Dressage fans have been voicing their displeasure that tickets for the Wednesday performance of the Royal Windsor Horse Show are sold out.
For the first time in the show’s history, “unprecedented demand” means that, although tickets are free, there are no more available so there will be no on-spec admission to the showground tomorrow (Wednesday, 11 May).
Dressage rider Tracey Nelson said on social media: “Am I the only person that didn’t know you had to book tickets for Royal Windsor for Wednesday even though they are free? No more available and no entry on the door.”
Zoe Vinden of organisers H Power told H&H: “Tickets are free, but so many people have booked in advance as the day is so popular so we’ve no more to give away.
“We’re thinking about the enjoyment of visitors when they are in the venue, so we don’t want to over-fill it. Plus there would be health and safety concerns.”
Tickets have been on sale at www.rwhs.co.uk since November.
“We’ve always advised people to book tickets in advance in case this happened; we weren’t expecting it but unfortunately it has happened.
“There has been heightened interest in the event and a lot more people keen to come along and see what’s happening. The big names in the dressage are definitely a big draw.”
The dressage class takes place in the main Castle Arena after lunch on Wednesday and every British team rider from the London Olympics will be competing in it.
It is an invitational grand prix freestyle and Charlotte Dujardin rides the current national grand prix champion and recent winner of the freestyle at Keysoe CDI, Barolo.
London team-mates Carl Hester and Laura Tomlinson join Charlotte in the line-up; Carl with his World Equestrian Games and European Championships medallist Nip Tuck and Laura on her new grand prix horse, Rosalie B.
Other top names in the line-up include Michael Eilberg, Spencer Wilton, Hayley Watson-Greaves, Ryan Todd and Pippa Hutton.
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There was a special offer for a members’ enclosure ticket and a reserved seat for the dressage in an allocated block towards the middle of the long side of the arena. The package cost £40 and all 200 slots sold out “in a matter of days”.
Zoe Vinden added: “We’re delighted that Windsor Wednesday is proving such a success; it’s just a shame there are people upset and unable to get tickets.”
Windsor represents one of only a couple of remaining opportunities before the Rio Olympics for riders to polish their freestyle in front of a large crowd and with a championship-type atmosphere in the UK.