Category Archives: Royal Windsor Horse Show

Virtual Windsor Returns for Autumn and Winter Online Horse Show Series

Following the success of Virtual Windsor in May, the organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show are delighted to announce that the online Show will be returning as a new series with two editions taking place in the Autumn and Winter. The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 will be live-streamed on 25-27 September, and will feature three disciplines in which riders from all over the world can participate from their own homes.

The Show will comprise 22 Showing classes, alongside new additions in the form of International Pony Club Dressage, a Riding for the Disabled Association class and a specially designed ‘Equitation Jumping’ discipline open to all. In addition, the popular shopping section will be bringing visitors new products and offers, and there will be yard tours and masterclasses with first-class riders.

THE PONY CLUB HOME INTERNATIONAL DRESSAGE

Leading the charge for Virtual Windsor in September will be the Pony Club Home International Dressage, featuring teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. Previously held at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the competition pits up-and-coming riders against each other, and this year will be made even more special with live judging and commentary for the audience to enjoy.

The Pony Club Home International Dressage will be a precursor to a worldwide International Dressage competition, to feature in the Virtual Windsor Winter Series later in the year, where teams from all 18 Pony Club countries will be invited to compete in a never-seen-before worldwide Pony Club event.

Marcus Capel, Pony Club Chief Executive, said: “We are hugely pleased to be able to run our Home International Dressage competition on the Virtual Windsor platform this year. The competition highlights the hard work and talent of our young riders, and we hope that by holding it online we will enable many young riders to enjoy and be inspired by the competition from their own homes.”

VIRTUAL SHOWING CLASSES RETURN

Virtual Windsor’s Showing Series returns to your screens, with Chief Judge Nigel Hollings back by popular demand. The May edition of Virtual Windsor saw over 4,000 entries to the Showing coming from as far afield as South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, included both amateur and professional riders and even Her Majesty The Queen. The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series in September will showcase 26 Showing classes, covering everything from Riding Horses and Hunters, to Show Ponies and Side Saddle, while the Winter Series – planned for later in the year – will have an international flavour including horse breeds from around the world such as Quarter Horses, Iberian Breeds, and Arabians. The classes remain free to enter for all.

Nigel Hollings will be joined on the judging panel for the Autumn Series by Julian White, Anne Leaver, and Pat Pattinson. “I am delighted to be returning as Virtual Windsor’s Chief Judge this September, having hugely enjoyed the May Show,” said Hollings. “The standard of entries was incredibly high at the last event and I really enjoy the Virtual format which gives me the opportunity to share feedback with the audience as I judge. I was particularly impressed with the number of international entries in the May edition. To be a winner at Virtual Windsor against entries from all over the world, you really do have to be the best.”

SHOW JUMPING MAKES ITS DEBUT

In addition to International Dressage and Showing, the organisers of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 have created a jumping discipline which allows riders from across the globe to compete. Based on Prix Caprilli, Equitation Jumping requires competitors to submit a video showing a short set test, which includes three fences of any kind with one stride between each at any height. Marks are awarded for the rider’s position, use of aids, and straightness and the technique, shape, and impulsion of the horse. Designed to be accessible to all levels of equestrian, the class is open to all and will have a Championship taking place on the Sunday of the Show.

The competition will be judged by professional judge, show jumper, and event rider Julian White, who said, “During these difficult times that we’re all facing I’ve just had the most amazing ray of light shone onto me by being asked to be a judge on the Virtual Windsor Horse Show Series which is just brilliant, I’m so excited. It is a real honour to be asked and I am looking forward to it hugely. So thank you so much, and I’m judging with Nigel Hollings who I was meant to be judging with in South Africa, so that’s also a joy and a double whammy!”

FURTHER ADDITIONS ADDED TO THE LINE-UP

In addition to the competition, a Masterclass will be streamed on each day of the three days of the Show, featuring world-class riders from around the world. Covering topics from Grand Prix Dressage to training tips, riding international courses and the thrills of top competition, the Masterclasses will be available to all through the live stream.

It has been a tough year for many exhibitors, and Virtual Windsor will continue to support tradestands and shops through its Virtual Shopping Village, where visitors will find a full list of shops selling everything equestrian, plus some “Show Week” discounts.

Royal Windsor’s Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said of Virtual Windsor: “We were so thrilled by the response to the first Virtual Windsor that it wasn’t a difficult decision to build a series of events.  Although 2020 has been a challenging year, Virtual Windsor has shown us that the equestrian community has a really positive outlook and will come together to enjoy competition and celebrate equestrianism. I cannot wait to see how the Series fares and to welcome all the international competitors and visitors to the event.”

The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 will run from 25-27 September 2020, with entries for Showing and Equitation Jumping opening in August and closing in early September. Schedules and rules for each class will be available at virtual.rwhs.co.uk from Friday 10 July.

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

Her Majesty The Queen Wins at Virtual Windsor Horse Show

After the cancellation of Royal Windsor Horse Show which was to run in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, ‘The Queen’s Back Garden’, from 13-17 May, organisers moved the Show online to create Virtual Windsor 2020. More than 4,200 entries were received for the online Showing competitions, including several from HM The Queen.

A ‘usual’ Royal Windsor Horse Show would receive around 2,800 entries, illustrating how the equestrian community has come together to make Virtual Windsor 2020 a larger success than ever envisioned.

A huge number of viewers watched the Show online with more than 250,000 tuning in to enjoy the event over its five days, while the social media reach soared past the million mark.

The numbers surpassed all expectations and organisers were particularly delighted by the number of viewers from overseas with more than 90 countries getting involved.

24 Showing classes were run over the five-day virtual Show, mixed with streaming of 5* Jumping and Dressage classes from previous live events, along with displays and competitions that you can only see at Royal Windsor Horse Show.

HM The Queen had six entries in the Showing Classes and was the outright winner in two — Class 2 for Cleveland Bays which she won with Wyevale Harry ridden by Matthew Powers and Class 19 the Side Saddle which she won with Stardust ridden by Katie Jerram-Hunnable.

Over the course of the five days, many stars of the equestrian world joined the virtual Show in interviews and commentary. Their Royal Highnesses, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, also participated in a video interview showing their support for the event.

As a first-time event for Royal Windsor Horse Show, organisers expressed it was more than they could have ever wished for. Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, ended the Show by thanking all involved and hoping to see everyone again – in the flesh – next year.

Brooks-Ward said: “We’ve been delighted by the response we’ve had to Virtual Windsor 2020. It’s been fantastic to see the Show’s community getting together to keep the Show going – whether they are competitors, shop holders, sponsors, stewards, judges and officials, or visitors – everyone has been engaged. I think it demonstrates how important the Show is for all and how close it is to their hearts.”

Details of the virtual Show can be found by visiting virtual.rwhs.co.uk. The site will be constantly updated and will remain in place throughout the year.

Organisers of Virtual Windsor 2020 Announce ‘Show Week’ Programme

Virtual Windsor 2020 launched a month ago and already the number of visitors and entries to competition has far exceeded expectations, with a total of 4,266 entries across the multitude of classes. Organisers of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show, one of Her Majesty The Queen’s favourite annual events, have announced the packed official programme for Virtual Windsor 2020 ‘Show Week’.

From 13-17 May, the ‘Virtual Show’ will take place via a daily streamed video, which will comprise the judging of the online Showing classes, Shopping Fix clips, messages from stewards and Royal Windsor Horse Show supporters, and footage from previous years’ Royal Windsor Horse Shows.

‘Show Week’ presents a unique opportunity for the equestrian community to relive some of the most exciting equestrian competitions of recent years, featuring some of equestrian’s best athletes, such as USA’s Kent Farrington, along with Olympic gold medallists Ben Maher MBE, Scott Brash MBE, and Charlotte Dujardin CBE. Highlights include the 2018 and 2019 Rolex Grands Prix, last year’s hotly contested CSI5* Falcon Stakes, and the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music. Viewers will also be able to witness the best moments from the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix and stunning displays from the Household Cavalry Musical Ride and the Royal Horse Artillery, all in the comfort of their own homes.

Closely following the live event timetable, the Virtual Windsor 2020 Show Week will bring the judging of the online Showing classes to life, with Royal Windsor Horse Show commentator, Nick Brooks-Ward, interviewing judges Nigel Hollings, John Peacock, Linda Lawrance, Antony Fanshawe, and Lord Charles Beresford, along with special guest judges Alan Titchmarsh MBE and Annabel Brooks-Ward MFH. The judge of each class will be interviewed, and the result announced during the course of the stream.

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER

On the evening of Saturday 16 May, viewers will have the chance to relive last year’s highly acclaimed 2019 Victorian Pageant – a musical, military, and equestrian extravaganza, featuring the voices of Academy Award winner Olivia Colman CBE, Simon Callow CBE, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, alongside music from renowned British score writer Debbie Wiseman OBE. The stunning display, set in the iconic grounds of Windsor Castle, will be streamed online as a one-off performance. Royal Windsor Horse Show sponsor AMAALA is supporting a ‘Pageant Watch Party’, and viewers are encouraged to take part at home.

On Sunday 17 May, Virtual Windsor 2020 will host the Online Showing Championships supported by Rosettes Direct, with the winners of each Showing class going head-to-head to claim the coveted Championship title. Prizes have kindly been donated by RWHS exhibitors, with the champion receiving a Voltaire Design bridle and a magnum of wine from The Magnum Company to the winning owner. Holland Cooper has also supported the Championships, with a jacket presented to the Best Turned Out. All finalists in the Online Showing will receive a Royal Windsor Horse Show rosette, kindly made by longtime RWHS supporters Rosettes Direct.

Show Week at Virtual Windsor 2020 will also include the launch of an interactive map of the showground, where visitors can tour their favourite shopping destinations. The map, which features all the shops usually found at Windsor in their usual places on the showground, will allow visitors to virtually explore the Show and enjoy all the usual Shopping on-site and benefit from some special virtual show offers.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, commented: “The organising team has done a tremendous job to put on what we believe will be a spectacular Virtual Show Week. I have already seen some very strong entries from all around the world, so the judges are certainly going to have a tough job on their hands. Though the Show could not go ahead in its usual format, Virtual Windsor 2020 has really shown how exceptional the equestrian community is and I would like to thank all those that have supported us and got involved.”

The free-to-view content will begin at 11.30 each day and be available on Facebook, YouTube, and on the Virtual Windsor 2020 website.

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

Virtual Windsor 2020 Receives Thousands of Entries from around the World

Following the cancellation of Royal Windsor Horse Show due to COVID-19, the Organisers of the Show have put an innovative solution in place: Virtual Windsor 2020, an online platform that merges virtual competition with e-commerce and social media.  Virtual Windsor has already generated an astounding number of entries to its online Showing classes, which are taking place at the same time as the usual competitions at the Show.

Across all classes, there have already been 3,122 entries from all corners of the globe, demonstrating the willingness of the worldwide equestrian family to pull together and celebrate their passion virtually (a ‘normal’ Royal Windsor would receive around 2,300 entries to its Showing classes). The classes will be judged by Chief Showing Steward, Nigel Hollings, with expertise also provided by John Peacock and Linda Lawrance.

Alan Titchmarsh, Royal Windsor Horse Show Member, celebrated gardener, and television presenter, has joined in with the spirit of the event and is set to judge the fancy dress competition, which has already had some very creative entries. He joins a line-up of judges who have been selected for their expert knowledge, and who have previous experience at top Showing events.

Frances Hampson-Jones has entered her trusted partner, Holliday, in the Ridden Senior Horse or Pony. Their combined horse and rider age is 90 years old – quite a feat! Other heartwarming stories include the 27-year-old horse Sweet William, who has – despite health issues – competed at Royal Windsor every year since he was 16 in the Senior Horse or Pony classes, which he continues to contest virtually this year.

Emma Tovey, owner of Sweet William, said: “Royal Windsor is a very special show to us, and we will miss it enormously this year, but I’m pleased to be able to enter the virtual version. Bring on 2021 and thank you for coming up with a way to keep our spirits up!”

Elsewhere, the line-up includes racehorse Saint Are – five-time runner in the Grand National, including a second placing in 2015 – who is entered in the Retraining of Racehorses class, with his owners hoping to win one of the prestigious Royal Windsor rosettes.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “It’s a great shame that Royal Windsor Horse Show couldn’t go ahead as planned; however, Virtual Windsor 2020 has been phenomenally popular, showing that everyone can come together during these tough times. The amount of entries we have received has been astonishing, with the variety and level of competition extremely high. We want to thank everyone who has supported Virtual Windsor 2020 so far and look forward to what is set to be an exciting Championships taking place on 17 May 2020.”

Virtual Windsor 2020 was also created to support the shops that the show houses each year, many of whom are independent traders. The online show has now welcomed more than 190 brands, with some of them displaying their wares at “Royal Windsor” for the first time this year. Many have selflessly contributed to the NHS however they can, with Hayfield England producing a beautiful hat pin in blue and white feathers to raise money for the NHS; Thermatex colleagues making scrubs bags for NHS employees; and the owner of Bella Singleton – a luxury clothing designer specialising in silk products – creating face masks available to the general public.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show community has shown an admirable ability to seamlessly transfer into the “Virtual World”, with more than 50,000 page views on the Virtual Windsor 2020 platform, coupled with all Royal Windsor related social media pages growing exponentially. As well as this, Virtual Windsor 2020 continues to grow the content platform. Interviews with a golden list of equestrian stars, including Ros Canter, Martin Fuchs, and Daniel Naprous, videos of unforgettable Royal Windsor Horse Show moments of the past, top tips on horse care and nutrition, as well as a new series including Royal Windsor judges will all be uploaded in the coming days and weeks.

Entries for Virtual Windsor 2020 will remain open until Friday 1 May 2020 with shortlists of each class to be announced on Friday 8 May 2020. Classes will be judged during Show week with final winners progressing to the Championships being judged on Sunday 17 May 2020.

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can be found at virtual.rwhs.co.uk.

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

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