If you follow my vlogs, you’ll have seen that last week, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials with media accreditation. So, not only was this my first time attending a three day event as either a spectator or as media, I was well truly jumping in at the deep end!
And I loved it!!
I took my best friend, Nat, with me, as my assistant/moral support/chief navigator. And as soon as we arrived at the media centre, it was chaos. But the type of chaos that breeds excitement and productivity.
We were given out brief by the Badminton team, behind the scenes and asked to report back to the media centre in an hour or so.
So Nat and I wandered off to check the event out and sample the shopping and, of course, the food. We took a quick wander down to the watch the grassroots competitors out on the cross-country course, but couldn’t stay long.
Before long, we were heading back to the media centre.
In the run up to the event, the wonderful Rhea Freeman had been working hard alongside the Badminton team to organise the opportunity for me to speak on Radio Badminton.
I am a brand ambassador for equine and country jewellery company, Hiho Silver, who were sponsoring the Best Dressed award, for the trot-up. Various representatives from Hiho, including eventer Emily King, who is also a brand ambassador, were judging the award and Badminton had asked if I would represent the company by commentating on the fashion, on their radio feature, alongside Rupert Bell, of Lloyd Bell Productions.
Now, I’ve never been on radio before. I’ve done podcasts, video interviews, Skype interviews and vlogging, obviously, but I’ve never done radio. So I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I knew that they wanted somebody with a keen interest in fashion and who knew what the judges would be looking for.
But I absolutely loved every second of it. I love equine and country fashion, I love discovering new brands and seeing what trends are up and coming, so I was in my element.
Throughout this post, I’ve included lots of my own photographs, but for just this section, the lovely Emma from Hiho has given me permission to use some of her images. Because it’s pretty tough to be on radio and photograph the competitors all at the same time, lol, but I wanted to show you some of my favourite outfits!
I have to start by mentioning the fabulous Paul Tapner, who definitely had the most eccentric outfit of the day. Paul won the men’s Best Dressed award, for his horse print shirt, tweed jacket and waistcoat combo, patent tartan shoes and wooden bow tie!
The outfit was put together by Paul’s sponsor, Italian designer, Claudio Lugli, who is known for colourful prints and a ‘playful edge’, and was a definitely stand-out on the day.
Great Britain’s Danielle Dunn took first place of behalf of the ladies, winning her a stunning Hiho Silver Exclusive Sterling Silver & 18ct Rose Gold Vermeil Cherry Roller Snaffle Bangle, complete with limited edition, exclusive Sterling Silver Badminton 2017 charm.
Helena Smith, from Charleston Couture says, “The 1920’s was the inspiration for the frock coat. The princess empire seam was placed slightly higher, to accentuate Danielle’s shoulder line and small waist. The tweed represents the modern twist, with a throw back to the garment’s roots, using hand made plum velvet piping in the waist line and pocket details. Couture buttons of red, white and blue complete the look and acknowledge Danni’s current and future achievements, competing as part of team GB.”
Kathryn Robinson did a great job of teaming a classy, understated black and white outfit with a hint of daring. Her leopard print belt certainly turned heads, as did her Hicks & Brown Suffolk fedora.
Knowing that the judges were looking for outfit choices that were practical, stylish, coordinated, yet had gone the extra mile to stand out, I felt like Kathryn’s may have been in with a chance.
One of my personal favourites was Lissa Green. She wore a beautiful cream and coffee coloured lace dress that wouldn’t looked out of place at an evening event. She teamed it with elegant, but sturdy heeled ankle boots and a light coloured blazer, to complete her look.
As a bit of a brand junkie, I was instantly taken with Izzy Taylor’s outfit. Izzy wore the very distinctive Royal Teal Beauchamp Blazer, from one of my favourites, Sporting Hares, which I absolutely loved. And she matched it with white jeans and recognisable navy Fairfax & Favor boots.
Fairfax & Favor, teamed with Sporting Hares…?! This was a big hit for me!
And finally, one other outfit that caught my eye was that of Laura Collett. Capes are everywhere this season and Laura wore that fashion well, with a beautiful piece from Holland Cooper. Once again, the leading name in boots was Fairfax & Favor, with these over the knee numbers. Simple, yet striking!
So, as you can see, I had a great time dissecting the outfits, spotting my favourite brands and trying to guess who was going to win the best dressed prize. I was also so excited to meet Mary King and getting to be house-side for the trot-up felt like such a privilege.
Once the trot-up was over, I headed back to the media centre to write a blog post for the Badminton website, which you can check out here. And from there, I was off on my hen-weekend to Marbella.
I’m sad that I didn’t get to see any of the actual competition, but I’m super grateful that my first experience of Badminton was so surreal and exciting! I’m hoping to be able to be able to go for more than just one day next year and I can feel this becoming a yearly pilgrimage.
Thank you so much to Rhea, to Hiho Silver and to Nina, Sam, Rupert and the rest of the team at Badminton, for all of your hard work! It’s amazing when a plan comes together!
You can check out lots more images from the day in the gallery below, and you can watch my Badminton vlog here.