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Royal Windsor Horse Show

PUBLISHED: 10:15 26 March 2013 | UPDATED: 21:18 05 April 2013

Royal Windsor Horse Show

Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Royal Windsor Horse Show has grown into a super May spectacle with top class equestrian competition and no end of family fun

Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Royal Windsor Horse Show has grown into a super May spectacle with top class equestrian competition and no end of family fun

The quintessentially English Royal Windsor Horse Show celebrates its 70th year in 2013 and has a fascinating history. In 1943 Count Robert Orssich and Mr Geoffrey Cross created The Windsor Horse and Dog Show to raise money for the Wings for Victory campaign to help the war effort. The first event was a great success and attended by the Royal Family including King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and the two young princesses. Her Majesty The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, won the Pony and Dogcart driving class at the event. In fact, The Queen has attended every Show since 1943 and is currently its Patron, with His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh being its President.

The Duke takes a very keen interest in the event as it is host to The Land Rover International Carriage Driving Competition, which contributes towards qualification for the Driving World Cup. The Duke was a competitor for many years and only retired in the last decade. He now helps with organisation of the Windsor competition and can often be seen judging at one of the obstacles.

Carriage driving is not the only equestrian discipline, of course. The Show has over 3,000 entries in 170 plus classes. Many are showing classes and visitors can see a host of different breeds of horses and ponies, whether they are our national native breeds from the mountains and moorlands of the United Kingdom or Arabs, Andalusians or Haflingers.

In the main Castle Arena and the British Horse Society Arena a non-stop series of jumping classes takes place. Household names that have historically taken part include Michael Whitaker, John Whitaker, Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Peter Charles, Tim Stockdale and Tina Fletcher. However, the show is also open to

grass-roots competitors and one of the most popular classes is the Schools Jumping Competition with schools from all over the south of England entering.

Theres also an excellent programme of military and equestrian displays, including The Musical Drive of The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the show. This spectacular performance employs 68 horses with six teams each pulling a one and a half ton World War I gun. The Drive consists of a series of movements which include every element and gun manoeuvre that a gun team would have needed and culminates in the firing of the guns an ear-splitting moment!

The Show offers a full day out for all the family; theres a fun fair, the Land Rover Terrapod 4 x 4 course and more than 200 shops selling a huge array of clothing, jewellery, equestrian goodies, food and homeware.

Tickets start from as little as 16 for adults and 12 for concessions, a family of five can purchase a ticket for Saturday or Sunday for less than 50.

For tickets, and a full Show programme visit the website at www.rwhs.co.uk or telephone the box office on 0844 581 4960. Alternatively tickets can be purchased over the counter at Royal Windsor Information Centre or by phone on 01753 743589


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