EQUESTRIAN: Badminton Horse Trials to revert to Sunday finish from 2014

This Is Wiltshire: Badminton Horse Trials director Hugh Thomas Badminton Horse Trials director Hugh Thomas

THE Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials will revert to its original Thursday to Sunday schedule from 2014, it was announced today.

The event will also move to the weekend after the May Bank Holiday, with the 2014 dates being May 8-11.

This year's Badminton was cancelled due to heavy rain leaving the estate waterlogged, but Trials organisers revealed reverting to the orginal schedule was in part due to the signing of a new contract with the BBC to cover the world-famous event through to and including 2016.

2015's trials will take place on May 7-10, with the 2016 event on May 5-8.

Director of Badminton Hugh Thomas said: "We are of course very pleased to continue our unbroken coverage with the national broadcaster.

"There is always a knock-on effect when big sporting dates change, but equestrian enthusiasts and our many exhibitors will be happy that the Royal Windsor Horse Show has also moved one week later so there will be no clash.

"We will also avoid any future clashes with the Kentucky four-star event and our loyal spectators will be thrilled to revert to a Sunday finish.''

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater added: "We’re delighted to extend our deal with the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials through to 2016, taking coverage of the sport through on into the Rio Olympic year.

"Badminton has been covered by the BBC since 1956, we’re pleased to be able to continue this and have the opportunity to give it the scheduling that it deserves.''

The 2013 event will be sponsored by Mitsubishi Motors for the 22nd consecutive year and their current agreement with Badminton runs to at least 2015.

It also includes the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships which take place the day before the International Horse Trials starts.

The 2013 dates for the Trials are Friday, May 3 to Monday, May 6, with cross country on the Sunday.

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN tHURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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