This year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show will have a new look and feel as the show takes place in a new location inside the Queen’s private grounds at Windsor Castle.
Although the show has not moved far — just across the road in fact — extensive work has been undertaken at the new venue to ensure that even the worst of Britain’s spring weather will be unable to bring the show to a halt.
Among the most spectacular of the developments is the huge permanent main arena, which is of a similar size to the one used for the “All The Queen’s Horses” celebration three years ago. With both the warm-up area and the horse-walks around the site similarly surfaced, the days of horses wading through the Windsor mud appear to be over.
Spectators have not been forgotten either, with plastic walkways being put in place to prevent any quagmires from developing, although the current forecast looks to be fairly dry for the four-day show.
Royal Windsor always attracts the highest standards of showing performances and this year riders will be pleased to note that they do not have to negotiate a helter-skelter next to the ring. Instead they will be competing with the delights of a farmers market – it will be interesting to see which the spectators find more appealing!
The new venue will bring the international driving trials and the horse show into the same location for the first time, allowing spectators to enjoy an even wider range of equestrian sports in a single place. Dressage, showing, show jumping, driving will all be on offer during the show, as well as Windsor favourites such as the military services team jumping and the ever popular Pony Club mounted games
The new venue can be accessed over a special footbridge from the parking, which is going to be in Home Park Public. On arrival spectators should make a beeline for the Horse & Hound stand (number I147), where there are a Kentucky Concours competition jacket and £500-worth of Harry Hall clothing to be won, plus tombola prizes from Spillers, Net-Tex Industries and Blue Chip. There are also fantastic subscription offers that will give you up to three months of the world’s leading equestrian magazine free.
All you need to know
Tickets cost £16 for adults and £12 for concessions (OAP, student, children aged 13-16). Car parking costs an additional £7 per day. Children aged 12 and under enter free. All grandstand seats are free and available on a first come, first served basis.
Gates open at 8am with the afternoon performances taking place from 12noon until 5.30pm. The evening performances begin at 6.30 and conclude at 10.30pm.
Please note that no dogs are allowed on the showground, so please leave your dogs at home.
For more details visit: www.royal-windsor-horse-show.co.uk
Thursday, 12 May
polo pony ch; grade A jumping; riding horse ch; Hackney ch; hunter ch; Walwyn Novice jumping ch; trade turnout; Lusitano display; Household Cavalry ride; PC games; Shetland Grand National; novice hunter ch; coloured horses; driving for the disabled; RDA fancy dress; international driving dressage.
Friday, 13 May
M&M in-hand ch; grade A jumping; coaching marathon; cob ch; skill at arms; tent pegging; Household Cavalry ride; Lusitano display; PC games; Shetland Grand National; working hunter ch; driving grand prix dressage.
Gala evening: young dressage horse; arena polo; Lusitano display; dressage masterclass; Hack ch; dressage pas de deux; Household Cavalry ride; King’s Troop musical drive.
Saturday, 14 May
Services jumping; gent’s jumping ch; Shetland Grand National; PC games; Lusitano display; Household Cavalry troopers’ turn-out; mini show pony ch; novice show pony ch; M&M WHP; driving grand prix marathon.
Floodlit evening performance: ladies’ jumping ch; show pony ch; Lusitano display; Shetland Grand National; ridden M&M ch; PC games; Household Cavalry ride; King’s Troop drive.
Sunday, 15 May
grand prix jumping; meet of hounds; King’s Troop drive; Shetland Grand National final; BDS meet; PC games final; Household Cavalry ride; Lusitano display & showing; SHP ch; WHP ch; grand prix obstacle driving.
Floodlit evening performance: Shetland Grand National; double harness scurry; Household Cavalry ride; PC games; Lusitano display; King’s Troop drive; fireworks display.