Elegant Equine

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Royal Windsor Horse Shoe

The Royal Horse Show celebrates 75 years at Windsor Castle, writes Rachel Wakefield

Windsor Castle will once again open its gates to the public for the Royal Windsor Horse Show, from Wednesday, 9th until Sunday, 13th May, for a spectacular 75th year.

With all eyes on Windsor ahead of the highly anticipated Royal wedding the following week, more than 55,000 spectators are expected to attend for top-class sporting action, entertainment and shopping across the five days.

This event is respected as a world-class equestrian competition. Last year, there was more than 3,000 entries; and, because of its upgrade to 5-star status, attracts the sports’ most prominent competitors. It is also the only show in the UK to host four of the eight The International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) disciplines: show jumping; dressage, carriage driving and endurance.

The CSI5* Show Jumping category will return to the Castle Arena from Friday, 11th until Sunday, 13th May. It also includes a Saturday evening performance, with the climax of the action, being the Rolex Grand Prix taking place on the final day. Current World No.1 and reigning champion, Kent Farrington will be returning from injury to defend his title. Speaking after his victory in 2017, Kent said: “The Royal Windsor Horse Show, is one of my favourite shows. There’s a combination of, amazing setting, an unbelievable crowd, top course designing and great footing.”

The CDI4* Al Shira’aa Dressage Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music category will take place on the evenings of Thursday, 10th and Friday, 11th May respectively. Riders will have the unique opportunity to be judged by Susan Hoevenaars, one of the judges at the upcoming FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018, an unmissable chance for hopefuls heading there this September.

The CAIO4* Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup™ qualifier adds to the roster of top international competition.Competitive Endurance action will take to Windsor Great Park on Friday, 11th May, as the CEI2* Royal Windsor Endurance supported by The Kingdom of Bahrain sets off about 120km of the countryside of Windsor and Ascot for the ultimate test of stamina for both horse and rider.

More than 120 showing classes will join the four FEI disciplines in the action-packed schedule with many of HM The Queen’s horses regularly in the starting line-ups. Competitors will strive to follow in the footsteps of HM The Queen’s Barbers Shop to be crowned Royal Windsor Supreme Showing Champion on the final day.

Visit www.rwhs.co.uk or call 01753 860633