Badminton Everything Else Getting Started More... Musings Of A Wannabe Eventer

Louise’s Badminton Survival Guide 2 – Etiquette!

Badminton Tips


  • Dogs…If you must take Fido and Rover with you please refrain from walking around the tradestands with them.  Whilst we all love our dogs, playing jumprope with other people’s leads is not fun and could be costly if Great Uncle Gilbert misjudges his jaunty side step and lands on his face.  There is a fabulous doggie crèche facility that means you can browse the shops without having your arm pulled out because Fido has spotted the love of his life sharing an ice cream with her owner.  If you find yourself in the shopping village avec your pooch could you please ensure that they don’t cock their legs on stands/products.  One e-venting staff member witnessed a dog doing just this, on beautiful leather jackets….nasty!  And poo bags, take plenty, there is never an excuse to leave doggy dirt behind, and if a fellow spectator steps in your darling’s little present whilst wearing flip flops they have every right in the world to lob you in to the lake.  Lastly, ensure that your leads are in tip top condition and firmly attached to your hand.  Don’t become famous for being the person who allowed their dog to chase a horse round the XC course, and if it does happen, expect hate mail.


  • You will obviously be in need of some food during the day, and whether you bring a picnic or indulge in a dirty burger the rule is the same…don’t be sluttish and ensure you dispose of your litter!  It astounds me how many people think it is acceptable to drop a napkin and can on the floor and walk away…who brought these people up?!  I once overheard a snotty twonk say “well it gives the minions something to do later” and snorting with laughter – at which time he morphed into a pig in my mind and it was all I could do not to throw my Pimms at him (had the Pimms not been £245 a glass I would have done).


  • If you have a less than exquisitely tight pelvic floor I recommend a plentiful supply of Tena Lady, especially on XC day.  The queues for the delightful Portaloos can be 10 deep and the sight of almost choreographed line dancing by lots of ladies will do nothing to help your cause if you need to go NOW.  This is when having a Member’s Pass can be a great investment as there are designated conveniences for the the convenient price of £30 a day on top of your ticket!


  • XC day is for watching brave lads and lasses throwing half a ton of horse over great big tree trunks in live format, right?  Wrong…so wrong.  XC day is for snaffling a table by the Pimms tent and settling back to watch the action on the big screen.  Best of both worlds as you get the atmosphere, a millisecond flash of bright colour as someone gallops past and you don’t miss a thing as it is right there in front of you.  Granted, you will need to mortgage your house to pay for all of the Pimms (£3475 a bottle), but you could bring your own…and yes, I have just thought about this option right now, 10 years and a huge debt on….damn.


  • Shopping is another thing that Badminton is all about, but be canny!  Wander around and get the lay of the land before making any purchases.  I am amazed by how many people walk in and start buying immediately – treat it like a market, use other people’s prices to drive a bargain out of different vendors, it is common sense!  Also please don’t go shopping and then go and sit in the stands with 20 bags for people to have to climb over.  I once stood on a woman’s fudge because my size 9s couldn’t get past her and she was very cross!  There are options…ask vendors to keep hold of larger items and collect them on your way back.  Use the shop and drop facility.  Shop, return to car, dump bags, return and take your seat.  All of these options will ensure that some girl with unfeasibly large feet doesn’t stand on your fudge and watch your face turn puce.


  • Queuing to get out is inevitable, so make sure you have had a wee, have a bottle of water, maybe some licorice/sweets/fudge, put on some great music and refrain from tutting or driving FAST sloooow FAST sloooow indicating JUST HOW CROSS YOU ARE FOR HAVING TO QUEUE… you will eventually get out, I promise.


  • Don’t be an armchair critic.  Saying “Oh my, Bluebell would have jumped that skinny log combination with her eyes closed.  What she should have done was XYZ” as a rider peels herself off the floor, horse disappearing into the distance in a cloud of dust, is neither big nor clever.  No one is going to turn around and ask for your advice, in fact the only reason they may turn around is to give you a death stare or stuff their Cornetto in your face.  Respect the riders and the horses, respect the journey they have taken to make it to Badminton and respect the fact that until you are a competitor there you have NO idea what it is like to ride there.


  • Respect the Stewards.  For some reason a minority of the public think that these people are only working at the event to pee people off.  In fact they are there to ensure you don’t get ploughed down by over half a ton of animal.  If you hear a whistle it is not an invitation to fluff your hair and look around coquettishly, it is an invitation to MOVE THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!


  • It’s Grassroots not Grass Routes…and all one word…just had to get that one in there.


  • If it is hot then please be mindful about burning.  I have seen more blistered shoulders at events than by the pool in the West Indies.  Wear suncreen, bring it with you, apply liberally and frequently.  In case of extreme hot weather remember that if you are wearing shades then it is advisable to pair them with a hat otherwise you will look as though you have been skiing for the whole month of May at best, like a panda at worse…skiing in May isn’t chic and pandas never have been!


  • Children…hmmm, do you REALLY want to bring them with you?  Pushchairs really ought to be banned from the shopping area as they take up precious browsing room.  Use a great invention called a sling or baby carrier for little Daisy-May, freeing up your hands and my, sorry, OUR shopping space!  Tether all other children under a tree away from other adults and you, and the rest of us, will have the most best time!


  • ENJOY YOURSELVES!  Smile for goodness sakes, don’t walk around looking like a wet weekend, we have had enough of them over the winter!

About the author


1 Comment

  • Chop the apples, strawberries mint and cucumber put in a flask with some ice. then mix pimms and lemonade in a lemonade bottle. some cheap plastic glasses ‘borrowed’ from a food stall. and a hunky willing guy to carry it all around all day in a picnic basket. Hey presto – no queueing for Pimms 🙂 (or remortaging the house!)