Gloucestershire pubs and restaurants will have to be on their mettle in a few days’ time – larders stocked, ovens serviced, ready to take on an influx of over 200,000 hungry visitors. It’s time for the Badminton Horse Trials, which take place from May 2nd to 6th just a few miles down the road from our offices here in Yate. Horse lovers from around the world will be making a bee-line for the world-famous cross country course and it’s a great opportunity for all our local eateries.
This year’s event is all the more eagerly anticipated since our dreadful weather forced the cancellation of the 2012 Trials. Advance ticket sales are already breaking all records and 2013 promises to be the most exciting Trials yet. The riders taking part include the Olympic bronze, silver and gold medal -winning teams from New Zealand, Britain and Germany – the latter headed by the reigning world, Olympic and European champion, Michael Jung. Out of the 150 entrants who have applied, only 85 will be chosen, based on their most recent form. The riders will complete the four mile course in about 11 minutes – tackling 30 obstacles at an average speed of over 22mph.
While the Cross Country Test on Sunday is the main event, attracting one of the biggest attendances of any outdoor event in Europe (you can watch it live on the BBC’s red button from 12.20pm to 5.45pm), there is something for everyone over the long weekend. Friday and Saturday are Dressage days when all riders have to demonstrate obedience, discipline, accuracy and elegance in a series of 26 movements. Then, after Sunday’s Cross Country Test, Monday is all about speed, accuracy and agility in the Show Jumping Test. Riders accumulate point for all three disciplines.
Fast and Furious
In complete contrast to the power and scale of the cross country, Badminton also hosts one of the qualifying legs of the annual Shetland Pony Grand National, held at the Olympia Horse Show every year. Only ten mini riders (aged between nine and thirteen and below 5’1”) will get through to compete, so the racing between these budding jockeys will be fast and furious. The Shetland Pony Grand National has so far raised over £400,000 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
So if your pub or restaurant is within striking distance of Badminton, don’t leave your good reputation to chance. We have to respond time and again to kitchen owners whose ovens have developed a fault right in the middle of a busy service. If you and your reputation rely on Rational ovens to deliver top quality results every time, give us a call and we’ll help you to make sure that, like the horses and riders at Badminton, they are kept in peak condition.