Horse & Country will be covering all the action at Badminton 2017 this year, with exclusive interviews, backstage web videos and filming for the next episode of Rudall’s Round-Up.

The course

This year there is an all-new course designed by Eric winter, which has been described as ‘chunky’. Be afraid… be very afraid.

As Badminton welcomes a new designer, it also waves a sad goodbye to commentator Mike Tucker, who is retiring from the BBC after 40 years. So who will Mike announce as the 2017 Badminton winner for the last time?

The defending champion

Last year’s champion, Michael Jung is back to defend his title with his faithful old partner La Biosthetique Sam FBW. His win saw him become the second rider in history to win the Rolex Grand Slam and claim the $350,000 bonus.

It was Pippa Funnell who first won this coveted prize back in 2003. That same year she also achieved back-to-back Badminton wins with Supreme Rock – something that hasn’t been done since. Can the reigning Olympic, World and European champion follow her form once again, and do the double?

The contenders

There are a number of top riders hoping to stop Michael, including the 2014 winners Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh.

Andrew Nicholson will be competing – and Badminton is one title that has eluded him. Another experienced name to look out for is the mighty Mark Todd, who has won Badminton an incredible four times – the last time was in 2011. Can he do it again at the age of 61?

Britain also has some serious contenders, with former winner Oliver Townend, Olympic medalists Nicola Wilson and Kristina Cook, and Gemma Tattersall – who came third last year with Arctic Soul. And don’t forget to look out for H&C’s new stars, Danni Dunn and Becky Woolvern who are making their Badminton debut.

The action

You can watch all the action on H&C as we are showing an hour-long highlights programme, as part of the FEI Classics series. FEI Classics: Badminton premieres on Wednesday 17 May.

H&C will also bring you the latest news, as it happens, via Twitter and Facebook, while Rhi Lee-Jones will be there to provide exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. And don’t miss our daily Facebook LIVE videos.

Rhi is also guest presenting Rudall’s Round Up on 15 May, which will show highlights of the popular grassroots event, the Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cup.

Watch the highlights from Badminton Horse Trials on 17 May on Sky 253 or online by subscribing to H&C Play.