Tough Royal Windsor working hunter course produces just two clear rounds

While it’s never been an easy track to conquer, this year’s working hunter course at the Royal Windsor Horse Show proved particularly challenging, as only two starters out of 45 catalogued entries managed to leave the ring with a clear round.

In a quality field of seasoned horses and riders, only two combinations in the lightweight class succeeded in taking home a clean score sheet as others fell victim to course designer Lisa Kelly’s tricky track, which included a spooky water tray, an arched plank fence and some seriously wide oxers.

Taking the heavyweight class with a pole and landing the overall championship was Justine Armstrong-Small and her own Carlingsfords King. The eight-year-old by Crosstown Dancer has been a Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) finalist on multiple occasions both on the flat and in worker ranks. A storming gallop in the championship saw them take the crown in front of the grandstand in the Castle Arena.

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Winning a competitive lightweight class with a clear and standing eventual reserve was one of the younger riders in the class, 20-year-old William Pittendrigh and his own grey gelding Silver Lough. William will be back on Sunday to try and reclaim the working hunter pony championship he won last year.

“I loved the course,” said William, who was also fifth in the heavyweights on his own Touch Of Midnight. “There was a plank with an arch of draping greenery above it which caught a lot out as they ducked going over it. Those who have hunted seemed to manage the best.”

The second clear of the day was the second placed lightweight combination of Katy Green and her prolific gelding Vulcanite.


Don’t miss our full report and analysis from this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show in the 16 May 2019 issue of Horse & Hound magazine

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