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PonyGal08
Jan. 18, 2010, 10:49 AM
Just bought my tickets... :cool: Any advice?? Thanks!!!! :)

Gryhrs
Jan. 18, 2010, 12:01 PM
HAVE A BLAST! My husband and I went a couple of years ago and loved every minute. We found a hotel that provided shuttle service to the Park which was lovely. If you have been to Rolex, just follow the same drill....comfy, waterproof shoes...(hopefully you will need) sunscreen....hat with brim. Bring a credit card with big limit as the shopping is fabulous! Just don't make my mistake and get caught up in the moment and buy a pair of Ariats there....much cheaper here...which I realized doing the calculaton later in my hotel room:)! Oh well, only live once.

PonyGal08
Jan. 18, 2010, 12:57 PM
Thanks so much! If you don't mind my asking... what hotel did you stay at? Please PM if you wish. I'm very excited!!:D

RiverBendPol
Jan. 18, 2010, 02:00 PM
WE STAYED IN A B&B WE FOUND ON THE BADMINTON SIGHT. A WONDERFUL MAN NAMED ALEX...HANG ON, LET ME SEE IF I CAN FIND HIM...HE WAS A STEWARD AT THE EVENT SO HE SET OFF EACH MORNING IN HIS BOWLER HAT AND PLUS-4S. IN THE EVENINGS, THE TV (TELLY) SHOWED THE ENTIRE DAY'S EVENT. Oh sorry for the caps...Too much to redo!
Be sure to rent the ear phone, you get fantastic play by play description throughout the day. The shopping is to die for, you may walk the whole course. Do get assigned seating for D and SJ. I can't find the guy's name now but he was almost across the street from the main gate. You can surely find B&Bs all over the place. Everyone has at least one room to let during the horse trials. Yummy local pubs as well.

OH JEEKERS I WISH I WAS GOING!

nomeolvides
Jan. 18, 2010, 03:32 PM
Waterproofs! If you haven't got them you can almost guarantee it will rain :lol:
When the XC is over you can go right up to the fences, walk the course etc. I love doing this and comparing the different tracks that have been taken.
The Vicarage Ditch area is usually quite a good vantage point if you have a picnic... we usually eat lunch around there as you can see quite a few fences from one spot.
Have a great time!

pixietrix
Jan. 18, 2010, 03:39 PM
we went twice, good grief, about 12-15 years ago, had an absolute blast, weather was all over the place. I took every catalog I could get my hands on for stuff in the US, found the best prices, then kept my "cheat sheet" with me for stuff sold by the vendors there. I took my husband's hockey bag & came back with it full. Stuff like Wellies that come from England anyway!

another customer of B & Bs, they just don't tend to turn the heat on.....:lol:

we are sort of planning a return visit, they were really fun trips.

OneDaySoon
Jan. 18, 2010, 03:48 PM
Went in 2008 and stayed at Hare and Hounds. Really nice and not too far. Beds were not great, but loved the hotel (see link below).

Always plan on rain, mud and cold.

I really loved the 1st vet inspection - the horses were just AMAZING! Also went and watched them working out the day before - no crowds and so many famous faces trotting by. I climbed inside the ropes and walked the XC that day as well - you are not supposed to, but there were few people around and to get up close to those jumps was worth the risk of humiliation. We spent the extra money for the club level tents - we were ring side drinking champagne for the show jumping. Couldn't see as much, but the atmosphere was very cool.

http://www.cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk/property/hare_and_hounds_hotel

Enjoy!!!

nomeolvides
Jan. 18, 2010, 04:04 PM
another customer of B & Bs, they just don't tend to turn the heat on.....:lol:
Heat on... in MAY?! :eek::D
I usually go to Badders every year and this is the first year in ages that I can't- gutted!

TxEventer81
Jan. 18, 2010, 04:15 PM
ooo I'm planning to go too! This will be so much fun!!! :winkgrin: I wonder if any American riders are planning on going??? I know Rolex is the weekend before and a qualifier for WEG, so I don't have high hopes. Geez time will drag on until I know who has entered... :lol:

Janeway
Jan. 18, 2010, 04:54 PM
I went several years ago and just loved it! Stayed at a private home within walking distance of the event (they had listed their home on the Badminton website which is how I found them).

Definitely, definitely recommend all weather gear - it poured torrentially for two days and then got hot and sunny! and be very prepared for mud! :winkgrin:

Signed up for a course walk with Lucinda Green on the Thursday dressage day, and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are usually a few offered by various riders.

I'm totally jealous you are going! I haven't made it back yet. Tried to go to Burghley but the costs of travelling to Europe at that time of year was too crazy!

mugsgame
Jan. 18, 2010, 07:07 PM
Badminton is a great event - I usually go on dressage day as less people around and less of a queue in the Pimms tent! This year have free entry so will see what I fancy. Might do dressage and Sjing.

Old Dairy Saddlery is really good. They usually have really good sales. I love http://www.horsehealth.co.uk/ its like a pharmacy for the horse! I just trawl deciding on shampoo when I am at their stall.

My other advice is to trawl online at places like www.equestrianclearance.co.uk and www.premierequine.co.uk and order online and get them sent to your B&B! They are fantastic websites which offer high quality goods very cheaply. If you order in advance and time it they should arrive just right.

I am really lucky as live an hour away from it.

pixietrix
Jan. 18, 2010, 10:34 PM
Given the fact it was about 40 degrees ( or whatever they call it in English temperatures) and everything we had was soaked & cold. So, a little heat would have been nice, our stuff didn't dry til we were stateside!! Still had a blast, cold or not....

JennieRose
Jan. 19, 2010, 05:45 AM
Oooh, some friends and I have talked about going this year! So excited! Has anyone been to the other big events? (Badminton? Burghley? Blenheim?)

RiverBendPol
Jan. 19, 2010, 08:04 AM
Oooh, some friends and I have talked about going this year! So excited! Has anyone been to the other big events? (Badminton? Burghley? Blenheim?)

I went to Blenheim this past year. It was heavenly. What a gorgeous event. The XC track was open, rolling, no horse traps, huge galloping fences, every horse had a smile on its face as it flew by me. Very relaxed atmosphere, happy people, happy dogs, happy horses. My sister lives about an hour's drive from there so I slipped away from the family visit for a day of horses. Perfect.

JennieRose
Jan. 19, 2010, 08:38 AM
Hmmm. I may try and go to both then. I'm not sure how long we're going to live in the UK, and I don't want to miss anything!

RiverBendPol
Jan. 19, 2010, 10:30 AM
Hmmm. I may try and go to both then. I'm not sure how long we're going to live in the UK, and I don't want to miss anything!

You're LIVING there??? How come? Where, what are you doing, tell all. :) I'd die to live there. Every time I go see my sister I threaten to stay!!

Jazzy Lady
Jan. 19, 2010, 10:47 AM
I would move there too! I was only in London recently, but I loved it!!!!

JennieRose
Jan. 19, 2010, 10:54 AM
You're LIVING there??? How come? Where, what are you doing, tell all. :) I'd die to live there. Every time I go see my sister I threaten to stay!!

Haha. I got lucky and married an English guy. A totally non-horsey English guy, but at least it got me geographically closer! :D

I LOVE it. I'm not ideally situated for trainers (the "north" isn't quite the eventing mecca), but I am SUPER excited about these events. And, I have found this awesome trainer who has been around FOREVER--he used to fit up and train a lot of "the" horses (Gurgle the Greek! The horse that went UNDER the trakehner! And Blue Jean and a bunch of others.) He's 70 something, and I love him to bits.

I would love to meet up with any COTHers that are going!

Kanga
Jan. 19, 2010, 11:55 AM
JennieRose-

The north is covered with some of the best eventers in the world. I lived in Yorkshire for many years. GO to the Yorkshire Riding Centre, the Bartles are amazing...You can't find better trainers then them in the world.

To the OP-I've been to Badminton, Burghley, Blenheim and Bramham all many times. The best advice is to bring as much money as you can to shop!! You will find things you can't find in the USA and not even know you need it until you see it!!

Expect rain & mud! Go on the course walk with Lucinda if you can...It is worth it!

Have a great time!!

JennieRose
Jan. 19, 2010, 12:32 PM
JennieRose-

The north is covered with some of the best eventers in the world. I lived in Yorkshire for many years. GO to the Yorkshire Riding Centre, the Bartles are amazing...You can't find better trainers then them in the world.
!

Oh, I know! And I am saving my pennies (and have, ahem, thoroughly corrupted a formerly non-horsey friend into agreeing to go with me!), but they are over two hours away from where I am, so it doesn't really work for a home base :). I mostly meant that, because I live in Manchester, I have to trek a ways to get to instruction (especially eventing specific instruction), and I don't have my own horse (yet..) so that also affects it!

I cannot wait to go to the YRC though!

jumponit
Jan. 19, 2010, 01:01 PM
I went with two friends a couple of years ago and had a blast. We were short on cash, so we brought a tent and camped in the field right across the street. We became known in the campground as the crazy American girls because we had this tiny tent with three of us, and we ate bread and cheese for dinner every night because we had nothing to cook food on.
The event is beautiful, and the shopping is amazing, have fun!

nomeolvides
Jan. 19, 2010, 01:42 PM
I mostly meant that, because I live in Manchester, I have to trek a ways to get to instruction (especially eventing specific instruction), and I don't have my own horse (yet..) so that also affects it!
Apparently Cheshire has the most number of horsey professionals outside of Newmarket. Losing events at a rate of knots though :eek: And I can't even imagine trying to find eventing instruction without your own horse in Manchester, must be pretty difficult hey?

JennieRose
Jan. 19, 2010, 03:07 PM
Yes! And when Google tempts me by saying things like Somerford Park are only thirty minutes away, it is just fibbing to upset me (more like 45 min to an hour). Cheshire is gorgeous though, and I get the feeling there are a lot of trainers on private yards that I will just have to wait until I get an intro or meet them some other way.

That said, I'm still thrilled to be so close to Badminton and Blenheim. And can't wait until I get more plugged into eventing here (I've already volunteered for a local BHS committee, but it doesn't appear there are a ton of eventers involved).

Olga Rose
Jan. 19, 2010, 06:54 PM
I went in 1991...the year the Irishman won. What an amazing experience. We got lost trying to find our hotel in Bath so we ended up staying at a bed and breakfast in a small town/village called The Shoe.
I remember being able to walk everywhere, very little restrictions, though I am sure it is nothing like that today. I was standing along the railing in the showjump warm up area and Ian Stark was riding Glenbournie and leading Murphy Himself...he saw me frantic for a photo so he walked over and flashed a huge smile while I clicked away.

mugsgame
Jan. 20, 2010, 11:37 AM
[QUOTE=JennieRose;4628676]Yes! And when Google tempts me by saying things like Somerford Park are only thirty minutes away, it is just fibbing to upset me (more like 45 min to an hour). Cheshire is gorgeous though, and I get the feeling there are a lot of trainers on private yards that I will just have to wait until I get an intro or meet them some other way.
QUOTE]

Are you on facebook? There is a page for volunteers wanted for British Eventing to go jump judging. Also contact places like Somerford direct this is how I end up dressage writing at lovely events such as Aldon. Also I can recommend going to Horse & Hound Online especially competition riders as a very friendly forum and you can ask if anyone in that area would like a groom for the day. I have met loads of people though offering my services. People are so pleased to have someone who is interested to talk to!
I competed at Blenheim last year in the riding club event - it was a lovely event and best of all a few friends were in the 3* so was able to say hello and wish them luck. Nothing beats Badminton for me. Though if you have the inclination the French events are fabulous!

JennieRose
Jan. 20, 2010, 12:35 PM
Mugsgame
THANK you. I will go investigate. I only recently got my UK driving license (mostly to drive to horse related things), so I'm looking for places to go!

goeslikestink
Jan. 20, 2010, 03:49 PM
Mugsgame
THANK you. I will go investigate. I only recently got my UK driving license (mostly to drive to horse related things), so I'm looking for places to go!

you will love it matey
there a re a few of us from uk on here your best one to ask for anything to see up north is thomas 1 hes on the borders of england and scotland he also has holiday homes aswell where as i am down south
we have hickstead hoys, pycombe , goodwood, winsor, and many more and lucinda does clinics a ll over the one she uses a lot this way is www.hoplands.co.uk
there are many x/c courses all over uk and show jumping, addington manor is in birmingham and hold major show jumping events as ewll as bhs as to whats on and where go to british eventing www.bef.co.uk or www.britisheventing.com list all major events and also clinics in your area

mugsgame
Jan. 20, 2010, 04:52 PM
This is the facebook site.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=101696573695

Personally speaking to event organisers direct works really well and offering services. If you can get it xc control is fascinating.

The Buntines run a lot of events
http://www.bedeltd.co.uk/ They are fantastic too volunteers - really friendly and keep you well fed.

This will help you find events close to you.
http://www.britisheventing.com/asp-net/events/Fixture.aspx?year=2010&section=200&itemTitle=Event+Calendar

Lionheart
Jan. 21, 2010, 02:03 AM
I went to Badminton in 2008. We stayed in a Holiday Inn I think in Bath? We got a "handicapped" accessable room (they had it open and it was actually cheaper for the night - we booked at the hotel on Friday night). The bathroom was HUGE! Of course to be handicapped accessable.

Honestly, I've been going to Rolex since maybe 1998 and I like Rolex WAY more. I just think the jumps here are nicer to look at than... Log, Log, Table, Logs...

Not to mention all the riders I wanted to see weren't competing or doing well. I so badly wanted to see Pippa Funnel ride since she's not been back to the US after winning the Grand Slam. She had a stop at fence 6 and retired. on course. Crap...

What I will recommend... Oh my gosh someone was selling the most wonderful liquorice in one of the "crafty" tents when we first walked in. Like 30 different flavors. I got one and my husband got one on our way out. Had we known how good it was, we would have gotten so much more. We took little bites off the long rope during the rest of our trip in England trying to make it last.

There is a lot of shopping, but i think the cost, when you convert it, is crazy! I saw some studs that were interesting but no one could confirm if they would work in our country (size of drill/tap holes), so i wasnt going to pay what was going to be $4USD per stud to maybe not have them fit.

Enjoy!

nomeolvides
Jan. 21, 2010, 05:15 AM
Honestly, I've been going to Rolex since maybe 1998 and I like Rolex WAY more. I just think the jumps here are nicer to look at than... Log, Log, Table, Logs...
To be fair, Badminton isn't really Log, Log, Table, Logs is it? I've never felt that Badminton is a boring course to look at, anyway.

RiverBendPol
Jan. 21, 2010, 07:12 AM
To be fair, Badminton isn't really Log, Log, Table, Logs is it? I've never felt that Badminton is a boring course to look at, anyway.

No, it is a gorgeous, huge, difficult, varied course.

If you are a shopper, I recommend making a list *before you leave the comfort of your own desk* of vendors you know you want to see. The trade fair is enormous and it is easy to get lost there!

Lionheart
Jan. 22, 2010, 02:07 AM
I wish i was the computer savvy one of my marriage, but i'm sadly not. I video taped EVERY SINGLE XC JUMP from 2008. I'm glad to say I went, but wouldnt specifically go back for it.

For us it was a 10 year wedding anniversary gift from my mother. We had just imported a Cleveland Bay colt from Wales that February. So... We did 2 days in London because my husband has never been there, rented a car (oh good lord!) and drove all the way across the continent to the coast of Wales where we were at the stud for 5 days and I got to ride amazing horses in the Irish Sea. Then Friday night we drove to Bath (?), stayed at the Holiday Inn and went to XC day at Badminton on Saturday. Saturday night we drove to Salisbury to meet friends we've only talked to on the internt... Stayed with them till the wee hours of Monday morning when we had to go back to Heathrow to catch our flight home. A most memorable trip! But moreso because of other parts than Badminton.

A few words of advice if you're going to be driving in the UK.
#1 Get an AUTOMATIC car! You do not want to be driving in the wrong side of the car, on the wrong side of the road AND have to shift with the wrong hand!

#2 Passenger needs seditives/tranqs (this would be me!)

#3 Get a Sat Nav (this is what they call things like a Garmin) Hertz has them. There are all these Round Abouts (suicide circles) and the only way to keep from going in circles forever is to have a navigator (on tranqs) in the (wrong) passenger seat telling the driver where to get off. (M4)

The scenery is gorgeous there. I truly loved the entire trip. Take the time to enjoy more than just the event.

Cheers!

nicbarker
Jan. 22, 2010, 04:06 AM
There are all these Round Abouts (suicide circles) and the only way to keep from going in circles forever is to have a navigator (on tranqs) in the (wrong) passenger seat telling the driver where to get off.

:cool::lol:

Sorry folks, we just have them so that you visitors can keep us amused :lol:

TxEventer81
Jan. 24, 2010, 02:36 PM
Not that I've been before, but in my research for my trip this year:

Stallion parade on Saturday May 1st... My little filly's sire will be in it, so I'm very excited and will definitely be there for that! :D

Also someone mentioned Lucinda Green's course walk... I found some info on it for Badminton and Burghley though I don't think I will be able to reserve a spot since I don't have a checking account with Sterling... so I hope there's enough spots on the day of.

http://www.petplanequine.co.uk/events/lucinda-walks.asp

equestrianerd
Jan. 25, 2010, 09:59 PM
I'm moving to London next week, so I'm planning on going to Badminton this year! I've never been to Rolex, so I'm really looking forward to seeing a 4* event. :D Just need to figure out how to get there from London without a car...

JER
Jan. 25, 2010, 10:32 PM
A few things:

1. Badminton is exponentially more impressive than Rolex. Food, shopping, number of entries, atmosphere, course, commentary, etc.

2. If you rent a car in the UK, be very, very cautious when using a sat-nav system. As in, review your route on a conventional map first. Sat-nav systems have a habit of putting drivers onto tiny, tiny rural lanes that may not be very accessible. These same sat-navs put huge lorries onto these same narrow paths. It's bad enough that you're on a 4' wide 'road' with bramble hedges on either side scraping the paint off your rented vehicle but when you also have an HGV lorry bearing down on you at high speed, it's time to close your eyes and think of England.

3. Driving on the 'other' side of the road is very easy if you stick to one basic principle: the driver sits toward the center of the road. When you turn, think about your turn in terms of the driver's position staying to the center of the road.

(And do get an automatic -- you will have to request this specifically or you'll get a manual.)

4. To become an expert at roundabouts before you arrive in the UK, spend a day or two in Massachusetts. More specifically, go to the nightmare 'rotary' at Fresh Pond Circle near Cambridge, preferably at rush hour, and if you survive that, drive the 15 or so miles west to the rotary in West Concord in front of the prison. If you can navigate these two circles of hell, the UK will be a breeze. Unlike in Mass., English drivers follow the law, don't try to kill people, and actually use turn signals.

:)

His Greyness
Jan. 25, 2010, 11:59 PM
In Britain, Value Added Tax (VAT) at a rate of 17.5%, is included in the price of most things you might buy, especially horsey things. This Tax can be refunded to you if the store/retailer you buy from participates in the VAT Refund Scheme and you take what you have bought outside the European Union within three months of buying it. The store will give you a form along with what you buy at full price. Then you have to show the form and the things you have bought to Customs at the VAT Refund desk at the airport before you leave. The Customs Officer validates the form which you must mail back to the store who will refund the VAT you have paid. So buy stuff with your charge card to make refunds simpler. You will find, however, banks have different exchange rates for refunds versus purchases and some stores charge an administration fee for making a refund.
If the horsey item you buy is made in the Far East it's probably cheaper to buy it in the USA. Know you US prices for what you want before you go.
Last time I checked the New Hampshire State Liquor Stores were cheaper than Duty-Free anywhere in Europe but it's been a long time since I checked.
Remember you do not speak English very well. :eek: Numnahs are what you call saddle pads, head collar is the proper name for a halter and a rug is what a turnout blanket should be called.
If you are going to Badminton this year you will be right in the middle of a British General Election. There is more than a small possibility that the present ruling Labour Party will be thrown out in favour of the even more doubtful Conservatives.
Since last May the airlines have raised the lowest cost excursion fares across the Atlantic by about 50% and halved the luggage allowance for those tickets. Use your frequent-flyer miles if you can since those rates haven't changed (yet).
Real Beer is served at cellar temperature through a hand pump from a wooden barrel in a pub to which it has been delivered a few days before on a dray pulled by two Shire horses. :) Mississippi River filtered by Clydesdale does not count as beer. Last time I was at Badminton I got a nice pint of 6X brewed by Wadworth who qualify as brewers of real beer. (http://www.wadworth.co.uk/shire_horses.html)I have been to both Badminton and Burghley multiple times. I now prefer the three star events like Blenheim, Gatcombe and Barbury Castle because the crowds are smaller and the competitors mostly the same.

For an idea of British prices for horsey things you can check out the TDS Saddlers website (http://www.tds-saddlers.com/default.asp) or Ride-Away (http://www.rideaway.co.uk) or Robinson's (http://www.robinsons-uk.com/) at the less expensive end of the market.

JennieRose
Jan. 26, 2010, 11:08 AM
I'm moving to London next week, so I'm planning on going to Badminton this year! I've never been to Rolex, so I'm really looking forward to seeing a 4* event. :D Just need to figure out how to get there from London without a car...

Isn't moving to the UK the best? :) I *think* we are going to go the Saturday to ogle the dressage and shopping, camp (in a friend's nearby yard) that night, and then devote ourselves to XC on Sunday. I'm not sure about the transport, I don't think the public transport is very good to Badminton, but you should be able to rent a car.

We are also going to Blenheim and Burghley this year.

(p.s. are you also on UKY?)

JER
Jan. 26, 2010, 11:15 AM
I *think* we are going to go the Saturday to ogle the dressage and shopping, camp (in a friend's nearby yard) that night, and then devote ourselves to XC on Sunday.

Before you go, you should know that dressage is on Th and F and XC is on Saturday.

:)

nomeolvides
Jan. 26, 2010, 11:27 AM
Before you go, you should know that dressage is on Th and F and XC is on Saturday.

:)
Not this year! D- Fri/Sat
XC- Sun
SJ Mon

Hopefully be more coverage on the tellybox :D

JennieRose
Jan. 26, 2010, 11:47 AM
Yes, it's different this year because of the bank holiday, or something. I did check like 9 million times with the tickets because it felt wrong though!

equestrianerd
Jan. 27, 2010, 03:42 AM
Isn't moving to the UK the best? :) I *think* we are going to go the Saturday to ogle the dressage and shopping, camp (in a friend's nearby yard) that night, and then devote ourselves to XC on Sunday. I'm not sure about the transport, I don't think the public transport is very good to Badminton, but you should be able to rent a car.

We are also going to Blenheim and Burghley this year.

(p.s. are you also on UKY?)

Badminton's site claims public transport is not really an option. :( Ideally, it'd be nice to find someone to carpool with, as that brings costs down and means I'm less likely to have to drive. ;) (And I'd have company for camping out, which would be a major bonus.) If I have to rent a car and go solo, though, I'll do that. Since I don't plan to buy anything (*cough*), I may opt for Sunday/Monday since I like watching show jumping more than dressage, but we'll see.

And yep, I'm registered with the same s/n on UKY. :)