I haven't been for years but a while ago went to Badminton on one of the dressage days, then walked the course. It was brilliant because you can get really close to the jumps (ginormous, all of them) and if you are cunning can tag along with a competitor walking the course - I stalked Paul Tapner all the way round and listening to him talking about lines and strides was fascinating. You then watch the XC on tv and really appreciate what they're jumping. (And it's cheaper too!)
My word you're planning ahead! Yes we never miss Burghley - one of our favourite events. We go on Thursday for shopping and Saturday for Cross Country. We've never been on show jumping day as it is expensive to get a good seat and it can be muddy by then!
Went to Isleham last weekend - Zara, Toddy, Piggy, Pippa etc all there. One of the great things about eventing is you can see all the stars really close up at some of the lesser competitions. Bit like watching Rooney, Beckham and Bale playing at your local village club.
We've been going for 30+ years and I'd never heard of the reserved picnic spot before - looks expensive (in addition to the high cost of going anyway) but seems quite a good idea if you want to know specifically where you will be parked. The key to X Country Day (pushing 100,000 people) is to get there early - we always aim to be there by about 9am. We come up to A1 from the South so are directed through Barnack village. The car park this leads to is past the Cottesmore Leap and you're right in amongst the jumps at the top of the hill. We usually just put all our food/drinks in a rucksack and go off to walk the course. We walk from last to first as it is a little easier if you walk against the crowd but that is personal preference. If horses aren't completing well (as can happen on soft ground) it also ensures you see more jumps. We aim to see at least one horse over every jump and always find nice places to have our snacks - when hot the trees down "avenue of Champions" is nice spot. Also we spend a lot of time watching them jump the Discovery Village complex and often eat our lunch there as natural ampitheatre.
On X Country day the shopping village is always heaving unless you're prepared to miss the most popular riders. (that is why we go on Dressage Day - to do our shopping and eating) Also be aware that the bridge over the lake - one of the main routes in and out - gets very busy towards the end of the day so don't get lulled into thinking you can just walk over it without queuing when the last rider is on the course.
Thanks butkin, we live less than an hour from stamford so shall be hoping to get there for 8.30ish. I think I wouldnt be thinking half as much if it was just me but i'm taking DD (8) and SIL which always puts my blood pressure up! Good to know about the bridge, and the shopping, I'm not too fussed but I think SIL everyone else will want to have a wander round.
I'm going to end up as packed lunch donkey arent I?
Yes I will be there... Hopefully my horse will be competing again this year and so will be there from the Wednesday to watch the trot up and generally settle in. I try and watch a few out on the course but will watch George from the riders/owners tv tent whilst chewing on my nails!!
I'm going for all four days as live in Stamford, can't wait! Just hope we have a better summer weather wise first.. I'm also going to try and get on the sponsored ride around the course (not over jumps) this year! Eek!
My word Denman03 that is so exciting! Yuo say "again this year" - how have you go on before?
Headless don't forget that as well as the hundreds of normal shops there is a fantastic food area where you can buy amazing goodies - often at great prices. If you don't want to be a packhorse you could just buy things there and eat out on the course.
Butkin, he has completed Burghley 4 times and completed several other 4 stars including Badminton. He is entered this year and will hopefully have enough FEI points to get in. I bought a share in him at the beginning of 2012 and last year went to Lumhulen (sp!) and Burghley and had a fantastic time! I cant wait for this year ...His name is Running Brook II
I've not ridden or been to anything horsey in years, but I really fancy this (also thinking of fun things to do on maternity leave), and in so happens that my parents in law live pretty close. I've looked on the website and have a quick, probably stupid question - to watch the showjumping presume I would need to buy an entry ticket and a grandstand ticket, but can just get an entry ticket to watch the cross- country?
Hi Binky, you are correct. You need entry and grandstand for SJ but its just an entry ticket for XC (I think that ticket is most expensive though?), there's lots to see / do even if you're not super horsey so sure you'll have a lovely day. Stamford is also a v pretty town if you do fancy a change of scene.
Thanks for all the tips! frosty that looks so cool! I want one for a tenth of the price binky you can watch everything on the screens outside the grandstand but I think its worth getting tickets, especially if its raining