Category Archives: Revolution Sports

Olympia Announces Live TV and Streaming Schedule

Olympia, The London International Horse Show announced the live TV broadcast and streaming schedule which will take the Show out beyond the four walls of the Olympia halls. High viewing demand is anticipated for the Show which has eight of the world’s top ten show jumpers lined up to compete including British number ones and Olympic Gold medalists Ben Maher (jumping) and Charlotte Dujardin (dressage). Olympia continues to be the most watched show jumping event in the UK.

Olympia Show Director, Simon-Brooks Ward, said: “We are grateful for the BBC’s continued support of the Show. Over the years their coverage has provided an important platform for equestrian sport in the country and is not only hugely beneficial for the Show but for equestrian sport as a whole.

“This year the competition is shaping up to be better than ever and we hope the extensive viewing opportunities on offer will allow fans from around the world to be involved in what is truly a festive equestrian extravaganza.”

Live Coverage

In the UK, the BBC will be showing over 14 hours of live coverage on BBC Two and on their online platforms including the Red Button.

For those wanting to watch live from outside the UK:

All FEI World Cup™ classes can be viewed internationally on FEI TV.

In the US and Canada the full programme of classes with the exception of the FEI World Cup™ classes will be available on Horse & Country TV.

In Scandinavia, the full programme of classes, with the exception of the FEI World Cup™ classes will be shown on Riders Live TV.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

Up-and-Coming Stars Set to Feature in National Classes at Olympia

In addition to hosting the world’s top riders, Olympia, The London International Horse Show is proud to welcome the country’s leading national competitors as they contend for National Championship titles.

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship runs under a new format in 2019, with 24 riders selected to compete in the initial qualifying round on Friday 20 December. The top ten from this qualifier will advance to the final on Sunday 22 December.

The new qualification criteria for the class rewards achievements across the year, ensuring a top-class field. The first ten places go to the members of the Great British Junior European and Young Rider European teams, which includes Jack Whitaker, Britain’s top performer at the Junior Europeans, who is also making his mark on the senior international circuit, and William Fletcher, another rising star of the international ranks having already represented Great Britain at Senior FEI Jumping Nations Cup level.

William’s brother, 16-year-old Oliver, will also take his place on the starting line-up having been part of the Junior European Team which finished sixth at this year’s Championships, along with Oli Tuff, Sienna Charles, and Lily Attwood.

Joe Stockdale will be looking to back up his victory in the Under 25 class at Royal Windsor Horse Show in May and will be joined by his Young Rider European teammates Graham Babes, Leonie Aitkenhead, and Jodie Hall McAteer.

Others to automatically gain a coveted spot in the competition are those who have represented Great Britain at Senior FEI Nations Cup level in 2019, including James Wilson and Emily Moffitt, who will also be taking part in the 5* competition at the Show, along with Georgia Tame, Emily Ward, and wildcard Harry Charles, who was second in last year’s Championship.

James Wilson has broken into the top ranks in 2019, representing Great Britain on several occasions, including in the FEI Nations Cups at Hickstead, La Baule, and St Gallen, where he was one of only a few combinations to jump double clear. Another increasingly familiar name on the international scene is Emily Moffitt, who was a pivotal part of the team that won the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Ireland in August.

The final places in the competition go to qualifiers from dedicated classes at selected British Showjumping Shows. Qualifying at the Aintree Equestrian Centre Winter Classic was Charlie Jones, Millie Allen, Chloe Reynolds, and Joe Trickett, whereas Alanna Clutterbuck, Yazmin Davis, Flo Norris, and James Whitaker made it through from the Addington Equestrian Winter Classic.

The Pony Club Mini-Major

The Mini-Major is a popular class which sees Pony Club members pair up with top international riders in a thrilling competition to each complete a fault-free Show Jumping round in the quickest time. Last year’s competition saw leading British female riders Laura Renwick and Holly Smith, as well as crowd favourites William Funnell and Guy Williams, line up alongside young Pony Club riders from across the country.

Travelling across from Northern Ireland to represent the Iveagh Pony Club will be Charlotte McCracken, who along with Millie Lawson from Deeside in Scotland and Tom Hogan from Gwynedd in Wales, will be reigniting the battle with their English counterparts. Essex will have two representatives, Hollie Gerken from the Essex Branch and Liala Ramaci from Essex Hunt North, with Bisley and Sandown Chase, North Warwickshire, and Banwell represented by Tommy Goody, Isabella Beecroft-Luckett, and Emmie Horner, respectively.

The furious competition between the young riders and their 5* counterparts is set to take place during the afternoon of Wednesday 18 December.

BSPS Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux

The last day of Olympia, Sunday 22 December, will play host to one of the most prestigious Showing finals in the country, The BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux. A place in the Olympia final is the most coveted prize within the native pony ranks and competition to qualify for Olympia has been greater than ever.

The 2019 final will welcome ponies and riders from around the country, including last year’s Reserve Supreme Overall Champion, Cadlanvalley Buzby and 14-year old Libby Grota. Following a hugely successful year, Libby returns to Olympia determined to go one better than 2018 and clinch the top prize aboard her family’s home-bred Welsh Section B stallion.

Libby will face competition from old rival Emma Boardman, owner and producer of last year’s third-placed Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso, a Welsh Section D who scored the highest performance marks at Olympia in 2018.

Competing at Olympia Grand for the first time will be nine-year-old Olivia Brightmore, with her home-produced Shetland Pony Lotuspoint Cassisus. The pair qualified at the BSPS Heritage Championships, where they also won the Restricted Open Ridden Small Breeds and the Open Ridden Small Breeds, an astounding feat given it was the young rider’s first attempt at open level. Following her qualification, Olivia described her debut at Olympia as “beyond exciting.”

Another to make her debut at the Show will be April Gilmartin with her home-produced Gems Malt Whiskey. Blackpool-based April, a beautician, and her mother Kathleen, a former champion ballroom dancer, bought ‘Malty’ as a two-year-old, and form the ultimate amateur team, producing the Welsh Section C at home. Qualifying for Olympia at the BSPS Heritage Championships on their first attempt was extra special for the team as it will provide trainer Pam Prickett, who is battling cancer, the chance to tick off a major event on her bucket list.

Also taking to the Olympia Grand for the first time will be Skellorn Royal Anniversary, the Welsh Section B star of the Netflix series ‘Free Rein’, owned and ridden by Victoria Oakes. Conversely, it will be the last-ever appearance under saddle for Lynda Calcutt’s Dartmoor stallion Shilstone Rocks North Westerly, as the prolific winner will retire at the Show. Ridden by regular partner Chloe Chubb, they recently won their final class at Horse of the Year Show and will hope to bow out in style at Olympia.

The Final of the BSPS Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 22 December, alongside 5* Show Jumping action and displays from The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and Jean-François Pignon.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “The quality of the National classes at Olympia is improving year-on-year, and really adds to the Show. It’s a privilege to see the next generation of riders coming up through the ranks and be able to provide a unique opportunity for them to be able to compete amongst their heroes at a 5* Show like Olympia.”

In addition to the National classes, spectators can also expect top international action, as the Show hosts three FEI World Cup™ competitions across the seven-day event, in Dressage, Driving, and Show Jumping, alongside an exciting array of international display acts and competitions. New features, such as the ‘Dressage Unwrapped’ masterclass, will join old favourites such as The Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National and classes such as The Cayenne Puissance and the prestigious Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix to provide entertainment for the whole family.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

Rolex and Equestrianism: An Enduring Legacy

Photos: Ms. Baade riding Clemens in the Wallküren-Preis at CHIO Aachen, 1930; Isabell Werth riding Satchmo at CHIO Aachen, 2010.

More than 60 years ago, Rolex formed a partnership with the greatest show jumper in history to represent Great Britain, the pioneering Pat Smythe. Winner of more grand prix events in more countries than any man or woman before her, she was the first female rider to participate in the Olympics and the first to win a medal, a team bronze in Stockholm in 1956. Like Rolex, she was an innovator, always pushing back the boundaries of what was possible. In 1957 Smythe joined the Rolex family, becoming its first equestrian Testimonee, marking the start of one of the strongest alliances in the sport. Since then, Rolex’s bond with the equestrian world has grown stronger each year. In 2019, Rolex celebrates several key anniversaries within the sport, with milestones for two elite equine events and two legendary athletes.

ROLEX GRAND SLAM

Rolex’s association with one of the sport’s four prestigious Majors began 30 years ago when it partnered with the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, the annual show jumping competition held in the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Canada. It was here, in 2015, that Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash etched his name in equestrian history by becoming the first and, to date, only winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the sport’s ultimate prize awarded to the winner of the Grand Prix at three successive Majors. His feat was the result of an unwavering quest for perfection, an unprecedented display of precision and excellence required to win all of these historic Majors.

Preceding the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ is the CHIO Aachen, an event that this year celebrates 20 years of partnership with Rolex. Founded in 1924, this revered event in Germany is the oldest of the four show jumping Majors. Its rich heritage is cherished by the knowledgeable 360,000 fans that annually fill the 40,000-seat open-air stadium over nine days of top-tier competition. Widely considered equestrianism’s “homecoming” event, CHIO Aachen is often likened to The Championships, Wimbledon, being the oldest and most prestigious tournament within the sport. Another quality it shares with the esteemed tennis event, which Rolex is proud to have partnered for more than 40 years, is the unquestionable passion of the spectators who travel far and wide to watch their heroes in action. Isabell Werth is one rider who enjoys superstar status at CHIO Aachen, competing in front of an adoring home crowd whose noisy adulation fills the purpose-built Hauptstadion.

THE QUEEN OF DRESSAGE

Over the years, Werth has become known as “the queen of dressage,” a title bestowed on her due to a glittering career that has helped elevate the discipline to new heights. Werth has won more Olympic medals than any other equestrian athlete in history, 10 in total, six of them gold. Her long list of achievements includes a World Championship victory in 2006 at Aachen, where she was presented with an engraved Rolex Timepiece, and a gold medal for team dressage and a silver for individual dressage at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Speaking of her key achievements, Werth said: “You don’t forget those special moments, even after all these years. Every time I look at my Rolex watch it reminds me of reaching the very top of my sport.”

THE PESSOAS

Another key member of the Rolex family is the Brazilian show jumper Rodrigo Pessoa. Son of Nelson Pessoa, a legendary equestrian athlete in his own right, Rodrigo seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. Commenting on his childhood, Rodrigo says: “My father travelled a lot. Taking me to the shows was a way for us to spend time together and he wanted to see if I would catch the horse and competition bug at a young age, and I did.” As Rodrigo grew up, he had the benefit of his father’s knowledge and expertise to guide him through the highs and lows of being an elite equestrian athlete. Nelson supported his son every step of the way, from the moment he first made an impression on the sport at the age of 19, to winning Olympic gold in Athens in 2004. Rolex also has supported Rodrigo during his decorated career. Throughout this partnership, 20 years old and still going strong, the gifted rider has received many accolades and established himself as one of the most respected names in the sport. Of the partnership, Rodrigo says: “The support from Rolex shows how committed they are to our sport and to raising the level of professionalism. The progress made in our sport over the years has been tremendous and it would not have been possible without Rolex elevating the bar.”

Having competed in the upper echelons of the sport for more than four decades, Pessoa decided to take his career in a new direction towards the end of 2016, turning his focus towards coaching and accepting the highly respected position as Irish Chef d’Equipe. In this role, he found himself mentoring young Irish rider Bertram Allen, Rolex’s youngest equestrian Testimonee. In the same way Nelson imparted his wisdom to Rodrigo, the latter now finds himself tutoring one of the sport’s most exciting prospects. Rolex’s partnerships with key figures in the equestrian community, such as Pessoa, Allen, and Werth, run across generations and continents, enabling knowledge and experience to be shared. Rolex is confident this process will perpetuate a cycle of renewed and enduring excellence, the benefits of which can already be seen through Pessoa’s rapid success as Ireland show jumping team manager, to give one example. Within a year of Pessoa taking the reins, an Irish team featuring Allen claimed team gold at the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg. Coincidentally, Werth took gold in all three dressage categories she competed in at those Championships, once again highlighting Rolex’s wide-ranging support to top equestrian athletes.

YOUNG RIDERS ACADEMY

It is worth noting that these top competitors’ partner with Rolex not only when they are at the pinnacle of their careers, but also as aspiring riders striving to make their name in the sport. Allen, for example, is a graduate of the Young Riders Academy, an initiative supported by Rolex and the most prestigious training course available to young equestrian athletes. Since leaving the Academy, Allen joined the Rolex family of Testimonees and represents a new era of equestrian excellence. They serve as a reminder of Rolex’s long-standing support for human achievement, which can be traced back to the brand’s pioneering roots and is demonstrated by its creation of the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, the Rolex Oyster.

By nurturing young talent and supporting them as Testimonees on their journey to becoming champions, the Swiss watchmaker’s presence permeates all levels of the sport. The brand’s belief in unlimited human potential, in striving for continuous improvement, is embodied in a word inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. Perpetual. The important equestrian anniversaries being celebrated in 2019 highlight Rolex’s long-standing and continuing commitment to this elegant and historic sport.

Minna Hall
rEvolution
http://revolutionworld.com

Young Riders Take Up the Family Reins at Olympia

Young riders are coming through the ranks at the 2019 edition of Olympia, The London International Horse Show. The Show, which has a vivid history of hosting the biggest names in sport, will this year see a new generation with famous family names at the fore.

The Whitaker family, one of several show jumping clans who have dominated the sport in the last four decades, will be represented by Robert, son of 64-year-old Olympic silver medalist John. He won’t be the only Whitaker competing as 18-year-old Jack, son of John’s brother Michael, has once again qualified for the prestigious Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship. The Whitaker family will be chasing the glory of the 2018 Show, when John and Michael’s nephew, 30-year-old William, captured the FEI Jumping World Cup at Olympia aboard Utamaro d’Ecaussinnes in the biggest win of his career to date.

As the younger generation come through, the current qualifiers for the 2019 Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship show a dominance of riders with exceptionally strong show jumping pedigrees. Leading the way are the Fletcher family, with both 16-year-old Oliver and 20-year-old William qualified. The brothers, sons of Olympic silver medalist Graham and GBR Championship rider Tina, will be going head to head in the competition, which stages its finals during the Sunday evening performance.

Both Oliver and William have already achieved a lot in their short careers, with the former becoming the youngest ever winner of an Area Trial when he was just 15, before following up with an individual silver medal and the Junior European Championships the same year. William, who has represented Great Britain at Senior Nations Cup level, as well as winning Team Gold in the Young Rider European Championships in 2018, last year won the Ella Popely Mentorship Award at Olympia, in recognition of his position as one of the most promising young riders in the sport.

Also qualified for the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship is Joe Stockdale, son of the late Tim Stockdale who was a regular winner over the years at Olympia and a dominant force on the British national team, whom he represented at not just the World and European Championships but the Olympics. Joe will be looking to improve on his eighth place in the same class at last year’s Olympia. 2019 has been extremely fruitful for Joe, who took his first world ranking class earlier in the year and won the Under 25 class at Royal Windsor Horse Show in May, prompting him to be selected for the Young Rider Junior European Championships.

Also appearing at this year’s competition will be 17-year-old Sienna Charles, the youngest of three children following in the footsteps of their father, the Olympic team gold medalist Peter Charles MBE. Sienna will be hoping to go one better than her brother Harry, who in 2018 was the runner-up in the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship at Olympia and has since gone on to represent Great Britain at senior level. The Charles family dynasty looks set to continue, as sister Scarlett also makes a name for herself on the show jumping circuit.

Nephew of double Olympic gold medalist Nick Skelton CBE, Charlie Jones, secured his place at Olympia with a great performance in the Aintree International Equestrian Centre qualifier, setting up a dream trip to the prestigious Show. “Riding at Olympia is something that I’ve always dreamed of and I’m so excited to have qualified!” said Jones. “I’ve grown up watching the world’s best riders there and that I will be amongst them this year is just amazing!”

Matt Tarrant, from Voltaire Design, sponsor of the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship at Olympia, is delighted that such a high calibre of competitor is poised to take to the Olympia Grand, “It’s fantastic to see so many recognisable names already qualified for Olympia, with another qualifier at Addington still to come. The class is a stepping stone for the next generation of show jumping, taking place at one of the most prestigious shows in the world, so it seems fitting that names such as Whitaker, Charles and Stockdale are competing.”

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championships Final commences at Olympia, The London International Horse Show on Friday 20th December, with a Championship for the top ten qualifying combinations on Sunday 22nd December.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

New Format for Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship at Olympia

British Showjumping and HPower Group are pleased to confirm an exciting new format for the 2019 Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

Twenty-four riders will be invited to compete in the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Qualifier, scheduled to run during the morning session on Friday 20 December at 10.35am. The two-round class will have a start height of 1.40m, the second of which will be a thrilling competition held against the clock.

The top 10 from this qualifier will then advance to the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship which will run during the evening performance on Sunday 22 December at approximately 6.00pm. Faults will not be carried through from Friday, so each rider will start on a score of zero and riders will be jumping for the lion’s share of the £13,000 prize pot on offer. With a start height of 1.45m, the class will again run over two rounds with the top five progressing through to the jump off.

The qualification criteria for the twenty-four riders who will be invited to compete in the 2019 Championship are as follows:

  1. The five team members from the Junior team at the FEI European Championships
  2. The five team members from the Young Rider team at the FEI European Championships
  3. The Under 25 riders that have been selected as part of the squad of five for any Senior Nations Cup teams in 2019
  4. The top four Under 25 combinations (disregarding those riders already qualified) from the National 1.40m Open class incorporating the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Qualifier at the following Winter Classic Shows**
    – Aintree Equestrian Centre Winter Classic (10-13 October 2019)
    – Addington Equestrian Winter Classic (30 October – 2 November 2019)
  5. One wildcard to be awarded based on results from 2019 Senior, Young Rider, and Junior Nations Cups, the September 2019 FEI Jumping Under 25 Ranking List, and also prospect for teams for the year 2020

Any riders who have qualified via points 1, 2, 3, and 5 and are unable to accept their place on a Grade A or Grade B horse, alongside any combinations from point 4 who have not jumped for four faults or less in the first round, will be substituted with riders in order from the September 2019 FEI Jumping Under 25 Ranking List.

* If there are more than five riders, the riders with the best results in the Nations Cup would take priority as decided by the Performance Manager dependent on the conditions of the respective Nations Cup

** Combinations must have jumped for four faults or less in the first round

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

This Esme and Teddy the Shetland to Take Centre Stage at Olympia Live Zone

Olympia, The London International Horse Show is thrilled to announce the 2019 line-up for the hugely popular ‘Live Zone.’ Providing a unique opportunity for spectators to meet and interact with some of their favourite equestrian stars, this year’s Live Zone features online influencers as well as talks, Q&A sessions, and rider interviews.

Alongside the exclusive opportunity to meet elite equestrian athletes, the Live Zone will include guest appearances from social media sensations, including Esme Higgs, one of the world’s most popular equestrian influencers. Attending from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 December, Higgs is famous for her YouTube videos of her life with her ponies and donkeys and attracts 3.5 million viewers to her YouTube channel ‘This Esme’ each month.

Teddy the Shetland will be at Olympia on Thursday 19 December and Friday 20 December for a ‘meet and greet’ and photo opportunities. The miniature Shetland who has over 120,000 followers has become a social media superstar and has even been featured in a Dior photoshoot.

Show jumper Kate Lewis, who documents her equestrian journey under the name ‘Blob the Cob’, will be making her Olympia Live Zone debut on Thursday, 19 December. Known for her incredible bareback jumping videos, the 20-year-old from North Yorkshire has over 136,000 Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers.

This year the Live Zone will also see appearances from young eventing rider ‘Pony Nuts,’ Vic Brant, who writes the hugely popular online blog ‘Diary of a Wimpy Eventer’ and vloggers Tina Wallace and Emily Dunstan who make videos as ‘Life on the Left Rein’ and ‘EMD Eventing’. By popular demand, pony producer Megan Elphick of Elphick Event Ponies will be making her Live Zone debut with a Q&A session, answering questions about training tactics and the best confidence-building exercises for ponies.

Olympia’s Official Charity, The Tim Stockdale Foundation, will also be supporting the Urban Equestrian Academy on the Live Zone for Part II of the Olympia Riding Academy – the initiative started earlier this year with an educational trip to the Stockdale’s yard.

The complete 2019 timetable will be announced later this month and will also include top international competitors from show jumping, dressage, and driving as well as specialist equestrian experts, and other stars of the Show.

Olympia Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Olympia recognises the importance of digital bloggers and YouTube stars and we want to build unforgettable experiences for both our visitors and for those people who have such an influence on the equestrian community. The Live Zone at Olympia has been an incredibly successful initiative that brings fans and riders together. This year, it returns better than ever with an extensive list of guests.”

YouTuber ‘This Esme’ is one of the world’s largest equestrian social media stars. “Olympia is definitely one of my favorite times of year. I have been every year since I was 10 years old and it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without it! This year I’m really excited to be back in the Live Zone meeting my viewers and soaking up the special Olympia atmosphere.”

Taking place at Olympia Grand this December, Olympia, The London International Horse Show attracts the world’s best riders and carriage drivers. The West Kensington venue will host seven days of top-class equestrian competition between 16-22 December, thrilling visitors from around the country. Alongside three FEI World Cup legs in Dressage, Show Jumping, and Carriage Driving, 90,000 spectators will also enjoy international performances from The Household Calvary Musical Ride and Jean-Francois Pignon’s new ‘Black and White’ display.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

Sir Anthony McCoy and Bridget Andrews to Captain the Teams at Olympia’s Star Studded ‘Race Night’

Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy OBE and Bridget Andrews have been confirmed as the team captains for the 2019 edition of the Markel Jockeys Jumping, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. Returning for another electrifying year, the legendary ‘Race Night’ will thrill the audience of Olympia Grand with two star-studded teams, including the world’s top jockeys. Taking place on Friday 20 December 2019, spectators of the Show can expect nail-biting action as the teams battle it out for the Champions’ Crown.

Now in its fifth year, the Markel Jockeys Jumping, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, will see some of Britain’s world-class jockeys switch disciplines to compete in a relay show jumping competition, swapping the racetrack for the Olympia arena in front of a 7000 strong crowd. This year’s format will see an all girls’ team, captained by Bridget Andrews and including top names Bryony Frost and Hayley Turner, go head-to-head with an all boys’ team captained by 20-time champion jockey, Sir Anthony McCoy.

Bridget Andrews, who recorded her first Cheltenham Festival winner in 2018, is one of the best female jump jockeys in the UK. Joining her will be Bryony Frost, who earlier this year became the first woman to win a Grade One race over fences at the Cheltenham Festival. Hayley Turner OBE will also join the all girls’ team. Hayley is a multiple Group One-winning jockey with over 800 career wins, making her the most successful female flat jockey of all time in Britain. This year she became the first woman for 32 years to win a race at Royal Ascot.

Joining Sir Anthony McCoy will be former flat champion jockeys, Ryan Moore and Jim Crowley. Harry Skelton will also be returning in hope of defending his title in rather less dramatic circumstances, following a bridle malfunction in the 2018 event. The final line-up of remaining members will be announced at a later date.

Captain of the boys’ team, AP McCoy, said: “The atmosphere at ‘Race Night’ is electric and I love being a part of the Markel Jockeys Jumping. I’m looking forward to once again showing the girls how it’s done! In addition to all the fun, it shines a light on all the great work the Injured Jockeys Fund do in both the racing world and across the wider equestrian community.”

Juliet Redfern, Head of Equine Insurance at Markel, said: “Markel is delighted to be continuing its support of this fabulous event, which just seems to get more popular every year. The Injured Jockeys Fund is a wonderful charity, that looks after its own so well, and we couldn’t be happier to be returning to Olympia for a fifth year!”

Taking place in the iconic Olympia Grand this Christmas (16-22 December), Olympia, The London International Horse Show is a highly anticipated equestrian event which attracts the best riders and drivers from around the world. The week of equestrian action will see many of the world’s best athletes travel to the iconic Olympia venue, as the Show hosts three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage, Carriage Driving, and Show Jumping.

Spectators can also look forward to entertainment from The Shetland Pony Grand National, Kennel Club Dog Agility, and the festive extraordinaire: the Christmas Finale. The 2019 edition of the event will open its doors to two international displays including the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, performing its Musical Ride at this year’s Show. Made up of 28 horses and 36 mounted ceremonial service members – who also serve as fighting soldiers – the Musical Ride is unique across the globe, as it demonstrates exceptional horsemanship and the very best of British military tradition. Horse Whisperer, Jean-François Pignon, will be debuting his ‘Black and White’ display for the first time in front of a UK audience. Adding to an already impressive line-up of displays, Pignon’s performance, which comprises six white and two black mares, is bound to be a crowd pleaser as he wows the crowds with his unique skills.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / 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 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