A number of would-be showing competitors at Royal Windsor have fallen foul of the Easter Monday (March 28) entry closing date — including high- profile producers.
Julie Templeton and John Harvey, who would between them have fielded 22 animals, were among “around 20” exhibitors whose entries were returned.
Team Harvey’s Beatrice Taverner-Jordan, three, was due to make her show debut in a lead rein class.
“Her mother, Greer [Taverner], went into labour at the show three years ago so we always planned for Beatrice to have her first ride here,” said John Harvey.
“Plus it’s a show we always aim for and haven’t missed in 20 years. Previously, the Windsor secretaries have been probably the most helpful on the circuit.”
Julie Templeton, another long-time supporter, had entered 10 ponies. “We posted ours on the Saturday, but they obviously didn’t arrive until the Wednesday,” said Fiona Wallace of Team Templeton.
“The children are bitterly disappointed – it is the one show they all want to ride at.”
There will be another notable absentee from show pony ranks. Alexandra (Po) Fowler’s Broadgrove Only You has been champion at Windsor for the last four years, but Po was another whose entries arrived late.
“I wanted to take three ponies, but I’ve no-one to blame but myself,” she admitted. “However previously, the online entries were always open for another two weeks.”
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Entries secretary Sarah McWilliam said: “Due to Her Majesty’s 90th birthday celebrations which are taking place in the evenings, there are huge pressures on our timetable this year.
“For this reason we have had to be very strict with the closing date and have not accepted any late entries – regardless of who they are from.
“We kept the online entries open until first thing on Tuesday morning (29 March). We also accepted all entries that arrived in the post that day, but anything that came in after that was sent back.”