Ahead of this year's Royal Windsor Horse Show (10-14 May 2017), showing producer Jayne Ross shares her secrets for grabbing the judges' attention — and explains why the show is so special to her
Q. How would you explain showing to someone from outside the sport?
Jayne: Showing in many ways is similar to a beauty contest. It is a subjective sport with judges, and the horses all have to perform certain tests, certain movements and behave in certain ways dependent on the horse’s category of showing.
Q. What makes Royal Windsor so special?
Jayne: There is an aura about Windsor from the moment you arrive. If you’re really lucky and win, you get a fantastic photo being presented with your trophy with the backdrop of Windsor Castle. There’s just nothing like it — it’s so special.
Q. How do you make sure you stand out to the judges?
Jayne: Your horse has to look like the one you want to get on, that you’d like to own and you’d like to take home. You just want to have a horse that has the wow factor.
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Q. What is the appeal of the sport for you?
Jayne: I love to produce a young horse and see it through from its early formative years as a three or four year old, up to hopefully winning at somewhere like Royal Windsor. I just love working with a really attractive, beautifully made, good-moving horse.
I feel it’s very important that as a rider, I get involved with the horse from the ground as well, because you get to know their little habits, and their little quirks and you do definitely form a partnership — it’s a bond.
Some people think that showing is maybe the easy option but I’ve done an awful lot of things over the years and believe me, there’s nothing easy about producing the horse on the day. I have the most amazing team behind me and it isn’t me and the horses that have won those rosettes, it’s everybody. It’s a real team effort.