Britain’s first outdoor puissance for 26 years will be held at this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show (10-13 May).

The St George of England Puissance is scheduled for Saturday night, under floodlights, on the artificial surface installed in 2005 at a cost of £250,000.

The revival of the only outdoor competition of its kind in the UK should further cement show jumping in the public eye. This week, the BBC announced it will again broadcast the puissance live from the London International Horse Show at Olympia after last year’s 9pm slot on BBC2 drew more than 2m viewers.

Windsor director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “The all-weather surface at Windsor now makes a puissance possible, and the feedback from riders suggests it’s a surface they love to jump on. The fact that we will be the only outdoor puissance in the UK is an added bonus.”

Royal Windsor first held the St George of England Puissance in 1976, running it until 1981. The only other outdoor puissance currently held in Britain and Ireland is at Dublin Show.

John Whitaker and Tim Stockdale have already added their names to the entry form. “I’m delighted to see the puissance back at Royal Windsor, I remember it from when I was a lad,” said John.

In 2006, Ben Maher won the puissance at HOYS aboard Eperlan Du Fouquet.

He said: “It’s great news, it’s a good class for the public to watch and easy to relate to. There are a lot of good puissance horses around now and the more shows that run the class the better.”

www.royal-windsor-horse-show.co.uk

  • This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (15 February, ’07)