The first major Blue Riband title of 2009 went to Vanessa Ramm’s riding horse Sirius II, after heading the Large section at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Thursday.

Vanessa, who is joint Master of the Tynedale hunt in North Yorkshire, and the bay gelding had triumphed at Newark & Notts on their only other outing this term. Carol Bardo’s The Philanderer was in second with Jayne Webber, and held position to claim reserve.

Judges Henrietta Knight and Sarah Leatherbarrow were not afraid to move their top three about in the hunter classes, but they had no hesitation in calling Guy Landau and Finn McCool III in top of the first pull and the pair remained there to head the lightweights, before going on to claim the title for John Dunlop.

“This is his first outing since taking supreme at the Horse of the Year Show,” said Guy, “Since then we’ve been out hunting with the South and West Wilts.”

The heavyweight Loughkeen Dancing Lord and Robert Oliver took reserve for Bernie White and her partner Dave Harries, who had found the chestnut gelding locally in South Wales last summer.

Claire Oliver headed the novice heavyweights with the five-year-old Zolan, and then took reserve. Robert Oliver had bought the bay gelding two years previously.

“He was one of the top four-year-olds last season,” said Robert, “He won Devon, Cheshire & Three Counties in a row and was reserve at the Hunter show.”

However, the top novice prize went to Ladies Man III and Robert Walker for Monserratt Sport Horses. This was a Royal Windsor debut for the Irish-bred five-year-old lightweight, who had won at the Royal and Yorkshire show last season.

Stay in touch with all the news from Royal Windsor at Horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss H&H’s special report on the show, on sale Thursday 21 May