Windsor: HMQ90 cancelled tonight – but ‘the show will go on’

  • Tonight’s preview of The Queen’s birthday celebrations (HMQ90) has been cancelled at Royal Windsor – but organisers are confident the rest of the show will go ahead as planned.

    All classes were cancelled this morning (11 May), owing to heavy rain, and it was announced this afternoon that tonight’s dress rehearsal was also cancelled.

    But project director Nick Brooks-Ward said he expected all four paid performances to go ahead.

    It will be a challenge but we will cope with it,” he said.

    “It will dry out, it really will. All we need is a little bit of sunshine, this ground is very forgiving.”

    Mr Brooks-Ward said that after “beautiful weather”, rain had fallen yesterday but that “it had dried up”.

    “We weren’t expecting any more,” he said. “The car parks were still fine.

    “Then we had about 30ml overnight, which was not forecast until midnight, when there was a yellow weather warning issued by the Met Office.

    “I came out at 4.30 this morning and we were literally in pools of water – maybe four to five inches in places – and there was just no option.”

    Mr Brooks-Ward said that although “inside the ground was fine”, the risk would have been to people and horses and “we just couldn’t take that risk”.

    There are 900 people staying on site connected to The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, and 3,000 horses due to arrive over the next four days.

    He said: “We’re expecting all four performances to go ahead.

    “It’s all available, the grandstands are there, we’re ready to go.

    “There’s lots of public transport, South West Trains have laid on extra and longer trains, there’s good car parking in Windsor.

    Come and enjoy Windsor, come and enjoy the horse show and enjoy HMQ90.”

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    Mr Brooks-Ward recalled other cancellations, such as in 2003 when the Sunday of the show could not go ahead.

    But he added: “We can deal with it. All we need is a little bit of dry. We will be fine.”

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