Royal Windsor Horse Show is to celebrate its 60th anniversary with the unveiling of a new permanent all-weather arena, plus a spectacular look back at its origins as a wartime fund-raiser, when it began in 1943.

This year’s show (14 – 18 May) will feature an all-weather surface in its main arena, set against Windsor Castle as its dramatic backdrop. The surface will be developed into an all-year round facility for equestrian events and to benefit the local community.

The new arena is likely to be welcomed by both show jumpers and dressage competitors, as it will give consistently good footing regardless of the often unreliable spring weather.

The event’s organisers, Horsepower International, are keen to develop the show to host international competitions in future years.

The main arenawill host a spectacular display as the centrepiece of the show’s Wings For Victory theme, harking back to its origins as part of a national effort to raise funds for the Battle of Britain.

Each display will feature a formation flypast, a celebration of the horse’s role in war, and costumes, music and military vehicles from the 1940s, masterminded by All The Queen’s Horses supremo Sir Michael Parker.

The horse driving trials at the show is to be Britain’s only international event for the sport this year and has an enthusiastic following. It is also on the list for future developments.

“In 2004, we will host a CAIO for national teams and individuals,” confirms Michael Shepherd, chief executive of the show. “We are also planning to upgrade the facilities to make this the sort of world-class event the top driving teams demand. We believe Windsor has the potential to become the leading driving event in Europe.”