Robert Whitaker: ‘Spectators want a good jump-off’ [H&H VIP]

  • Royal Windsor is as good as a lot of shows in Europe. It’s fantastic for owners and riders, and the crowd makes such a difference, although the weather can be an influence. It’s not so far from home but I stayed Saturday night and we watched the Household Cavalry and the Shetland Grand National. My daughter Evie loved it, and it makes a great family day out for competitors and spectators.

    One of the best things is being able to also bring some young horses for the national classes. This main ring is a great experience for them. One of mine I’m really excited about is the Brendon Stud’s six-year-old stallion Noble Warrior. He has lots of scope, he’s careful and has a very good attitude — I think he’s one for the big stuff.

    We’ve lost one CSI3* class per day to the CSI* competitions, but the format still works well. They may have extended the time a bit too much on Friday but with only around 30 riders in a class, they don’t want to build it too big then not have a jump-off — spectators want to see a decent finish and the jump-offs have been good all week.

    A nice touch is that, because there’s a fair walk between the lorry park and the stables, they provide you with trucks and tractors to help you shift all your equipment — that’s a massive help for the grooms.

    I’ve always gone quite well at Windsor for some reason and Catwalk is on good form so I was trying hard to defend my grand prix title on Sunday (pictured). We’re in Rome this week for the first point-scoring Nations Cup round so, if I’m selected on the team, I hope Catwalk can help do us proud.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 21 May 2015