A SUPREME YEAR FOR NATIONAL ENTRIES AT ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW

Royal Windsor Horse Show – one of the pinnacle equestrian events in the UK – will once again welcome some of the country’s best national Showing and Show Jumping combinations to the private grounds of Windsor Castle from 1–5 May.

A SUPREME YEAR FOR NATIONAL ENTRIES AT ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW

Janay Atherden riding Red Rock III winners of the Coloured Ridden Championship sponsored by the Leeman Family and The Martin Collins Enterprises Cob Championship @RoyalWindsorHorseShow/Peter Nixon

Showing

Often regarded as the start of the Showing season, Royal Windsor Horse Show has this year received over 1700 entries – including 26 from His Majesty the King – across 130 classes, which span sections for everything from Shetlands to Shires. Showing, which not only has a rich and long tradition at the Show, but also across the United Kingdom, sees the best-bred and best-presented horses and ponies judged against each other for looks, performance, and suitability to perform their chosen role.

Showing commences on Thursday 2 May with classes taking place in all four arenas across the Showground. The Senior In Hand Championship in the Adelaide Arena will be the first of 30 different Championships to take place over the four days of Showing action, and is a masterclass in horse welfare – with winners displaying horses and ponies sometimes well into their thirties. Elsewhere on Thursday, The RoR Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Horse Championship supported by Royal Windsor Racecourse will be another highlight of the day, one not to miss for racing fans. The class celebrates former racehorses who have found a second career away from the racetrack – and this year the 2023 winners, Minella Rebellion and Katie Dashwood, will return with the hopes of repeating their success.

One of the most prestigious titles in the world of Showing, the LeMieux Hunter Championship, will take place on Friday morning. The class, which has been dominated in recent years by Cheshire master-showman Robert Walker, was won last year by his groom Aimee Stunt riding MHS Morning Master. This year, Robert will be looking to reclaim the title with five entries across the Hunter classes including MHS Morning Master. Later in the day, last year’s Count Robert Orssich Hack Champion winners, Danielle Heath and Forgeland Hyde Park, will be hoping to make it three in a row, having won the title consecutively in 2022 and 2023. Another combination who will be looking to defend their title on Friday are Janay Atherden and Red Rock III, who were triumphant last year in the Martin Collins Enterprises Cob Championship.

Saturday sees the Mountain & Moorland (M&M) breeds take the spotlight, with 19 classes and four Championships taking place over the course of the day. The classes will see several breeds, such as the Dartmoor pony and the Welsh Pony on display, showcasing the native breeds of the British Isles. The final Championship of the day, the BSPS Mountain & Moorland Ridden Championship sponsored by New Horizon Plastics, will take centre stage in the prestigious Castle Arena with riders hoping for their horse or pony to be crowned the ‘Best of British’.

Sunday – the final day of the Show – sees a full schedule of Showing. Enthusiasts will be treated to several different breeds on show with Part Bred and Anglo Arabs as well as Pure Bred Arab classes taking place throughout the day. Sunday will also see the final ‘Pretty Polly’ classes take place. The classes which were introduced last year to great success celebrate home-produced horses and ponies.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “We are thrilled to have such an incredible number of Showing entries for this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show. Showing is truly at the heart of this Show, and we cannot wait to see the wonderful variety of horses and ponies who will be competing – it is always quite a spectacle.”

National Show Jumping

Nicole Lockhead Anderson riding Quanthargos winners of the The Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship sponsored by Martin Collins Enterprises @RoyalWindsorHorseShow/PeterNixon

Alongside the 5* Show Jumping that happens at the iconic Show, Royal Windsor hosts a variety of highly competitive national Show Jumping classes. The action commences in the Castle Arena on Thursday morning with the Redpost Equestrian Senior Foxhunter which will see over 100 horse and rider combinations taking part. The class, which is solely for horses who have won less than 700 British Showjumping points in their career, often attracts some of the most exciting young horses in the country. The Billy Stud once again comes to Royal Windsor Horse Show with a strong hand – 10 horses ridden by five different riders – which are sure to provide stiff competition. Of these, Olympic Event rider Pippa Funnell – wife of the founder of the Billy Stud – William Funnell, will partner home-grown talent Billy Snowdonia and Billy Caravaggio. Another notable name to contest the class is Sophie Gracida riding Ortego, a horse owned by her husband Ben Maher, the current World No.2.

Next to take centre stage in the Castle Arena is The LeMieux National 1.40m Open Jumping Competition. Royal Windsor Horse Show Ambassador Joseph Stockdale will be one to watch as he brings the eight-year-old Laska JDV owned by Christian Matthews, as will talented young rider Nicole Lockhead Anderson riding Chilli. Adding international interest to the action will be France’s Dan Delsart, who is based in Leicestershire.

The Defender Under-25 Jumping Competition on Sunday morning will welcome some of the sport’s most promising up-and-coming talent. Show Ambassador Joseph Stockdale returns to contest aboard Millfield Counterfeit, fresh from campaigning at the CSI5* Saut Hermès show in Paris. In addition, the field will include multiple junior championship medalists including Noora Von Bulow, part of the British team that won bronze in the FEI Junior European Championships last year. Sure to be in contention for this renowned class is Natalie Dean, who represents the United States of America. The young rider – who this season has been training with Ben Maher – will bring Dotcom D'Authuit with whom she has several impressive 5* results.

Brooks-Ward continued, “Royal Windsor Horse Show is once again delighted to be hosting a number of national Show Jumping classes. Providing riders, both amateur and professional, the chance to ride at this level of Show is highly important, and we hope that they can gain the skills required from competing in this type of environment that allows them to keep progressing their equestrian careers in the future.”

To find out more and to purchase tickets, please visit www.rwhs.co.uk