Royal Windsor’s upgrade to CSI5* showjumping next year puts it “alongside the best international horse shows in the world”, according to its director.
The event (10-14 May, 2017) has a total prize fund of more than £520,000, including €275,000 for the new Rolex Grand Prix, the biggest single prize for a five-star showjumping competition in Britain.
A spokesman said the event has been “boosted by the announcement of Rolex as a new official partner”.
Show director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “2017 is an extremely exciting year for Royal Windsor Horse Show with the elevation to five-star level, putting us alongside the best international horse shows in the world.
“Our sponsors and supporters are vital partners in this event and we’re delighted that Rolex has come on board to join our family.”
The show will have its usual complement of four-star dressage, Nations Cup carriage driving and two-star endurance.
More than 140 showing classes are also on offer, including a new supreme show championship.
“As always, The Queen will be keeping a watchful eye on the competition, having had a highly successful 2016 show when she competed her ex-racehorse Barber’s Shop competed,” the spokesman added.
All changes to a show’s official status have to be granted by the FEI, and are dependent on prize money and facilities.
British Showjumping chief executive Iain Graham said the announcement of Royal Windsor’s upgrade to five-star level was “extremely welcome news”.
“We are grateful to Simon Brooks-Ward and the rest of the team at Horsepower in giving the sport such a superb platform on home soil,” he added.
“Since London 2012, the international competition structure within Great Britain has strengthened considerably and to have another five-star show within the mix certainly bodes well for the sport and those within it.”
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Evening performances return next year, including displays from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
Tickets are on sale now, while free admission for the traditional “Windsor Wednesday” can also be reserved.
“Unprecedented demand” for this year’s show meant these free tickets “sold out”, but the day’s competition was then cancelled after heavy rain.