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Royal Windsor Horse Show preview and information

PUBLISHED: 11:42 28 April 2014

Tim Gredley competing at Windsor on Chamberlain Z. Photo: Kit Houghton

Tim Gredley competing at Windsor on Chamberlain Z. Photo: Kit Houghton

© Kit Houghton

The UK's biggest outdoor horse show introduces a new format and layout, and for the first time ever opens its doors to the public for free

The King's Troop Musical Drive is always a popular display in the parade ringThe King's Troop Musical Drive is always a popular display in the parade ring

The British summer country show season kicks off this year with a brand new look Royal Windsor Horse Show, Berkshire which takes place on 14-18 May 2014.

Already the UK’s largest outdoor horse show, Royal Windsor is reintroducing International Dressage and Show Jumping to its schedule after a four year absence and has increased prize money to over a quarter of a million pounds. What’s more, on the first day – which will be known as ‘Windsor Wednesday’ – the showground will throw open its gates to all visitors completely free of charge.

Now in its 71st year, the prestigious five-day event held in the spectacular grounds of Windsor Castle, celebrates all things equestrian and hosts international competitions in four equine disciplines; Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving and Endurance. The Royal Family hold great affection for the event – HM The Queen is Patron of the Show and has attended every single year since it began in 1943 and she often has a number of horses and ponies competing at the show. Other members of the Royal Family, including HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Princess Royal, have actually taken part in the show’s competitions.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward said: “With over 3,500 competitors, Royal Windsor Horse Show has established itself as the biggest national outdoor horse event in the UK. The international competitions, with their attractive prize money, have given the show a huge boost and as a result we expect to attract some top international riders this year. In particular, we hope that some of Britain’s best riders will be making an appearance.”

Look out for all the thrills in the Driving Marathon. Photo: Kit HoughtonLook out for all the thrills in the Driving Marathon. Photo: Kit Houghton

Another highlight of Royal Windsor are the showing classes, featuring over 30 different types or breeds of horses ranging from miniature Shetland ponies to heavyweight cobs. It is regarded by the equine industry as one of the most important horse shows in the country.

As well as the 130 equestrian competitions that take place during the five-day extravaganza, there will be a feast of rural activities for all ages to get involved in such as a display of ancient artefacts from Mongolia including an original Yurt, an old fashioned funfair, the Land Rover Ultradek - a purpose built 4x4 course which tests the vehicles to their limit and, of course, the beautiful grounds of the castle to enjoy - the only time of the year that the castle grounds are open to the public.

There are over 200 shops in the Shopping Village, selling a range of goods that cannot be found on the high street, with special sectors including Jewellery and Fashion, Country Lifestyle & Living, Food Heaven and Horses & Riders. Between competitions there will be classic displays including The Musical Ride from The Household Calvary and The King’s Troop Musical Drive – the only occasion where they perform together – as well as the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games, the Shetland Pony Grand National, the Bahrain Arab Horse Display. Young riders from the local area will be taking each other on in the University Jumping Challenge and Interschool’s Jumping Championships.

Royal Windsor Horse Show is a fantastic value-for-money day out and for the first time free admission is offered to all visitors on Wednesday 14 May, dubbed ‘Windsor Wednesday’ by show organisers. Children also go free of charge on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday 15 May admission for adults is just £16 and on Friday 16 May it is £19. For weekend visitors showground entry will be £25 for adults and £10 for children on both days. There are discounts for group bookings and family value tickets of two adults and three children for £60 are available on either Saturday or Sunday.

Tickets can be purchased on the door, online or by telephone. For pre-purchase visitors should go to www.rwhs.co.uk or telephone the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0) 121 767 4660 internationally.

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