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The story behind the brand new Badminton Horse Trials trophy

  • The 2022 Badminton Horse Trials winner will be the first person to lift a new trophy created for this year’s event, presented by Mars Equestrian.

    Award-winning sculptor Judy Boyt created the new trophy, using materials from the Duke of Beaufort’s estate.

    “It’s been a huge honour and I’m very lucky, I know I am, but it has been hard keeping it a secret for two years and I am so pleased that everyone can see it now,” said Judy, who also sculpted the Mitsubishi Motors trophy, awarded between 1992 and 2019.

    Judy was commissioned in September 2019 and had been racing to finish the design, working one-handed owing to a bout of shingles, when the pandemic hit.

    The design nods to the modern sport, while honouring its history with the names of past winners hidden in a secret drawer.

    “We very much wanted to keep a link to the previous trophy, so you will see that it is again three horses, performing the three eventing disciplines, but with up-to-date tack and equipment,” added Judy. “For instance, the dressage and showjumping horses are wearing ear muffs and I have re-created the modern stirrups and boots. I’ve had to do a lot of research!”

    The silver used for the trophy includes pieces from Badminton House, which were added to the mix. The plinth was made by Marc Stevenson, of Stevenson Brothers Rocking Horses, using timber from an old oak tree in Badminton Park.

    The names of all previous winners, from John Sheddon in 1949 to Piggy March in 2019, are archived in a secret drawer within the plinth.

    “We didn’t want the past winners to be forgotten,” said Judy. “It was very important to preserve the link with the past and with Badminton Estate.”

    The 2022 Gloucestershire five-star runs from 4 to 8 May.

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