The organisers of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials have appointed Eric Winter as the event’s new course designer. Winter takes over from Giuseppe Della Chiesa, who designed the course for the past three years but could no longer fit the job in with his other commitments.
Winter, who lives in Chepstow, about 30 miles from Badminton, has a wide experience in course design. A former event rider who completed Badminton in 1991, he has designed the course at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials for the past ten years, during which time he also designed for the Asian Games, two European Pony Championships, a European Junior and a European Young Rider Championship, as well as being Technical Delegate at Badminton between 2011 and 2014.
“It is a great honour to be asked to design the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton course — it is such an iconic event,” said Winter. “I first visited Badminton in 1974 — that was my first ever taste of eventing. In recent years I have been involved in several different roles and have got to know the team behind the scenes very well.
“To be asked to design here is truly a dream come true and I am extremely thankful to all those involved for giving me this opportunity. I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
Della Chiesa joined the organisers in wishing Winter a successful stint at Badminton: “After having had the privilege of designing Badminton for three years, it has been a true honour to have been offered the possibility to continue but, sadly, I am not able to go on due to shifting life priorities and new personal commitments. Being also a true believer in the benefits of changing course designers from time to time I wish Eric all success.”
Image: Tina Cook riding Star Witness across country at Badminton 2016, by Kit Houghton, courtesy of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials