The Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton gives us mere mortals a chance to compete at one of the most famous sporting venues in the world. So how can you qualify to take part and what can you expect at the event? H&C spoke to British Eventing to find out.
What classes are there?
There is a BE90 Championship and BE100 Championship. The maximum height in BE90 is 95cm in the showjumping and 90cm in the cross-country. In the BE100 showjumps are no bigger than 105cm, while cross-country is up to 100cm.
You can expect the cross-country at Championship level to be suitably challenging, with technical combinations and varied terrain. This is Badminton after all!
How can I qualify?
The qualifying process begins over a year before the Mitsubishi Motors Cup (MMC). First you need to finish in the top 10% in a BE90, or the top 20% of a BE100 at a British Eventing competition, between 1 July to 30 June.
This then qualifies you for the Regional Finals, which are held all around the UK from August to October. The top 20% at each event qualifies for the MMC the following spring.
If you want to qualify for Badminton 2018 you only have until 30 June to secure your place in the Regional Finals. After this date, any qualifiers will be for the Regional Finals next year, for the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Cup.
What happens at the Championships?
The dressage phase is held on the first day of competition and the following morning. Day two then moves on to the showjumping before the final cross-country phase, which takes riders around the Badminton Estate. They even get to ride past the beautiful house and through the famous lake.
Riders receive support throughout the event, and at this year’s competition riders enjoyed a cross-country walk with former eventing performance manager Yogi Breisner.
Competitors with the lowest score, after all three phases, will be crowned the BE90 or BE100 Champion in a mounted prize giving in front of Badminton House.
What do they win?
The prizes are pretty impressive! Both winners are given a new Mitsubishi car for a year as well as prize money, trophy and commemorative plaque to keep.