Royal Windsor’s new permanent surface of the re-positioned Frogmore Arena was put to the test on Friday after torrential overnight rain and heavy downpours throughout the day. However, it passed with flying colours and competitors and spectators alike approved of the new layout.
Many of Friday’s titles went to horses making their Royal Windsor debut, including Louise Bell’s Man on Fire. Louise took the working hunter title here last year with Cruise Control, and returned with the lightweight, who was bred by John Whitaker by the coloured show jumping stallion Utah Van Erpekom, to reclaim it. Libby Cooke moved up from second in the heavyweights to take reserve.
Christian Kwek, who trains with Louise and was also on his first visit to the show, headed the amateur lightweight hunters with his own nine-year-old gelding Be Cool.
The small hack section produced both title claimants, with Clare Heseltine’s Daldorn Legacy heading Simone Jarnet, who partnered her mother’s Pendley Sir Gayle.
“We’ve had a good day,” said Clare, “as Daldorn Legacy is my first hack, and this is my first title here at Royal Windsor.”
Jayne Webber claimed the cob award with Carol Bardo’s heavyweight The Keystone Cob. Natalie Reynolds was reserve with her lightweight Cassanova.
“He’s another having his first visit here,” said Carol, “and this is his third title this season, having won four of his five outings.”
With a full complement of Mountain and Moorland breeds forward the supreme in-hand was awarded to Sandra and Martin Wooderson’s Fell stallion Clifford Casino. The six-year-old has enjoyed success both in-hand and under saddle. Jack Bowerman, another enjoying his first Royal Windsor visit, went home with reserve after heading the senior Welsh section C division with Llanwenarth Flash Jack.
Stay in touch with all the action from Royal Windsor on Horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss H&H’s full report on all the action in next week’s H&H