Giuseppe della Chiesa says he will be “riding 80 horses” during the cross-country phase of this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
The Italian is in his second year of designing Badminton’s cross-country test, and he has a tough act to follow after making a huge impact 12 months ago.
Although the unpredictable British weather made it tough going for many in wet and windy conditions, della Chiesa won widespread acclaim for the skill of his designing and providing what most pundits acknowledged was a true four-star test.
While competitors prepared to tackle his latest challenge on Saturday, it is also a big day for della Chiesa, watching the best in the world get to grips with what he has presented.
“You hope you have done a good job,” he said, ahead of Saturday’s cross-country action getting under way.
“As a designer, you are not just riding one or two horses, you are riding 80 horses, which certainly makes things a bit more complicated.
“Working here is always a privilege. There is never any stress that something might be difficult to achieve, and I think everything has built well to today.
“The course goes in the opposition direction to last year, but the questions are still there.
“Badminton is an iconic venue, and for a designer, designing the course really is a dream come true.
“It is probably the biggest four-star track in the world – that is the tradition of Badminton – and you also try to put some innovation into it. It is a balance.
“The key thing for a course designer is to watch how horses jump the course and how they understand it. You watch, and you learn.”