Royal Windsor Horse Show 2016 preview

PUBLISHED: 12:35 29 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:35 29 April 2016

The thrills – and sometimes spills –of the carriage driving classes are not to be missed (Photo by Maureen McLean)

The thrills – and sometimes spills –of the carriage driving classes are not to be missed (Photo by Maureen McLean)


The annual horse show will draw the crowds for a great day out in the usually private grounds of Windsor Castle, Maureen McLean reports

The Royal Windsor Horse Show will take place from 11 to 15 May this year. Some 50,000 visitors are expected to attend in the 74th year of Rthe show. If you haven’t been before, we can really recommend it. It’s a wonderful day for all the family.

As well as the hotly-contested equestrian competitions and activities, there are over 220 shops in the Shopping Village, with a wide range of goods for sale including jewellery, country lifestyle goods and fashion, so make sure you wear some comfy shoes or boots. There are plenty of places selling food and drinks and of course, delicious strawberries and cream.

Her Majesty The Queen has attended every year since the Show started in 1943 and it is the only time of the year that the private grounds of Windsor Castle are open to the public, so you might well catch a glimpse of Her Majesty and members of the Royal family. With brand new world class competitions, and birthday celebrations fit for a Queen, Royal Windsor Horse Show 2016 promises to be better than ever.

One of this year’s innovations will be the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix upgrading to a CAIO4* World Cup Qualifier, a Nations Team competition for Carriage Driving. The 4* status means that drivers who now gain World Cup points, can earn five bonus points towards the hotly contested FEI World Cup Driving Qualification for the 2016-2017 indoor World Cup season.

National Dressage will also be drawing in the best of Britain’s competitors as the UK’s top riders will be invited to take part in a must-see class on Wednesday, 11 May. This will be one of the last opportunities to watch the potential members of Team GBR compete their podium-worthy dressage routines on home soil ahead of the highly anticipated Rio Olympics in August.

As well as top Carriage Driving and Dressage riders gravitating to the show, the newly enhanced 4* International Jumping status will entice leading competitors from around the globe as Royal Windsor Horse Show hosts six 4* classes including the CSI4 Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy.

At the other end of the scale, Windsor will also be introducing CSIAm-A classes this year, open to national and international riders, where five classes will be held over the course of the Show. And due to the level of prestige in the competitions, the total prize money for the event has now reached £293,395.

This special action-packed show will also see the return of some of the old favourites that are guaranteed to get the crowds, cheering including The Shetland Pony Grand National, The DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games, Tent Pegging, the Coaching Marathon, over 100 Showing classes which attract top quality combinations of riders and horses from all over the country, as well as the CE12* International Endurance competition, held in The Great Park on Friday, 13 May. 

Free tickets

The popular ‘Free Wednesday’ returns on 11 May when there is no charge for general entry to Royal Windsor Horse Show. Order free tickets online in advance or just turn up on the day to enjoy classes including national jumping, advanced dressage to music and showing of hunters, Anglo Arabs and sport horses, plus all the other show attractions.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show on other days can be purchased at, where you can also see the full schedule, or by calling the box office on 0844 581 4960. 


Events and things to do in Berkshire - May 2016 - Enjoyable days out, trips to Berkshire’s theatres and arts centres: take your pick of some great events

Latest from the Berkshire Life