Saturday 13th of April 2024

BADMINTON: We wouldn’t be here without them

It’s a spectacle, it’s a great day out, it’s an institution but the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials is also famed for its camaraderie and nowhere can that be more perfectly seen than in EHOA tent.

L-R Mark Corbett, EHOA Board Director & representative on BE Sports Committee, Cathy Butler, EHOA Chairman and Jilly Rowsell, owner of hospitality director Tor Rickcord

The Event Horse Owners Association, run by owners for owners, is the backbone of the sport, it’s a big statement, but without the owners of these gorgeous equine athletes, we wouldn’t be able to attend, enjoy and marvel at the best of the best in the sport of eventing. In fact, would we have any eventing?

We caught up with EHOA Chairman, Cathy Butler, on site at the Gloucestershire 5* event about their role within the sport.

“We love being on site for our members but the majority of our work happens away from the action. Our role, along with the Event Riders Association and the British Event Organisers Association is to represent the owners in the sport. Everyone in the sport knows that, without the financial commitment and enthusiasm of owners, the sport would not survive and our work ensures owners are recognised.”

Famed for their friendly hospitality, members head to the EHOA tent to meet like-minded friends and have a base away from the bustle of the day. Cathy said,

“We are all here for each other. First timer owners getting to Badminton can find it very daunting and nerve wracking and we have all been in that position and can help support them. We celebrate the highs but more importantly we are here for when things don’t go to plan.”

This year is Badminton’s 70th Anniversary and another milestone being celebrated this year is EHOA event sponsor, Salisbury-based chartered accountants and business advisors PKF Francis Clark centenary. EHOA member Paul Giessler runs the company and has a horse with Coral Keen and a son who events.

“We first got involved in the sport when our daughter twisted our arm about 10 years ago for a horse as she wanted to event. We soon got the bug! There is a synergy between our business and everything the EHOA stands for – it’s a long road to the top, there’s no quick fix and the same can be said for looking after business journeys and helping families plan for the long term.”

There is no doubt owners will be flocking to the EHOA tent tomorrow, not only for a hearty breakfast, the TV screens and a stab at the sweepstake, but predominantly for the reassurance from friendly faces ahead of the electric atmosphere that cross country day brings.

We wish all competitors, both human and equine, owners and support teams a safe and thrilling ride tomorrow.

For more information about the EHOA including how to join, click here

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