As Royal Windsor basked in sunshine on the opening day, The Queen was at ringside to watch her large riding horse Petition and Katie Jerram take the title of riding horse champion.
Homebred by Petoski, the six-year-old gelding was second as a novice here last time. Jo Bates was in second with Anna Sherriff’s Broadstone Dolcevita and held position to claim reserve for the second year running.
As Sarah Sharp was away on holiday she missed seeing her novice riding horse Ellusive II claim the red rosette on his fourth outing with Helen Baker. Meanwhile Lucy Cameron headed the smalls with Diane Stennett’s Foxy Formula.
David Tatlow’s yard was in major contention in the open hunter section. David claimed the middleweight’s with Imperator for the Halls’ whilst his daughter Lorraine Homer took the title with Ann Smurfit’s lightweight Bow River. This was a first outing this season for the seven-year-old who had taken the novice award here in 2006.
For the third year running Carol Bardo’s Silverstream II topped the heavyweights with Jane Webber taking him to stand reserve.
Five-year-old chestnut geldings headed both novice hunter ranks with Jill Day’s lightweight Hitman and Robert Walker taking the title. Magnus Nicholson took Debbie Godber’s Rockefeller to claim reserve.
After a breakdown on the way Darren Blanchard only just made the gate with Pferde Stud Picasso to head the non-native coloured in-hand ranks. The three-year-old took the Brightwells title at the BSPS winter championships at Keysoe.
“I didn’t think we’d make it in time as the gear-box went on the first lorry, then our rescue vehicle ran out of diesel,” said Darren.
The four-year-old Divine Edition maintained her record here by claiming the Appaloosa in hand title for Jane Shakespeare for the third year running.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s in-depth report on all the showing from Royal Windsor, on sale Thursday 15 May