Royal Windsor (14-18 May), set against the magnificent backdrop of Windsor castle, is one of the UK’s biggest shows and always proves popular with spectators and competitors alike.
The event draws big crowds, with visitors able to watch Britain’s leading show jumpers, international driving at its best and showing classes for horses of every type and size during a single visit.
Click hereto view the complete timetable.
Britain’s leading show jumpers – including nine of the top 10 on the current rankings – will be out in force at this year’s show, all hoping for a share of the £11,500 prize-pot in Sunday afternoon’s grand prix.
Jumping classes also take place every day in the Thames ring, where, on the opening day, riders of young horses will strive to qualify for Thursday’s prestigious Walwyn Novice Championship.
With so many classes in which she will take a personal interest, the Queen may well be grateful that the show takes place “in her back garden”. As well as supporting her husband in the driving grand prix, Her Majesty has no less than seven animals entered in the showing classes, plus two coaching entries.
Although the military element is reduced at this year’s Windsor, spectators still have a chance to show their appreciation in Saturday’s services team show jumping and Household Cavalry best turned-out trooper competition. Duties permitting, the King’s Troop will perform its musical ride on Saturday and Sunday evening.
International flavour will be provided by the Land Rover Driving Grand Prix. Competition will be hot, as the horse entries include the reigning champion from Belgium, Felix Brasseur, American Jerez world team silver medallist James Fairclough, Holland’s Harry de Ruyter, who finished sixth at WEG, and in-form Australian Boyd Exell, who isalso the British champion, as well as top British drivers.
There is also a strong pony entry, which includes Prince Philip, who drives the Queen’s Fell ponies, one of whom was pictured in the press recently being ridden by Her Majesty after her knee operation.
As well as the popular Daks Mounted Games, contested by teams from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Pony Club riders have a new show jumping championship to contest at this year’s show. Open to teams frombranches in the home counties, the competition culminates in a main ring final on Saturday evening.
Reining is one of the world’s fastest growing FEI disciplines and visitors will have an opportunity to watch a display of the Western discipline of trail riding by the Western Horsemen’s Association of Great Britain on Thursday.
Windsor is always a paradise for shoppers and this year will be no exception. Tradestand holders travel to the show from all over Britain and no matter what you are looking for – equine or otherwise – you should be able to find it here.
Royal Windsor Horse Show is located between junctions 5 and 6 of the M4 and is eight miles from Heathrow Airport. There are two stations in Windsor. Windsor and Eton Riverside (40min from Waterloo) is 2min walk from the showground, while Windsor Town Centre station (50min from Paddington) is adjacent to the castle.
Tickets are available in advance (discounts available) or on arrival at the show. Adult tickets cost £12-£14; concessions: £7-£9; car parking: £8. Box office (tel: 0870 121 5370).
Read the full Royal Windsor preview in this week’s Horse & Hound (8 May).
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