Royal Windsor Horse Show blog: inter-hunt relay chaos and cufflinks

  • “Do they let eventing journalists in here?” demanded Badminton Horse Trials director Hugh Thomas as we met in the Royal Box at the Royal Windsor Horse Show yesterday.

    Had I been quicker, I might have asked if they let horse trials directors in, instead of which I merely stuttered that I’d been invited (with an embossed invitation on card so thick I could barely fold it to get it in my pocket) so I had come.

    So we chewed over Badminton a bit and then I sat next to British Equestrian Federation performance director Will Connell at lunch and we chewed over it a little more, so it wasn’t until after lunch when we spilled out to watch the inter-hunt relay that I really thought much about being at Windsor.

    It’s a few years since I’ve been to this show, but its steeped in my blood through various family connections and I enjoyed my afternoon.

    The hunt relay was chaotic but fun. A few falls, a nappy horse or two, a poor girl whose saddle slipped, depositing her off the side after her first jump. My favourite was the person whose team-mate fell beside her — I thought she was jumping off to give First Aid, but she merely wanted to grab the baton so her hunt could continue the race.

    Then I did a little shopping. I can’t tell you what I bought — mostly presents and too many of the intended recipients read the H&H website. But if you go to Windsor, do check out Thomas & Co Ltd’s cufflink selection…

    And then I retreated to the Royal Box, which I occupied for a while in solitary state (pictured), wondering if people were trying to work out which minor Royal I might be.

    I have to admit I only watched a few in the final Land Rover Open Show Jumping Competition, because it was freezing. Summer, it seems, was those few days last weekend. And I do think if you can no longer feel your hands and you’re not reporting, it’s acceptable to leave a show.

    So I popped back onto the train. That’s a great thing about Windsor — being so near the station. Leave the car at home, have a glass of wine. Or, if summer ever returns, perhaps a Pimm’s?


    Read H&H’s full report on the showing, show jumping, driving and endurance at Windsor, out next Thursday (16 May).

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