?

A bad fall from international riding ace Pippa Funnell took her to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxfordshire for two nights of observation and testing, and out of the 2016 Badminton Trials.

Meanwhile, an injury to German rider Ingrid Klimke’s gold medallist horse SAP Escada FRH led to the decision to pull her other four-legged star, Horseware Hale Bob OLD from the 2016 Trails to better prepare him for the Rio Olympics.

And it’s not just the competitors who risk injury in this spectator event. In 1999, one woman suffered a suspected broken collarbone and a man a broken arm when Australia’s Stuart Tinney and Tex ploughed into the crowd barrier.

The world renowned event had to be cancelled in 2012 after torrential rains left the grounds of Badminton completely waterlogged and partly flooded. It may not be enough to cancel Glastonbury, but these conditions present a real danger for both rider and horse. With sponsors, exhibitors, visitors and riders to refund, it’s not a decision that’s taken lightly.

There’s a chance that William Fox-Pitt could have particularly missed out due to the rain. The world number one at the time stood to scoop a £220,000 bonus if he had won that year.

The trials have been cancelled five times since their 68-year run. In 1966, 1975, 1987 and 2012 this was down to the inclement weather. The outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease forced the cancellation of the event in 2001.

Being prepared
These plights can all be covered by proper insurance, whether this is relevant to an individual or an organisation.

Event Insurance can account for the significant financial losses incurred in the result of a cancellation, while Equine Insurance can prepare for unknown future risks including personal accident or injury, personal loss of use in relation to the horse, and third party liability, which can compensate those injured by your horse.

Speak to us about what the right Equine Insurance can do for you.