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A spectators guide to Badminton

Badminton Horse Trials is in sight now so it’s time to get prepared!

If you are a first-time spectator read these top tips to Badminton like a boss!

This honest (and funny) guide is brought to you by BGA member and #Supergroom Helen Tagg.

About Helen

Helen has been working for Sammi Birch for 25 years! Since 1999 Helen’s job description has evolved to compliment how Sammi’s life has changed over the years. 

Working together, Helen and Sammi are truly a team; with Helen showcasing how flexible a groom’s career can be. Helen’s days are no longer just filled with looking after the horses, but also acting as part-time Nanny to Sammi’s children, Charlie (8 years old), and Emilia, (only 11 months).

“I really enjoy combining the two roles and love being able to support Sammi, not only with her riding but also with her gorgeous family.”

Let’s find out what Helen has to say about Badminton...

“I am super excited to be back at Badminton this year. Sammi was 21 years old when she first competed at Badminton and incredibly finished 7th on her amazing homebred, Hunter Red. This year we are very excited to be taking the crazy, but loveable ginger, Finduss PFB (aka, Loopy Louis), back to Badminton for his second time, he finished 25th in 2022 and fingers crossed we can improve on this.”

Helen’s TOP TIPS

“As a spectator at Badminton, you need to be prepared to get the most out of your experience. Over the years of attending this amazing event here are my top ten things to remember.

1. VERY IMPORTANT - pack for all seasons in one day! You may need thermals and woolly hats or shorts and sunglasses!

2. Comfortable footwear. It is truly miles if you plan on walking the cross-country course and even just browsing the shopping village will get your step count up.

3. Don’t forget your wellies! The shopping village can turn into a quagmire after just a few hours of rain! Picture Glastonbury festival on a wet year and expect something similar!

4. Bring your own food. You can easily spend your life savings on a burger at Badminton and could find yourself literally fading away after queueing for an eternity to order it! Although you are in danger of finding many delicious offerings of food and end up discarding your packed lunch in favour of a yummy treat, or three!

5. Bring your own water bottles. It could cost you more than a nice bottle of champagne to buy water at the venue. Plus, Badminton has made a huge effort with sustainability and there are normally plenty of water stations where you can refill your bottles from home.

6. Don’t forget your bank cards. The shopping is amazing and on Sunday afternoon there are great bargains to be had.

7. If heading to Badminton on Cross Country Day, leave under the cover of darkness! If you leave home at sociable O’clock, you will get stuck in miles and miles of traffic! If stuck in said traffic, refrain from eating all your snacks, you will need them when you get there. (Refer to tip 4).

8. Take a break. After walking for hours around the trade stands and cross country, you may need to put your feet up for a while. The food village, (more tempting snacks!), usually has a big screen where you can sit and watch the action. You will see much more than you would if you were on course.

9. Leave your canine companion at home. You may think that it will be a lovely day out for your dog but in my opinion, dogs are better left at home. It’s a long day for your dog to be on the lead and staring at thousands of sets of muddy wellies.

10. If you need to use a Portaloo, don’t leave it till the last minute. Queues for the bathroom can have you waiting a good 15 minutes or more!

If you remember all my top tips, you will have a truly amazing day watching incredible and brave horses and riders from Grassroots level to Five Star."

"In my opinion, Badminton is one of the best events in the world!"

Thanks to Helen for sending us her top tips.

Are you looking forward to going to Badminton? We are!


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What the personal accident policy covers you for:

  • Whilst at work
  • All stable duties – mucking out, grooming, washing off, turning out
  • Clipping
  • Riding – including hacking and jumping
  • Hunting
  • Lunging
  • Breaking in
  • Holding horse for a vet and other procedures
  • Travelling horses both in the UK and abroad
  • Competing in line with your job including: jumping, dressage, eventing
  • Injuries that may happen to you whilst you are teaching - but you must also be grooming as part of your duties and not be a sole instructor

What the personal accident policy doesn’t cover you for:

  • Riding in a race, point to point or team chase
  • Stunt Riding
  • Accidents occurring whilst travelling to and from work
  • Riding and competing your own horse (but you can upgrade when applying for membership to include this)
  • Public Liability – this is a separate insurance policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance
  • Care Custody and Control – this is a separate policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance

If you require additional cover then please contact KBIS directly.


When you are working for other people you do most of the following; muck out, turn out/catch in, tack up, groom horses, exercise Horses (including hacking, jumping and schooling), in the care of your employer/client.




Predominantly ride horses for other people including schooling, exercising and competing.   

 Provide grooming services for someone else either full time or on a freelance basis i.e. an employer or a client.   


Employ staff – have an employers liability policy in your name NO NO YES
Buy and sell horses NO YES YES