Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Queen obviously loves her local show!


Despite the first day’s cancellation, Royal Windsor Horse Show eventually set off in style with packed crowds enjoying the sunshine, the top equestrian sport and the displays. Her Majesty The Queen was delighted to win first place in the RoR Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Horse Championship, with her prized homebred Barber’s Shop.


The main show jumping class of the day was the 1.40m Grade A & B two-phase competition, which proved to be a challenging course, with only four of the 30 starters jumping double clear. Fourth to go, Tim Stockdale, set the early pace, clear in a time of 29.85 seconds to finish eventual third. However, it was Philip Miller aboard Unbelievable Lady who claimed the £1,200 winner’s prize. The chestnut mare by Unbelievable Darco jumped an immaculate round, knocking 1.78 seconds off runner-up Trevor Breen’s time.

Further winners were Katie Meredith and Zoralyn, who took the Land Rover Grades B & C Handicap from Nicola Wilson, and Maja Burnell who galloped to victory in the opening International CSI-Am competition of the show on nine-year-old Crona Cr. The other jumping class of the day was the Olympic Star Spotters for six-year-olds, which saw an astonishing 12 riders jump double clear to share equal first place.


Twenty eight four-in-hands from eight nations competed in the first leg of the driving GP today – the dressage. First after this phase, and by a significant margin, is the current World Champion, Boyd Exell from Australia. His closest challengers are the three members of the gold-medal-winning Netherlands team at WEG two years ago: Ijsbrand Chardon, Theo Timmerman and Koos de Ronde. The winner of the last two years, Chester Weber from the USA, is fifth as he prepares for the second phase, the cross-country marathon.

Exell, driving a team of mixed KWPN horses of varying experience, has a lead of some seven penalties; the next four contenders are bunched together, separated by just two penalties. With Exell and Chardon, both multiple winners here over the years, keen to reclaim the title, Weber on his mettle to retain it and Timmerman and de Ronde looking to take it for the first time, Saturday’s marathon promises outstanding sport and great excitement.


For the second year running, Her Majesty The Queen’s Barber’s Shop, ridden by Katie Jerram, landed the RoR Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Horse Championship. The 14-year-old gelding will reappear to contest the Ladies Show Horse tomorrow.

The Leeman family’s home-bred two-year-old filly, Kellythorpes Spot The Difference, won the In-Hand Coloured Championship at her show debut; a birthday treat for her co-producer Janay Leeman.

Royal Windsor Show runs from 11-15 May, with more than 50,000 visitors expected. Special displays in the main Castle Arena include pony mounted games and the Shetland Pony Grand National. The shopping is superb, with goods ranging from jewellery and fashion to food and drink. 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.