Royal Windsor Horse Show (8-12 May 2019) treated us to five days of exciting showing, driving, dressage, showjumping and endurance this year, but it isn’t all about top-level sport — from Pony Club games to the exhilarating displays and Victorian era theatrics of the Pageant, we bring you eight memorable moments from this year’s show.
1. A Victorian throwback
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, the show hosted a 90-minute long Pageant, bringing together well-known and pivotal events and aspects from the Victorian era. With 500 human participants and more than 400 horses taking part, this theatrical performance recreated 19th century Britain in the shadow of Windsor Castle.
2. The Dubai Mounted Police
The largest musical activity ride of the show, with 40 horses, the Dubai Mounted Police put on a thrilling performance as part of the Pageant, accompanied by the Dubai Police Pipe Band.
3. Speedy Shetlands
The Shetland Pony Grand National never fails to delight, with eight gutsy young jockeys — all aged between nine and 13 — and their ponies racing for glory in the atmospheric Castle Arena, raising money for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
4. Army excitement
Ssgt Leighton and Kaito (pictured) helped the Defence Animal Training Regiment A Team secure victory of the Land Rover Service Team Jumping, alongside COH McGrath and Middleham, and Maj Bates riding Kibo.
5. Meeting hounds and huntsmen
At a show full of great British tradition, the Windsor spectators also had the opportunity to meet hounds and horses from local hunts, including the Berks & Bucks Draghounds (pictured).
6. A Royal congratulations
British showjumper Holly Smith celebrates with The Queen and the King of Bahrain after scooping victory in the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup riding the 10-year-old gelding Hearts Destiny.
7. The best of Pony Club team work
More than 60 years after it was introduced in 1956, Pony Club Mounted Games remain as popular as ever, with both young riders and spectators. Here at Royal Windsor, teams representing England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland battled it out in daily qualifiers, with England coming out on top of the final showdown.
8. A fiery display
The Kelaghayi and the Karabakh Horses of Azerbaijan elicited gasps from the Windsor crowds with a display that featured dancing, acrobatics, formation riding and fire-breathing.
Don’t miss the 16 May issue of Horse & Hound, containing 24 pages of coverage from the Royal Windsor Horse Show