Monday 13 December 2010

Preparing For The Chaos Of The January Sales

More Meetings!
November & December have been busy months at Badminton – lots of meetings about the ‘behind the scenes’ organisation, some fence building, the appointment of contractors – mostly the same but some new – and preparations for the usually chaotic January, when the Box Office opens, Trade Stands are finalised and the New Year brings thoughts of Spring!

One of the most important contractors for visitors is undoubtedly the firm that provides and services the loos! Here we are making a change to Portable Toilets Ltd, who have vast experience at music festivals but whose first big equestrian event this will be – lets hope they hit the ground running in April. Our site manager Harry Verney does the same job at numerous other events around the country – festivals, motor sport etc – so he was able to advise which firms might be able to cope with our large cowds.

Working Out Where The Cameras Should Go
TV producer Chris Lewis (who has been appointed to oversee the 2012 Olympic equestrian coverage, which is a great feather in his cap and gives us huge pleasure) has made his first planning visit for 2011. He likes to come before most of the fences are built and just concentrates on the locations and whether he can get good coverage within the camera budget. He will be back in March to fix the actual camera positions when the fences are in place and meanwhile the course designer can take TV into account with his designs – for instance ensuring that the most important part of a combination is not going to be viewed from behind!

In late October every year British Eventing hosts a get together of Organisers of international events in Britain, enabling us to discuss FEI Rules, Ground Jury members to be invited, and other matters of mutual interest. In mid December Rudiger Schwarz organises a get together of the 4 star course designers – we all meet in Amsterdam as it is the easiest place to fly to – and last year’s inaugural meeting was really valuable. We could exchange experience and ideas away from the pressure of a real event and there are several interesting items on this year’s agenda. We can all learn so much from each other. Badminton also hosted in early December a get together for BE course designers and builders, focussing on BE90 and BE100 levels, directed by our Technical Delegate Eric Winter and involving James Willis, who designs the Grassroots course here as well as building the International course with his father and other members of the family business.

One exciting new venture that has been agreed recently is the launch of a glossy official Badminton magazine – it will be distributed to all those who book tickets in advance and will contain a mixture of background stories, mini interviews, history of the estate, unusual photographs and other features. Our publishing colleague in this is Archant Dialogue, who we already know well through their magazine Cotswold Life and who publish the British Eventing members’ magazine.

Less Snow Than Last Year | So Far!
The freezing cold and hard frosts have not really held us up at all – we have had a lot less snow than many parts of the country – but chopping up some old dilapidated portable jumps has made a welcome contribution to the stocks for some of our wood burning stoves at home! As I write the Olympia show is about to start and in the equestrian world that means Christmas is just around the corner. Our victorious World Equestrian Games team and all the other medallists will be parading there on Thursday night and the show is sure to be tremendous fun as always.

Happy Christmas, Merry New Year and start booking your tickets in January!!

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