18 weird and wonderful sights you only see at Royal Windsor [PICTURES]

  • After five wonderful days at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (13-17 May), the H&H team have pretty much seen it all — from unexpected dressage dismounts to cavalry charges and a visit from The Queen. Have a look through our gallery of weird and wonderful sights to find out why we loved this year’s equine extravaganza…

    1. Royal spectators

    RWHS on 15 05 2015
    The Queen enjoys popping out to her back garden for a glimpse of the action, not least when some of her own horses and ponies are in the ring. Other royal visitors this year included Peter Phillips and his family and the Duchess Of Cornwall. Strictly no selfies allowed though.

    2. A sack race to decide national honours

    2 PC Games
    Competitors in the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games showed athletic ability and great bouncing coordination as England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland battled it out for the top prize. Who knew a common sack could be such a speedy mode of transport?

    3. Four seasons in one day

    Royal Windsor Horse Show 2015
    You needed industrial strength suncream on day one and a heavy duty umbrella on day two. Welcome to the traditional British weather in May.

    Continued below…

    4. A wealth of tourist attractions

    Royal Windsor Endurance Windsor Great Park Windsor Castle
    Tourists pay good money to look around Windsor Castle but competitors in the CEI2* Royal Windsor Endurance ride enjoyed some of the local sights for free as they completed the 120km competition.

    5. The next generation of National Hunt jockeys

    RWHS on 14 05 2015
    Olive Nicholls, daughter of champion National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls, looks to have inherited the racing genes as she leads the field to victory in the Shetland Pony Grand National. Next stop Aintree?

    6. Dressage horses who would rather be showjumping

    RWHS on 13 05 2015
    Tantoni Sir Socrates shows tremendous scope to clear the white boards in the prize-giving under dressage rider Alice Oppenheimer. Rumours that they will be competing in next year’s showjumping grand prix remain unfounded.

    7. Horses enjoying a snooze in the main arena

    7 Household Cavalry2
    After a long day in the saddle, members of the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment took time out to enjoy 40 winks — and we don’t blame them.

    8. Hunts celebrating with a £1,000 win

    RWHS on 14 05 2015
    The WHMG Inter-Hunt Team Knock Out competition is won by the Bicester with Whaddon Chase. The quartet collected a juicy £1,000 prize. Definitely worth battling the elements for.

    9. The cleanest tack you’ve ever seen

    9 Carriage driving
    Competitors from the Coaching Marathon arrived at the Castle Arena in tremendous style. To the dedicated teams who have to keep this lot clean, we salute you.

    10. Queuing for hours for refreshments that will cost you a week’s wages

    Royal Windsor Horse Show 2015
    Spectators could enjoy a feast of food and drink at the show — but you had to dig deep in your purse to pay for it.

    11. A Cheltenham Festival-winning jockey turned winning show rider

    11 Jamie Osborne
    His “Toast Of New York” jacket was spotted around the showground and then, mounted on the spottiest of Appaloosas, Perfect Storm, racehorse trainer Jamie Osborne adds a new string to his bow by winning Sunday’s ridden class.

    12. Showjumpers matching the dressage riders for bling

    12 Genene Burnett 1
    South African competitor Genene Burnett, who runs equestrian clothing company Equiporium, showed off her immense flair for co-ordinating her outfits and tack in the CSI* showjumping classes.

    13. Ponies going so fast they don’t touch the ground

    13 PC Games
    A member of the Welsh team in the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games sprouts wings for a dash to the finish line.

    14. You’re not fully dressed without a bowler hat

    Royal Windsor Horse Show 2015
    We love the tradition of Royal Windsor, not least the strict dress codes — where else can you see gentlemen in bowler hats these days?

    15. Badly parked Land Rovers

    Royal Windsor Horse Show 2015
    Actually no, this isn’t a case of a Discovery owner forgetting to apply the handbrake, but the title sponsor’s cars make a fantastic distraction — and possible hazard — for competitors in the four-in-hand driving marathon.

    16. Some of the most badly behaved horses are in the tradestands

    16 IMG_8725
    This rearing wooden horse in the tradestands certainly had spectators coming in for a second look.

    17. The best seats in the house are on a London bus

    19 bus
    Revellers could enjoy a glass of champagne while watching all the action in the ring.

    18. It’s great to be British

    Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
    Foreign competitors at the show see it as a real eye-opener — where else can you see native breeds crossing paths with world class showjumpers and military riders? The evening performances in particular kept the crowds enthralled and we were proud to celebrate being British. Bring on 2016!

    Don’t miss the full report from Royal Windsor in the 21 May issue of Horse & Hound magazine

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