The Royal Show is dedicating one arena solely to a packed timetable of displays to entertain equestrian enthusiasts and non-riders alike at this year’s show at Stoneleigh (Sunday, 4 to Wednesday, 7 July).
Equine feature co-ordinator, Emma Dineley says: “The arena has been given over solely to displays following feedback from our visitors. We hope staging all our equine displays in one area will improve the experience for our audiences.”
The displays will take place in the former show jumping arena, with the jumping classes moving to the larger Equine Arena 1 to the north of the Grand Ring.
Morning visitors will get the chance to try polo, in association with Ascot Park Polo Club, in “have a go” sessions covering basic stick and ball work, before watching international polo players competing for a challenge trophy in the show’s Grand Ring in the afternoons.
Riders of all ages cannot fail to be entertained by The Saffron Walden Quadrille Team, which has won the title of British Riding Clubs Quadrille of the Year at Olympia an unprecedented four-times. The team will be demonstrating why they are so successful and offering an insight into how a quadrille is put together.
Younger visitors can look forward to watching their peers taking part in The Pony Club’s 75th anniversary celebrations, which will form daily 40-minute displays.
The best of Britain’s native equine breeds will be on show, while the Supporters of British Breeding will be showcasing some of the best-known eventing stallions and their progeny under saddle, alongside some up-and-coming sires for the future. Also, the British Percheron Horse Society will be holding its National Breed Championship Show at the Royal for the first time.
Top private driver Gary Docking will be sharing tips and advice to encourage riders to get involved with driving for pleasure, while the British Harness Racing Club will be introducing audiences to the sulky driving vehicle and the versatility of the Standardbred breed, which can jump as well as run fast.
Finally, David Lloyd of the Western Equestrian Society will be introducing one of the UK’s fastest growing equestrian disciplines, reining, to spectators.
David Lloyd says: “Lots of people are coming over to Western riding because we’re not pulling the horse around. We show people that weight distribution, voice commands and leg pressure are all you need to control the horse through walk, jog (trot) and lope (canter).”