Hunter day kicked off in style when Robert Walker claimed his third Royal Windsor Horse Show novice title in four years. The victor this time was Jill Day’s five-year-old Irish-bred lightweight winner, Diplomat’s Choice, having his fourth outing of the season.

“He used to be really nervy, but he’s really grown up over the winter and I was delighted with the way he went today — nothing bothered him,” said Robert.

Reserve went to the locally-based Bardo/Webber team with the Stennett’s lightweight runner-up, Time 2 Reflect, who recently claimed the riding horse title at Keysoe.

Katie Jerram, winner of the novice heavyweights with another Irish-bred contender, Clonaslee Master Diamond, returned to the top spot in the afternoon when her 2010 HOYS supreme, Dunbeacon, galloped away with the open hunter weights tricolour in the Castle Arena for the second year running.

This was indeed a battle of the giants as reserve went to Danielle Heath with Sally Iggulden’s 2011 hunter champion, Oathill Take the Biscuit, who was contesting his first weight class since October.

“[Dunbeacon’s] gallop won him the championship,” said judge Wendy Phipps. “He just lit up and went.”

Derek Morton, no stranger to Windsor’s showjumping prize line-ups, claimed his first working hunter title here after heading the heavyweight division on June Snedker’s 2011 HOYS winner, Keep Talking.

Reserve went to Windsor debutante Michael Cooper with the lightweight winner, Paper Moon, a three-times winner at Hickstead with the Underwood family.

There was a surprise in the ladies’ hunters when Dolly Maude made a victorious show ring debut on Caroline Mackness’s home-produced seven-year-old, Aunty Iris, to demote Michelle Baker and the former HOYS victor, Tommy.

Royal Windsor 2012 results

Part bred/anglo arab (Mrs V Ayling) 148cm 1, H Martin’s Roseberry Spiderman; 2, V Windsor-Phillips’ Nook School for Scandal; 3, G Holder’s Small Land Mikado. exc 148cm 1, L Hall’s High Treason; 2, A Graham’s Paschal High Flyer; 3, A Miller’s Paschal Willow. Land Rover working hunter (J Gilliver, J Poole) lwt 1 & res, M Cooper’s Paper Moon; 2, M Baker’s Talking Point; 3, P Price’s Warco. hwt 1 & ch, J Snedker’s Keep Talking; 2, L Juniper’s Beechfields Astra Zeneca; 3,Y James’ Storm Force. small hunter (Mrs S Kenny, Mrs R King) 1, P Underwood’s Royal Agent; 2, J Day’s Goldern Tasset; 3, M & R Cooper’s Suwannee River. Alan Ross ladies 1, C Mackness’ Aunty Iris; 2, P Underwood’s Tommy; 3, A Tate’s Shanbo River King. Cuddy 4-y-o (Mrs W Phipps, Miss S Chapman) 1, T Deja’s Hurlers Diamond; 2, C Bardo’s D ©j   vu; 3, J Day’s Morning Mist. novice (S Somers, J Poole) lwt 1 & ch, J Day’s Diplomat’s Choice; 2 & res, D Stennett’s Time 2 Reflect; 3, P Rackham’s Bridgham. hwt 1, Mr & Mrs M Jerram’s Clonaslee Master Diamond; 2, Z Owen’s Gaelic Gamble; 3, V Lawes’ Bannerfam Solver. Cuddy lwt (Mrs W Phipps, Miss S Chapman) 1 & ch, Mrs M Jerram’s Dunbeacon; 2, J Day’s Vantage Point; 3, J Day’s Lambwath Dalesman. mwt 1 & res, S Iggulden’s Oathill Take the Biscuit; 2, Mr & Mrs A Bowie’s Potters Ace; 3, P Duncan’s Lowmoor Playboy. hwt 1, C Bardo’s Silverstream; 2, Mr & Mrs A Hall’s Major Moylaw; 3, Gaelic Gamble. in hand, pre veteran (Mrs C Frost, Mrs D Machin) 1 & res, V Littlewood’s Mostown Mars; 2, Z Aspinall’s Smart Affair; 3, K Chaplin’s Cranswick Felix. veteran 1 & ch, J Campion’s Llanfihangel Llinos; 2, K Wilmot’s Temple Guess What; 3, S Brownstone’s Zeigfeld. veteran plus 1, C Hood’s Jigtime Puck; 2, L Taylor’s Lady Penelope; 3, S Soskin’s Lannee de Ravel. ridden, pre veteran 1, P Knight’s Isaris de l’Ecluse; 2, Smart Affair; 3, HM The Queen’s First Love.