Although main titles on the second day all went to horses with marvellous track records, most were posting their first Royal Windsor victories.
On her first visit to Royal Windsor, Nikki Hall impressed judges Hilary le Moignan and Joan Lewis to take the title with her home-produced small hack Take Silk. The nine-year-old grey mare, by Criminal Law and bred at the Louella Stud, had taken reserve at Addington Manor festival last month.
With their main ring spot brought forward, Leon King had no time to change after heading the large hacks with Pearl Underwood’s Royal Trooper, so dashed from one ring to another to claim reserve.
Last year’s victor, Lynn Russell’s Lynx, had to settle for reserve when the heavyweights took top cob honours, as Robert Walker was back in the frame aboard Camilla Neame’s So Smart II, to claim a first title here for the skewbald gelding.
Louise Bell’s 12-year-old gelding Cruise Control just improves with age and gave his usual sparkling performance to head the lightweight working hunters. Although he was reserve here two years ago, this was his first Royal Windsor title.
With two through to the main arena for June Snedker, Rory Gilsenan took the heavyweight Keep Talking to claim reserve. June’s daughter Lisa Shepherd deputised on the lightweight Kenlis Quality.
Helen Clubley and Grigio Fumo headed the working cobs. Bought last autumn the grey gelding had done flat classes but this is his first worker season.
“He’s such a character,” said Helen “he kept snatching pieces of greenery off the fences to eat and he can open every stable door.”
Don’t miss H&H’s full report from Royal Windsor, on sale 15 May, ’08