Category Archives: Royal Windsor Horse Show

Virtual Windsor 2020 Set to Recreate Royal Windsor Horse Show Magic Online

The Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have launched VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020, a new online hub, which is free to the equestrian community. This enterprising initiative aims to help fill the gap left by the cancellation of Royal Windsor Horse Show 2020 due to Covid-19.

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will host exciting features, the Show’s 200 shops, virtual Showing competitions, training videos, social media feeds, and the best of online content from previous Royal Windsor Horse Shows and from the equestrian world at the moment.

The shops that would normally have a physical presence at the Show will be displayed on the hub, giving users the opportunity to access some of equestrian’s best brands, including the latest technical equipment, country and lifestyle collections, and clothing. One of the key drivers of the “Virtual RWHS Shopping Experience” are the deals some of which will be available exclusively on the platform.

Those visiting VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can also enter online equestrian competitions, including a variety of Showing classes adhering closely to the original Royal Windsor Horse Show schedule. Those wishing to compete will upload their entry in the form of a photo to put them in the running, with applicants able to enter via email or social media. A Royal Windsor Horse Show judge will then select 10 finalists, before announcing the winner. The winners of each class will then progress to the Championships being judged on Sunday 17 May 2020.

To further help fill the void, VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will give users access to features from the official Royal Windsor Horse Show programme, content from the archives, guest bloggers, live Q&A sessions, and insights into Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021, which is already well into its planning stage. Giving equestrian fans a central hub to find training videos, light-hearted posts, the latest updates from top competitors, and tips from other riders, VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will support trainers, coaches, physios, and riders who may be struggling during this time.

Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “This online platform is a way for the equestrian community to come together; it aims to support and entertain, keeping the spirit of Royal Windsor Horse Show alive during this difficult time. The platform involves everyone, from fans to riders, shops, competitors, and officials.  We wanted to find a way that we could support the shops at the show and engage with our competitors and customers and I’m genuinely excited to see what we can accomplish. Our hope is that it will go part of the way towards recreating the magic in Windsor Castle’s iconic private grounds that we all expected to see in May.”

Ben Buxton, Events Manager of Fairfax and Favor, said: “Virtual Windsor is an exciting real and online opportunity for Fairfax and Favor to have a presence at one of the leading horse shows of the year. Whilst we may not see customers (both new and existing) in person, we relish the opportunity to connect with anyone who would have seen us, and let them see our range, including the launch of our Spring Summer 2020 collection.”

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can be found at https://virtual.rwhs.co.uk/.  The site will be constantly updated and will remain in place throughout the year.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show will return next year from 12-16 May 2021.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

La Garde Républicaine to Join Line-Up for Edwardian Pageant at Royal Windsor Horse Show

La Garde Républicaine, the mounted branch of the French National Gendarmerie, will be joining a stunning line up for The Edwardian Pageant at this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Eight riders and sixteen horses will be performing the Garde’s ‘Reprise des Tandem’, a display in which each rider controls two horses, one ridden and one driven in front using long reins. The act shows off the skills learned from both horse and rider’s years of training, and illustrates the rigor required in mounted regiments of yesteryear.

The Pageant celebrates King Edward VII’s life and rule, and this display marks the King’s strong and personal relationship with France. An ardent Francophile, Edward made many visits to France, and especially Paris, both as Prince of Wales and King. His fondness for the country stood him in good stead; when relations between the two nations were tense, the King was able to make a well-timed visit to Paris in 1903 and use his charm and diplomacy to ease the situation. The success of the visit led to the positive political atmosphere in which the Entente Cordiale became possible, resulting in its signing in 1904. Subsequently, Edward VII became known as ‘The Peacemaker’.

Today, the Garde Républicaine are best known for their role in security and pageantry in France, very similar to our own Household Cavalry. Their duties include guarding important public buildings in Paris such as the Palais du Luxembourg (the Senate), the Palais Bourbon (the National Assembly), and keeping public order.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “The team behind the Edwardian Pageant are delighted to welcome La Garde Républicaine to this year’s spectacle. The ‘Reprise des Tandem’ is a routine that represents workmanship and discipline and will bring an exciting new element to the Show. I’m certain that the audience will love it.”

Colonel Philippe Delapierre, commander of the cavalry regiment, said: “This is an exciting experience for the Garde Républicaine. We are looking forward to being a part of the Edwardian Pageant and are proud to showcase the talents of our riders and horses, especially at such a prestigious and well-loved event.”

The Garde Républicaine will be joining an outstanding line-up at the Pageant. Other performers include Santi Serra, the horse whisperer from Spain, The Oman Royal Cavalry, The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and scenes of Edwardian Horse Racing, and the Indian Raj.  All will be accompanied by The National Symphony Orchestra with a score set by celebrated conductor and composer, Debbie Wiseman.

Tickets for The Edwardian Pageant are now available online at www.windsorpageant.co.uk or via the box office on 0844 581 0755. Local Windsor residents may purchase their tickets at Windsor Information Centre located in Windsor Royal Shopping or by telephone on 01753 743 589.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Arena Eventing to Star at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Top eventing stars will take part in Royal Windsor Horse Show’s first running of Arena Eventing, on Wednesday 13th May 2020, ensuring that potential team members in all three Olympic disciplines will be competing at the show ahead of Tokyo 2020.

The new competition will see international riders compete over a course that combines elements of the Showjumping and Cross-Country phases of Eventing, designed by Captain Mark Phillips.

The introduction of Arena Eventing will bring a whole new dimension to the Show, which already hosts four FEI disciplines: Dressage, Jumping, Driving, and Endurance. With Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, Royal Windsor Horse Show will be one of the last chances to see Team GBR’s hopefuls in all three disciplines together on home turf.

This year’s competition will include Olympic medalists Zara Tindall and Pippa Funnell. Zara Tindall, the former World and European Champion, has confirmed she will bring her London 2012 team silver medal-winning horse, High Kingdom. Pippa Funnell will also be a strong contender; alongside three Olympic medals, Funnell impressively became the first person to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing in 2003, an honour only ever won by one other person. Her recent victory at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in September 2019 has put her in good stead for the upcoming event.

British Olympic rider Gemma Tattersall will make her Royal Windsor Horse Show debut this May. Part of the squad that won Team Eventing gold at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, Tattersall is another GB hopeful for Tokyo 2020.  Flying the flag for the USA will be Lauren Kieffer, currently 6th in the FEI Eventing Rankings. With a formidable string of horses to pick from she will be hot contender for the class. FEI World Number five, Tom McEwen (GB), is also amongst the distinguished list of incredible talents set to compete.

Performance Director and Eventing Performance Manager, Richard Waygood, said: “The inclusion of Arena Eventing in Royal Windsor Horse Show is a great addition. The Show will not only bring eventing to new audiences but will also attract the world’s best riders to what is already an amazing event.”

Simon Brooks-Ward stated, “I am delighted to announce that Arena Eventing will be taking place at this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show. To host all three disciplines ahead of this year’s Olympic Games is hugely exciting and a fantastic new development for the Show.”

Royal Windsor Horse Show offers a great day out for equestrians and their families.  It attracts crowds of more than 55,000 each year. Alongside the international competitions are more than 120 showing and national jumping classes, plus outstanding equestrian displays from around the world. Visitors can also enjoy the shopping village with its 220 fashion, lifestyle, and equestrian boutiques and delicious food outlets. In addition, ‘Royal Windsor Live’ offers musical entertainment, Q&A sessions with equestrian stars, and numerous activities for children.

Tickets will be available from just £9 and allow general access to the showground, including unreserved seating for the daytime performances in the Castle Arena, with reserved seating available for dressage performances.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Spanish Horse Whisperer Santi Serra to Perform in ‘Edwardian Pageant’ at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Organisers of The Edwardian Pageant, held in the private grounds of Windsor Castle on the evenings of 14, 15, and 16 May, have announced the participation of world-famous horse whisperer Santi Serra. The Spanish performer is a renowned equestrian artist, known for his mesmerising displays with his team of liberty horses.

Santi Serra’s rare equestrian artistry tells a story through his four Arabian horses and two hawks. The display, known as Sercam Shows, is a performance of ‘natural dressage’ and demonstrates the beauty of horses’ movements, celebrating the harmonious balance between horse and human.

Santi Serra’s inclusion in The Pageant highlights the relationship between England and Spain during the Edwardian Era. Related to nearly every other European monarch, King Edward is immortalised in history as the ‘Uncle of Europe.’ He had a close relationship with Spain, which was cemented by a state visit from King Alfonso XIII in late 1905 leading to his marriage to Edward VII’s niece, Victoria Eugenie in 1906. This was followed in 1907 by a visit to Spain by Edward VII, accompanied by Queen Alexandra, in the Royal Yacht as a part of a formal visit by the British navy fleet to the Port of Cadiz.

King Edward VII’s diplomatic achievements are celebrated in The Edwardian Pageant which showcases equestrian, musical, military, and motoring acts from both the UK and overseas.

Santi Serra describes his performance, saying: “Sercam Shows is all about natural dressage. It is about the movements of horses in the wild, the respect for those who take care of them, the obedience without using force, and about the friendship between myself and them.

“I act as leader of the herd and when they’re with me they feel they can be happy, be playful, and feel confident. The trick is to work as their leader and to study the horses when they are acting naturally. I really hope my performance will be an unforgettable experience for the entire audience.”

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Following the success of The Victorian Pageant held in 2019, we are very excited to bring spectators on a journey through the Edwardian Era. King Edward’s relationship with Spain was a significant part of his reign and we hope Santi Serra’s presence will bring this aspect to life.

“Santi Serra is one of the most sought-after equestrian artists in the world and we feel very lucky to be hosting him and his horses at Windsor. Demonstrating his intuitive understanding of animals, Santi Serra’s performance will have the crowd captivated and we very much look forward to experiencing his unique relationship with his horses firsthand.”

Narrated by Alan Titchmarsh MBE, the 90-minute Edwardian Pageant will see equestrian displays from all around the world including La Garde Républicaine, The Musical Drive of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, and The Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, alongside military displays, dancers, and actors. The show, celebrating the achievements and landmarks of the era, is set to music played by the 43-strong National Symphony Orchestra, which will accompany each performance throughout the night.

Tickets for The Edwardian Pageant are now available online at www.windsorpageant.co.uk or via the box office on 0844 581 0755. Local Windsor residents may purchase their tickets at Windsor Information Centre located in Windsor Royal Shopping or by telephone on 01753 743 589.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

New Dressage Grand Prix Special at Royal Windsor Horse Show ahead of Tokyo 2020

Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have announced that this year’s dressage competition will run a Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special format ahead of the Olympic Games this summer. The prestigious event will be the first 4* show in the UK to run the new combined format and will provide Team GBR hopefuls and international riders with a rare opportunity to perform the test in front of Olympic selectors and a large audience ahead of Tokyo 2020.

The CDI4* FEI Al Shira’aa Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special will take place on Thursday 14 May and Friday 15 May at Royal Windsor Horse Show, respectively, and organisers expect it to attract top dressage partnerships looking to gain valuable experience in the new format ahead of the Games.

Following the Tokyo 2020 format, each athlete competing in the Grand Prix Special will be required to provide a music soundtrack to accompany their test, although the music will not be marked. Show organisers are supporting the athletes by offering the services of renowned dressage music technician, Markus Hinzke, who will help athletes in the selection of their accompanying music. Organisers believe that this offer will encourage more competitors to compete at Windsor, using it as a trial for Tokyo 2020.

The Grand Prix Special will form the medal competition for the Team Championship at the Olympic Games. Royal Windsor Horse Show will provide a special opportunity in the UK for an audience to see the Grand Prix Special test to music, and for riders to trial it in a competitive environment. Therefore, it has an important role as a stepping-stone towards Tokyo for both riders and selectors.

British Dressage star Richard Davison said: “To be able to perform the Grand Prix Special set to music this spring at Royal Windsor is really a great opportunity for all riders hoping to compete in Tokyo, especially as Team GB selectors will be attending the Show. The new format is a major change to the competition but is also an incredibly exciting development for dressage as a sport.”

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “We are really pleased to be hosting the new Olympic Team Medal Format (Grand Prix Special) at Royal Windsor Horse Show. With the 2020 Olympic Games coming up this summer, this is a huge year for equestrian sport and Team GBR Dressage. We hope that by hosting the new format, we will provide our athletes with an opportunity to impress team selectors. This will also be a hugely unique chance for ticket holders to see top Team GB combinations compete on home soil before they head to Tokyo.”

The Show will also be supporting Team GBR by encouraging athletes and visitors to donate to the BEF Olympic fund at point of ticket purchase and entry.

The prestigious annual Show, now in its 77th year, takes place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle for a five-day celebration of top-level international equestrian sport. Royal Windsor remains the only UK event to host first-class international competitions in four of the FEI disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, Carriage Driving, and Endurance, attracting some of the biggest names in equestrian sport, including Olympic, World, and European champions.

In addition to the elite sporting action, ticket holders will enjoy performances from the The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry, The Household Cavalry Mounted Band, and The Musical Drive of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, as well as fan-favourites, The Land Rover Shetland Pony Grand National and DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Henrik von Eckermann Wins Rolex Grand Prix on Final Day of Royal Windsor Horse Show

The closing day of the 76th edition of Royal Windsor Horse Show was blessed with clear blue skies and bright sun as final victories were secured for the top-class competitors.

The climax of the CSI5* Show Jumping, the Rolex Grand Prix, went to Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann following a nail-biting jump-off. Earlier in the day, Ireland’s Shane Breen took the CSI5* Manama Rose Show Stakes title, and The ClipMyHorse.TV Under 25 Jumping Competition was won by Joseph Stockdale.

Her Majesty The Queen was present for the Extreme Driving supported by Karen and Hugh Scott-Barrett, which premiered at the Show this year. It was Australia’s Boyd Exell, fresh from his win in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, who steered his way across the finish line in the fastest time of 158.83.

Lucy Aspell was crowned winner of the final Land Rover Shetland Pony Grand National.

Packed crowds gathered at the Castle Arena for the pinnacle of the week’s action, The Rolex Grand Prix. Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann and Toveks Mary Lou emerged victorious to rapturous applause over course designer Bob Ellis’ challenging course, making a thrilling finale for the Show.

The track demanded bold and precise riding from the field of 34 combinations, including 15 of the world’s top twenty riders, contesting the €500,000 prize, the richest purse ever in UK Show Jumping. The tough course reduced the sensational calibre of talent down to 12 clear combinations to progress to the jump-off.

First to go in the deciding round was British rider William Funnell, whose homebred Billy Diamo demonstrated sheer skill and bravery to keep the partnership’s cool and secure the first double clear round. The pair set the tone for the rest of the competition, having made the decision to go for precision rather than pace, in a time of 47.58 seconds.

William Funnell commented: “It is fantastic, an amazing venue; the crowd was great. It really makes you want to do well. Billy Diamo is another super horse that we have bred; we hope he will qualify for the 2020 Olympics and this year we want to make sure he qualifies for the European Championships, because he is that type of horse.”

Next to go, and also waving the British flag, was Robert Whitaker and 16-year-old Catwalk IV. Despite a strong start the pair was unable to sustain a clear round as the fast pace led to an unlucky pole down, keeping Funnell at the top of the table.

Belgian rider Gregory Wathelet (Spike Van Der Withoeve), already a winner this week and hoping to replicate his success, was the first of several combinations to incur four faults at the Rolex oxer at the last. It was Frenchman Simon Delestre (Hermes Ryan) who was able to successfully challenge Funnell and knock him into second place. Delestre’s carefully navigated turns obtained a clear round in 45.07 seconds; although not the fastest over the ground yet, he was the quickest clear and into the lead. German riders Christian Ahlmann (Take A Chance On Me Z) and Daniel Deusser (Cornet 39) were likely contenders to challenge Delestre’s time. Both competitors were a real threat against the clock; however, they finished with four and eight faults, respectively, keeping Delestre in prime position with five riders to go.

Henrik von Eckermann wasted no time in shaving time off the clock with the 13-year-old mare Toveks Mary Lou. A tight turn into the penultimate fence and speed into the last oxer shaved over two seconds off Delestre’s time to finish on 43.02 seconds and snatch first place. With two to go, including two Olympic medallists, von Eckermann had confirmed a top three position but faced the toughest competition yet, leading to a nail-biting conclusion to the Rolex Grand Prix.

Eric Lamaze, who secured his place in the jump-off with great form, would no doubt be one of the strongest contenders for pace. However, the Canadian rider had a pole down at the second and the last fence with Chacco Kid. This meant the results of the competition were in the hands of Kent Farrington (USA), a two-time winner at Royal Windsor Horse Show, and Creedance.

The former World Number One and his chestnut gelding Creedance, seemed to be the likely winners as the pair presented one of the most striking rides of the jump-off, until an unexpected error at the last resulted in four faults to confirm von Eckermann the winner.

The victorious von Eckermann said: “Mary Lou is such a fantastic horse; she is so quiet at home but when she gets to shows, she really comes to life and gets very excited. She has a fantastic mind; she always helps me and really wants to make it; that’s what makes her such a special horse. I haven’t competed here for 10 years, so it is great to be back! The crowd was amazing, and I have really enjoyed my time at this event. I definitely hope to be back next year to defend the title!”

Bathed in glorious sunshine, the final day’s showing at Royal Windsor lifted the spirits of competitors, officials, and spectators alike, and saw several riders and owners achieve first-ever wins here in the Castle grounds.

In working hunter pony ranks — another prestigious feature of the show — the top spot went for the first time to Leyla Wheelright and her 143cm winner, Star Smokey, who jumped a superb round over a tricky course which claimed many notable scalps. This combination recently stood restricted champions at the British Show Pony Society winter championships.

The reserve award stayed in the same class, going to in-form Alice Homer, 17 — winner of the working show horse class earlier in the week — and Comberton Coda.

Cheshire-based showman Robert Walker, who clocked up four class wins and two championships on day one, received another red rosette when the Wallace family’s exciting large riding horse prospect, Southills The Sorcerer, headed a quality field.

The title, though, upset the formbook when Danielle Heath was called forward with the Mears family’s six-year-old novice champion, Times Square, pipping the super-consistent Casino and Jayne Ross. A seven-year-old show pony bought just two weeks ago gave veteran owner Gita Jago her first Royal Windsor open show pony title since 1992.

The final cones phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix was not without its changes of fortunes. In the Horse Four-in-Hand, serially successful Dutch driver, Ijsbrand Chardon, posted the first double clear, putting pressure on the five drivers ahead of him. In third place, his fellow countryman, Koos de Ronde, winner of the marathon, kept a cool head and collected the only other double clear to secure his position in the top three.

Lying second, expectations on Ijsbrand Chardon’s son, Bram – 2019 FEI World Cup™ Champion – were high but he unexpectedly clipped the marker to cones 19 as he made a turn earlier in the course. For this he collected 3 penalties and a 10-sec handicap which dropped him behind de Ronde.

With nine penalty points in hand, Boyd Exell from Australia drove a measured round, uncharacteristically knocking down two cones and collecting time faults. His final score, however, was sufficient to secure him his tenth title at Royal Windsor.

“It has been a hard-working few days,” Boyd remarked. “However, I’m very pleased with the new six-year-old in the team; he did all three phases, and this is only his second competition. This was his first cones course.”

The first class of the day, Pony Four-in-Hand, saw a dramatic change in the order. Lying fourth GB’s Roger Campbell delivered a double clear. The two competitors ahead of him at this time – Jaqueline Walter (GER) and Tinne Bax (BEL) – both made mistakes, dropping them behind Campbell. In first place, Jan de Boer, from the Netherlands, looking for his eighth win here, had 15+ penalties in hand at this stage. Sadly, it proved not enough and a difficult round for him and his Welsh ponies saw him drop behind Roger by less than one penalty point. This gave GB their first Pony Four-in-Hand win since 2000.

“My overwhelming emotion at the moment is surprise!” Campbell remarked. “I wouldn’t say the weekend went entirely to plan – I had a few problems in the dressage and then made some rein-handling mistakes in the marathon. Today, however, was excellent.”

This was GB’s first win in Pony Four-in-Hand for a number of years, but sadly Campbell, who is based in Germany, is unlikely to compete on home turf for the rest of the season, planning to attend events in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.

Double clear rounds eluded all Horse Pair competitors, with Germany claiming first and second place. Overnight leader, Sandro Koalick, competing here for the first time, retained his top spot with his young Dutch Warmbloods. At seven and eight years old, it is the first international season for one of them and the second for the other. His fellow countryman, 2017 winner here, Lars Schwitte, moved up to second place ahead of France’s Franck Grimonprez.

In the Nations competition, the Netherlands increased their lead to retain first place well clear of France, who moved ahead of third placed Belgium. Just three penalty points separated these two.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

British Riders Dominate on Day Four of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Day four of Royal Windsor Horse Show welcomed the international circuit’s finest Show Jumpers, with Friday’s Manama Stakes’ winner Holly Smith making it a double in the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup. Earlier in the day, Robert Whitaker won the Martin Collins Enterprises Senior 1.45m Grand Prix, while fellow British rider, Guy Williams, took top honours in the Falcon Stakes. Her Majesty The Queen was in attendance in the Castle Arena to watch the Land Rover Services Team Jumping, the international display by the Dubai Mounted Police, and the Martin Collins Enterprises Show Pony Championship. Her Majesty also presented a number of awards, including the award to the Best Turned Out Trooper. Driver Boyd Exell looked set to take his tenth win following a competitive performance in the cross-country.

The day got underway with the two-round Martin Collins Enterprises Senior 1.45m Grand Prix, a national class held in the resplendent Castle Arena. After nine riders made it through to the second round, it was Rose Moss and Carlos F who set the early pace, going double clear in a time of 38.96 seconds. Next to go was Jay Halim, who also went double clear, much to his delight, giving his grey stallion Aragon Z 414149 a congratulatory pat on the neck. Robert Whitaker entered the Arena with Major Delacour to rapturous applause from the crowd, who encouraged the duo over every obstacle. Whitaker produced a fluid and fault-free round, which was enough to take top spot in 32.93 seconds, over one and a half seconds ahead of second-placed Lily Freeman Attwood.

With 13 of the world’s current top 20-ranked Show Jumpers competing in the day’s showpiece class, the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup, the level of competition proved to be incredibly high from the outset. The testing 1.55m Bob Ellis-designed course demanded every bit of skill from the 31 horse and rider combinations that started, with just six eventually progressing to the jump-off, including three British riders: Harry Charles, Ben Maher, and Holly Smith. Charles was first to go, and despite some early promise and tightly negotiated turns, he and Borsato put down the first of the swan-themed double. Friday’s Manama Stakes’ winner, Holly Smith, laid down the gauntlet producing an exceptional ride, crossing the line in 34.02 seconds. With Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Gregory Wathelet (BEL) both accruing eight penalties, it was up to Ben Maher and Martin Fuchs to challenge Smith’s time. But it wasn’t to be after both riders were unable to match Holly Smith’s unassailable time. Later in the afternoon the Leicestershire-based 30-year-old was all smiles when Her Majesty The Queen presented her with the King’s Cup trophy.

The day’s action culminated in the 1.50m Falcon Stakes, in which British riders again proved to be the dominant force. 10 riders, including three Brits, progressed to the second round, with American Kent Farrington setting the early pace, going clear with his mare Kaprice. Canadian Tiffany Foster and Swedish world number two-ranked rider, Peder Fredricson, both put in competitive performances with Foster knocking Farrington off top spot. However, there was a late charge from two experienced British riders, first from William Funnell and Billy McCain, and then from last to go Guy Williams, who masterfully steered his stallion, Rouge de Ravel, around the testing course, pipping Foster to top spot by 0.45 seconds.

Reflecting on his win, Williams said: “I won here last year, and it seems to be a great Show for me – I don’t know what it is about this Arena! I always love competing here, as the crowds are absolutely fantastic, and I hope they’re happy with another British winner.”

A seven-year-old show pony bought just two weeks ago gave veteran owner Gita Jago her first Royal Windsor open show pony title since 1992.

Sussex-based Mrs Jago, who celebrated her 95th birthday last week, was beyond excited when her John Harvey-produced 128cm winner, Whiteleaze Secret Charm, landed the Martin Collins championship in the Castle Arena — a result all the more remarkable since jockey Eva Herring, 10, had only ridden the pony once before.

Reserve went to the 138cm winners, Matthew Proctor and the Karl Morris-produced eight-year-old Reduit Royal Image.

The novice show pony title went to Cheshire with Team Hillyard, who produced the five-year-old 128cm mare Kouros Mayfia, partnered with great aplomb in the Castle Arena by Livie Smith, 10. This was only the third-ever show for the combination and as producer Lulu Hillyard commented, “It was a big ‘ask’ but Livie just rose to the occasion.”

The coveted mini title meant a major double for the team as co-producer Katie Smith — Lulu Hillyard’s daughter — led Imogen Stathern, 8, to victory on her Royal Windsor debut. Her pony, Seamoor Lady Derby, is a past victor at the Royal International Horse show, Hickstead, but it is Imogen’s first season in the show ring and therefore first visit to Royal Windsor.

Matthew Cooper claimed the ridden native championship with the Stanford family’s former Royal International Horse Show supreme, the big-winning home-produced Highland stallion Benbreac of Croila, who earned his ticket to compete in the final at Olympia in December.

Another John Harvey-produced 128cm winner, Kouros Mayfia, claimed victory for jockey Livie Smith.

Lead rein and Ridden natives — vying for a hard-fought place in the final at Olympia in December — were headed by the Stanfords’ prolific-winning Highland stallion, Benbreac of Croila, who is produced at home by the family in North Yorkshire and partnered at shows by London-based Matt Cooper.

A mainly dry day provided good conditions for competitors driving the marathon in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix. As last year, the overnight leader – world champion Boyd Exell from Australia – drove an exemplary round, his competitive times in the cross-country obstacles increasing his lead ahead of the final phase.

Exell actually came in second in the marathon phase, but just 0.03 of a penalty behind the marathon leader, Koos de Ronde from the Netherlands, who recorded the fastest time in four of the obstacles. This has moved the experienced Dutch driver up the order to third place from sixth after the dressage. Ahead of him, however, remains his fellow countryman, young driver Bram Chardon, whose good marathon – he was third overall – has retained him his second place. He is 9 penalty points adrift of leader Exell which gives the Australian three cones in hand in the final phase.

The Netherlands retain their lead position in the Nations competition with Belgium moving up from fifth into second place, France now challenging them closely for third.

Fortunes changed a little more radically in horse pairs, where the scores were considerably closer among the top competitors. A new leader emerged when third-placed after the cones, Sandro Koalick from Germany, drove a storming marathon to head this section and move into first place overall. Another to excel in the marathon, Franck Grimonprez from France, fourth in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix last year. jumped from fifth after the dressage to second overall at this stage in the competition, less than 4 penalties behind the leader. Lars Schwitte is currently in third place.

In pony four-in-hand there has been no change in the overnight order with experienced Dutch driver Jan de Boer winning the marathon to give him a comfortable lead for the final phase. Tinne Bax from Belgium retains her second place but has less than a cone in hand (3 penalties) over third placed Jaqueline Walter from Germany.

The fourth day of Royal Windsor Horse Show concluded with the third and final evening performance of The Victorian Pageant, which was attended by Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and His Royal Highness Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex.

More than 400 horses and a 600-strong cast of artists, dancers, and world-renowned international equestrian acts travelled from across the globe to bring the Victorian era back to life to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.

British actor, writer, and director, Simon Callow CBE, was part of The Pageant’s stellar line-up bringing the evening’s festivities alive, narrating the show alongside gardener, presenter, and novelist, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, whose years of television experience brought warmth and wit to the spectacular celebratory production.

Stand-out international equestrian displays central to the extraordinary theatre included: The Dubai Mounted Police and their 40-horse Musical Ride, the Dubai Police Pipe Band, The Hungarian Csikós, stunt riders from Azerbaijan, and The Oman Royal Cavalry trick ride.

The show welcomed a number of carriage horses into the Castle Arena, helping to create scenes from the period, including Victorian London, as depicted by Dickens, complete with cockney chimney sweeps, hansom cabs, and park drags.

The 90-minute show was staged by a BAFTA award-winning team and transported the audience back to the era, drawing on some of its typical characteristics, such as the Music Hall, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Charles Dickens.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Dujardin Sublime on Day Three of Royal Windsor Horse Show

CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show basked in glorious late spring sunshine on its third day of world-class equestrian competition. Excited spectators arrived in anticipation ahead of the culmination of the Dressage and to witness the first of the week’s international Show Jumping classes. Results included a sensational victory for homegrown talent Holly Smith in the Manama Speed Stakes, and a supremely dominant Dressage display from Charlotte Dujardin in the CDI4* FEI Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music. The day’s proceedings were also jam-packed with colourful, energetic and musical displays from The Dubai Mounted Police, The Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry, and The Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

Charlotte Dujardin made it a clean sweep at Royal Windsor Horse Show, clocking up two first places from two starts. She commandingly won the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music CDI4* on Friday, adding to her previous day’s win in the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix. All three podium finishers racked up huge new personal bests in the atmospheric Windsor arena.

Charlotte partnered her pupil Sonnar Murray Brown’s bay 12-year-old Trakehner gelding Erlentanz to an impressive winning score of 81.9% — the first time the horse has achieved over 80%. This was only Charlotte’s second show with the son of Latimer, whom she is riding while Sonnar recovers from a broken leg.

Carl Hester, who was second in the grand prix, withdrew the 15-year-old Nip Tuck ahead of the freestyle as he was found to be slightly lame. That left 10 combinations to battle it out in the shadow of the iconic Windsor Castle. Richard Davison and Bubblingh improved a place from the previous day, slotting into second with 78.31%. Last to go, Ireland’s Heike Holstein, finished third with 74.915% riding her home-bred mare Sambuca (by Samarant).

Charlotte said: “That’s my second freestyle with Erlentanz so it’s all really, really new. I wanted to test out a few things today; I wanted to go for a bit more, get more in my extensions, get him a bit braver in that arena.”

Charlotte rode to music from her double Olympic gold-winning partner Valegro — who met The Queen at Royal Windsor the previous day — which suited the bouncy Erlentanz well. Her high mark from the five judges came from Germany’s Katrina Wuest (84%), with the low of 79.625% from Finland’s Maria Colliander.

The popular home rider produced a superb test, showing clockwork passage, ground covering extensions and expressive flying changes. She received a perfect 10 for both her one-time changes and the double pirouette to the right. The only mistake in the test came when Erlentanz dropped into trot coming into the canter pirouette left. But Charlotte is the consummate professional and knows this music inside out, so was able to improvise and repeat the movement later in the test to claw back marks.

“I came in and half-halted but — and it was totally my fault — I think I was too close to the board at the top end and as I went to turn, he just backed off me and trotted,” explained Charlotte. “I did manage to do it again and kept thinking the whole way through, ‘Where am I going to put it back in, where am I going to put it in?’ I decided to do it at the end of the one-times, landed on the left and managed to fit it in, so that was a relief — at least I got it back. I’ve only ridden him for about three months so it’s just a question of getting to know him, finding the buttons and knowing how much I can push, and when I can’t.”

Charlotte is a regular at Royal Windsor, coming into the 2019 show to defend her double wins from last year aboard the young mare Mount St John Freestyle.

“This week’s been amazing,” she added. “Yesterday, I met The Queen with Valegro, and today the sun is shining and this is the most amazing arena to go into. You have the backdrop and the crowd around you. I love this show.”

Richard Davison has taken his time with the tall, powerful home-bred Bubblingh. The 13-year-old looked stronger and more balanced than ever before, with particularly notable self-carriage. Richard’s bespoke Gangsta’s paradise music is fitting for the horse, and he was on the beat, particularly in the piaffe work, which achieved a 9.5 from the judge at C, Stephen Clarke. Richard showed off Bubblingh’s straightness and power with 14 flowing one-time changes down the centre line right at the judges, into a pirouette.

Fellow British rider Louise Bell was just pushed off a podium finish by the last combination, but her 73.34% ride to Sweet Home Alabama and Justin Beiber’s Despacito was also a new personal best. Her horse, the 13-year-old Into the Blue, is no stranger to Windsor; Louise used to ride him in the showing classes before switching disciplines.

Windsor is always a valuable litmus test for riders hoping to bid for a championship place. The arena is atmospheric and selectors will have been keeping a keen eye on proceedings ahead of this year’s European Championships in Rotterdam in August.

In the show ring, this year’s prestigious Count Robert Orssich hack title headed north with lawyer Ali Talbot when her 2018 small hack winner, Young Lochinvar, put in another foot-perfect performance to triumph in the Castle Arena finale.

The seven-year-old, produced by the Stanley Grange Stud in North Yorkshire, won at Horse of the Year Show and Royal International last year and this was only his second outing of the season.

Norfolk-based Oliver Hood finally earned his first Royal Windsor cob title when Judy Byford’s lightweight victor, Master of the House, triumphed first over a strong heavyweight field and then found an extra gear in the Castle Arena.

The consistent 12-year-old chestnut won his class here last year but was pipped in the final reckoning.

“This horse has been Mr Consistent,” said Oliver, son of master showman Allister Hood. “He’s been in the championship here for the last five years, but this is the best ride on him that I’ve ever had and thoroughly deserves his reward.”

Reserve went to Cheshire with the lightweight winner Bling Cobsby, a horse originally bought by producer Vicky Smith for her partner, Alan Marnie, as a leisure ride.

Alice Homer, 17, scored a memorable win in the maxi cobs when deputising at the last minute for producer Jayne Ross to win on A Masterpiece, despite having never even sat on the horse before. This was Alice’s second victory in as many days, as she also headed the working show horses with her mother Loraine’s Miserden Savannah.

In-hand native ponies were another major feature, and the coveted supreme title, also fought out in the Castle Arena, headed to Devon with Cathy Wood and her stunning Connemara stallion, Contepomi Cashel, ahead of Sarah Noble’s home-bred Dales mare, Stuffynwood Daffodil.

Great Britain’s star Jumper, Holly Smith, scored a memorable victory against some of the world’s best riders on day three of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. 16 of the world’s top 20-ranked riders entered a beautifully sunny Castle Arena for the CSI5* Manama Speed Stakes Jumping competition, the first international Show Jumping class of the week. The competition saw 24 riders progress to the second phase, with 18 of those completing a double clear to vie for top honours.

One of the last riders into the Arena, Holly Smith and her spirited nine-year old chestnut gelding, Fruselli, produced a gutsy performance, which saw the duo complete the two-phase course in 26.11 seconds. Smith cleared the final fence with grace and ease, knocking Irish world number 25-ranked rider Bertram Allen into second place, who completed the course in 26.81 seconds. The complicated course, which included some tough tight turns, did not prove to be a problem for world number five-ranked rider Martin Fuchs and his grey gelding, Silver Shin, who finished in third place in 27.01 seconds.

After lunch, international Show Jumpers from 11 nations, including 10 of Great Britain’s leading riders, went head-to-head to compete in the CSI5* Pearl Stakes International Jumping Competition. British Jumping prodigy Harry Charles and his gelding Borsato proved to be the best of the Brits. Placed in the top six with a final time of 38.06 seconds, 20-year-old Charles was on scintillating form, as he cleared the 16 fences with conviction. But in the end, it was Belgian rider Gregory Wathelet and his 10-year-old bay gelding, Spike Vd Withoeve who came out on top, taking the competition to another level, navigating the eight-fence jump-off to finish in an unbeatable time of 36.59 seconds.

The ten entries across the two classes in the coaching marathon – three in the road coaches and seven in the private drags – enjoyed a dry and sunny drive through the Home Park before delighting a full crowd in the Castle Arena at Royal Windsor Horse Show. Judge from USA, Bob Longstaff, found his champion in John Brown and his team of bay and grey Dutch warmbreds put to his original Shanks-built Tally Ho Road Coach. This is their sixth successive year of taking the championship. Reserve champion was the winner of the private drag section: Colonel Toby Browne CVO driving a team of Her Majesty the Queen’s greys to a Whitlock private drag. He also won the award for the best turned out coach.

It was the turn of the horse pairs to compete in the dressage phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix and their competition is considerably more closely contested than the horse fours. The first three placed competitors are separated by less than one penalty point.

Leading the field at the moment is Lars Schwitte from Germany. Together with his KWPN horses, he first competed here in 2017 when, having won the dressage, he went on to win the competition. He was again the winner of the dressage phase last year but dropped to fourth overall in the final result.

Schwitte’s good score of 44.32 is under attack from Argentina’s Baroness Amely von Buchholz, long term competitor here, who is just 0.1 penalties behind in second place. She also drives KWPN horses and is another who traditionally scores well in dressage. Last year she finished in eighth place overall.

Third place currently is occupied by first time competitor here, Sandro Koalich also from Germany and also a driver of Dutch-bred horses. He is the organiser of this year’s World Horse Pairs Championship which will take place in Drebkau in Germany in September.

Commenting at the end of this phase, Head Judge, Andrew Counsell, said: “The competition was much closer than in the horse fours with a good range of talented horses. However, a number are not yet supple resulting in tension at times and a failure to work together as a pair.”

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally. Windsor residents should call the Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743 589.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Dujardin Shines on Day Two of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Day two of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show marked the start of the international competitions with the CDI4* FEI Dressage – The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix proving to be the star attraction. Spectators were also treated to a host of other disciplines, including top-class national Show Jumping, high quality Showing, military displays from Oman and Dubai, and fast and furious fun from the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games. Once again in attendance, Her Majesty The Queen was introduced to Olympic sensation Valegro by Dressage riders Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester.

Home favourite Charlotte Dujardin scored a magnificent victory with a score of 78.087% in the CDI4* FEI Dressage – The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix on a chilly and damp Thursday evening. The golden girl of British Dressage, who is a two-time winner at Royal Windsor (2014 and 2018), entered the Castle Arena to warm applause from the knowledgeable crowd, looking resplendent aboard her relatively new ride, 12-year-old bay gelding, Erlentanz. Dujardin displayed her trademark extended trot to the delight of those watching on, while her relaxed walk and beautiful extended canter were highlights of her combination.

Dujardin and a quality field of 10 further horse and rider combinations, which included five Britons – among them Dujardin’s long-standing mentor, Carl Hester – wowed Windsor’s animated audience in the Castle Arena. With competitors building towards the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in August 2019, Royal Windsor is seen as an important place to gain some valuable confidence and experience in front of a packed crowd.

Carl Hester and his 15-year-old gelding Nip Tuck, whose stable name is Barney, were back on the circuit after a quiet couple of years. The duo, who finished second behind Dujardin with a score of 74.304%, looked relaxed and supple in the walk work, and included some impressively small pirouettes in their combination.

On her winning performance and competing at Windsor, Dujardin commented: “Erlentanz tried his heart out and I’m really pleased with my score, particularly as it was a new combination. I’ve been competing at Windsor since I was a small kid – it’s a fantastic Show for me, with some great people and fans. Seeing all the other disciplines that Windsor offers is great to see. It’s always good to watch my boss [Carl Hester] so I’ll have to be polite what I say! We bounce off each other and I’m really pleased for him. I just hope and pray tomorrow evening goes according to plan [in the CDI4* FEI Dressage – The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music].”

Delighted with his performance, eventual third place rider with a score of 72.978%, Richard Davison, commented: “I’m really pleased with my score but I’m even more pleased with the horse’s [Bubblingh] performance. He suffers from what I’d call stage nerves, so I’m really impressed with how he dealt with everything in front of the crowd. He’s a real privilege to ride and it was one of the easiest rides I’ve ever had on him. I rode his mother in the Olympics and we ended up breeding him. He really is such a lovely horse to ride; he’s got so much power and talent. I hate to compare him to his mother, but he’s a top horse. This Show is truly magical, and it doesn’t matter about the rain, as the facilities for the horses, including the stabling and the footing in the Arena are top quality.”

Working hunters provided the highlight of the showing classes, but clear rounds proved difficult to achieve. Only two lightweights remained faultless, and no heavyweights successfully negotiated the clever course.

However, after a thrilling gallop in the Castle Arena finale, the title went to the winner of the latter class, Essex-based Justine Armstong-Small with her smart Irish-bred eight-year-old, Carlingsford King, who had made just one mistake in an otherwise stylish round. They pipped last year’s intermediate victor, Silver Lough — partnered by North Yorkshire-based riding coach William Pittendrigh — who had won the lightweights with a clear round.

Although Justine has won at Royal Windsor before, she had never lifted the overall title and her last class win was 15 years ago.

Coloured horses and ponies filled the Copper Horse Arena all afternoon, providing a huge variety of type in enormous classes. After examining more than 90 animals, judges Mathew Lawrence and Linzy Dickinson opted for Royal Windsor “specialist” Jayne Ross’s ride, KBF Crescendo, as their champion.

Retrained ridden racehorses provided absorbing competition in the morning, with the championship eventually going to Oxfordshire-based Jo Bates and the stunning grey, Grandeur — formerly a successful contender on the Flat — who pipped last year’s winners, Sofia Scott and L’Amiral David.

Lady Louise Wessex made her debut at Royal Windsor Horse Show, finishing in a very respectable third place in the Private Driving – Singles exceeding 13.2hh.

Day two of Royal Windsor Horse Show kicked off with another scintillating morning of Show Jumping action. The Castle Arena opened its gates and played host to the H&C TV Senior 1.35m Open Jumping Competition in which British rider Georgia Tame and Z SEVEN CANYA DANCE deservedly took the spoils. Twenty-third into the arena and up against Laura Renwick and Robert Whitaker, Tame and her eight-year-old chestnut mare put on a captivating performance, effortlessly cruising around the course, which she cleared fault-free in an impressive and unassailable time of 63.19 seconds.

Later in the morning, the Land Rover Stakes (Senior 1.45m Open Jumping Competition) featured some of Great Britain’s top jumpers, with Ben Maher and Will Fletcher finishing in first and second places, respectively. Testament to the complex design of the course, just 11 of the 34 riders went clear to progress to the jump-off. Dan Delsart and his 13-year-old bay gelding, Lord Quidam, soared to the top of the rankings following their first-round performance in a time of 71.77 seconds. However, his lead was short lived after a masterful ride from the highly experienced Ben Maher and his talented eight-year-old mare, Ginger Blue. The duo completed a remarkable double-clear and finished ahead of the rest of the pack with a final time of 45.98 seconds, placing him 0.7 seconds ahead of second-placed Will Fletcher and his energetic gelding, Persimmon.

Dressage in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix saw pony and horse fours do battle in this first phase of the competition. Eleven nations are represented by the 27 contenders in horse fours while the much smaller field in pony fours – just seven competitors – has representation from five nations.

World horse four champion, both indoors and out, Boyd Exell from Australia, was in the first ten to drive the test and quickly set the bar high, his team of mixed warmbloods going sweetly to record a score of 31.06. Also impressing the judges and just 5 penalties behind, is Bram Chardon, son of Holland’s most successful four-in-hand driver over the last three decades. In third place, another 5 penalties adrift, is France’s Benjamin Aillaud driving his beautiful team of black Arabian/Friesian crosses.

Bram’s father, Ijsbrand Chardon, is lying in fifth place, their combined scores putting them at the top of the Nation’s Leader Board, with USA in second place and France third.

The highest placed of the home nation is experienced driver, Wilf Bowman-Ripley, in tenth place.

In the pony fours, seven times Royal Windsor winner, Jan de Boer from the Netherlands, is heading the dressage with his Welsh ponies, but challenging him closely, fewer than 2 penalties behind, is Tinne Bax from Belgium. Friendly rivals, these two took first and second here last year. Jaqueline Walter from Germany is in third place, some ten penalties adrift of these two.

Highest placed representative from Great Britain is Roger Campbell, the Welsh ponies he drives belonging to Jaqueline Walter. Roger, who is based in Germany, won the marathon section with these ponies last year.

Head judge Andrew Counsell remarked, “It was a very good day in which we saw some really lovely horses. Those with the good basics were the ones that got the good marks today. It is very encouraging to see this standard so early in the season.”

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally. Windsor residents should call the Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743 589.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Victory for Her Majesty The Queen on Day One of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Her Majesty The Queen braved the inclement weather on the opening day of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show to witness a memorable win for her home-bred filly in the youngstock class. Showing and National Show Jumping took centre stage, as Windsor Castle’s private grounds were opened to the public on the first of the annual five-day Show.

Showing: Horses belonging to HM The Queen shone in the show rings, nailing one outright win and two second placings against strong competition.

Her Majesty’s strapping home-bred filly, two-year-old Hampton Court Margin, headed the Cleveland Bay youngstock class, and Lancer, another exciting young home-bred prospect, was runner-up in the highly-coveted four-year-old ridden hunter class. He was produced and ridden by Katie Jerram-Hunnable, only recently back in the saddle after a year off due to breaking her neck in a fall from another horse.

This was only the second outing under saddle for the handsome bay, who narrowly missed out on a ticket to the in-hand final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) last season, and here, he was just pipped to the post by the reigning HOYS champion, MHS Morning Master, and Cheshire-based Robert Walker.

The run continued when Her Majesty’s seasoned heavyweight, Tower Bridge — also ridden and produced by Katie — was narrowly pipped in a very strong heavyweight hunter class. This was the first outing of the season for the nine-year-old, who was third at Horse of the Year Show in October.

“He felt fabulous and gave both me and the judge a super ride,” said Katie.

In a thrilling Castle Arena finale, the championship went to Robert Walker with last year’s champion and supreme horse here, Jill Day’s View Point, making it the fifth time Walker has scooped this most prestigious title. His reigning HOYS champion faced tough opposition en route, though, including that from the eventual reserve, middleweight winner Silent Master, produced and ridden for the Bowie family by Norfolk-based Allister Hood — another rider back in the saddle after illness.

Walker was also on form in novice ranks, where Jill Day’s stunning five-year-old, Somerville Lad, headed the lightweights before giving the team a sixth overall triumph in the section, and stablemate Patric’s Choice headed the open heavyweights, partnered by Robert’s wife Sarah in the championship.

Katie Jerram-Hunnable, who also produced The Queen’s now-retired racehorse, Barbers Shop, to stand supreme here two years ago, had more cause for celebration when her latest charge, the prolific-winning steeplechaser Cue Card, stood fourth on his show ring debut.

“He only left his [racing] training yard three weeks ago but we’re very excited about his future,” added Katie. “Plus, his owner, Jean Bishop, was overwhelmed when Her Majesty specifically asked to meet her and see the horse in its stable.”

Show Jumping: Robert Whitaker wins the main event, while Laura Renwick makes it a double at Royal Windsor

Great Britain’s leading lady show jumper, Laura Renwick, got her 2019 Royal Windsor campaign off to a sensational start after she and her six-year-old gelding Maverick won the National 1.30m Open Jumping Competition. Renwick’s classy display in the imposing Castle Arena saw her knock a second off the time of eventual runner-up, Lily Freeman Attwood, in a blisteringly-quick time of 30.29 seconds.

Renwick’s winning streak continued, taking top honours in The Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship later in the day, after she and her six-year-old grey mare, Clarentina, faultlessly navigated the technical 1.30m course. Just four of the 11 horse and rider combinations, who qualified from the Equitop Myoplast Senior Foxhunter, went clear to progress to the jump-off. But it was Renwick’s supreme levels of bravery and speed, which proved to be the deciding factor, beating Ronnie Jones and Interstar B into second place by a convincing 1.24 seconds. Pippa Goddard and Nero Van De Kwade Heyde took third spot, while William Funnel and Billy Pablo slotted into fourth.

The biggest class of the day, the Land Rover National 1.40m Open Jumping Competition, went to Robert Whitaker and Major Delacour after the duo pipped Jay Halim and Aragon Z 414149 into second place by just 0.29 seconds. The class was closely fought with 21 of the 50 starters going clear, and under a second eventually separated the top six-placed riders. Third to go, Whitaker and his 11-year-old chestnut gelding were dominant from the off, as they effortlessly mastered the challenging course, much to the delight of the Castle Arena’s crowd. The day’s earlier star jumper, Laura Renwick, and Top Dollar finished in fourth place in a time of 38.34 seconds, while Oliver Fletcher and Hello Discko Boy went one better to claim third spot.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally. Windsor residents should call the Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743 589.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355