Business are preparing for one of their busiest periods of the year this weekend as Badminton Horse Trials returns this week.

Peak sales of food and drink are served at pubs across the area, including at The Neeld Arms, Grittleton, where accomodation gets booked a year in advance.

This year, to add to its local connection, The Neeld Arms is sponsoring Harriet White on Party Puzzled after she qualified for the Badminton Mitsubishi Amateur Grassroots BE90 Championships.

Harriet, who is one of the competition’s youngest competitors, said: “I’m delighted to have qualified and will certainly do my best, but mainly I look forward to soaking up the atmosphere.”

Stewart Dobson, a spokesman for the pub, said: “Badminton Horst Trials represents one of the high points of trading all year round, on a level with Christmas in many ways.

“It tends to be a good party weekend.

“It’s of a major importance to local hospitality businesses.”

Badminton is running throughout the week until Sunday.

Malmesbury Chamber of Commerce chairman Aimee Frankham said: “Badminton is incredibly important for the local economy; the whole event brings in about £2 million for the local economy.

“It brings in an enormous amount and while it does actually draw people away from the High Street for shopping, the hotels, eateries and restaurants all do generally very well.

“There is one business in the town which turns over more in the one week than in three months through trade stands.”

For more information visit