Royal Windsor Horse Show is the UK’s largest outdoor premier Show and takes place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle. The Show hosts 5* International Show Jumping (which is the highest level possible) as well as 4* International Dressage and 4* International Carriage Driving. There are also national classes in Show jumping and Windsor is one of the UK’s premier Showing events.
There are numerous exciting displays which take place at the Show including The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, The Musical Band of the Household Cavalry, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games and The Shetland Pony Grand National.
The site itself includes an extensive shopping village which hosts over 250 stands and there are many different places to sit and eat. It is the only time of year the public can access the private grounds of the Castle.
During the day there are 5 different arenas in operation, housing the many varied equestrian classes. Access to the arena is included in a general entry ticket. The main Castle arena has grandstand seating which can be reserved for the dressage competitions on Thursday and Friday and the weekend daytime performances.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings The Pageant will take place. For this performance all seating is reserved and requires a separate ticket.
Windsor has 5 different arenas which all host different classes across the week: The Castle Arena (main arena), Frogmore (primarily for jumping) and the Copper Horse and Adelaide (both primarily for showing) and Driving arena. A detailed timetable of classes will be online closer to the Show www.rwhs.co.uk. Highlights are listed below:
Wednesday 8th May – National Show Jumping and Dressage
Thursday 9th May Daytime – Amateur Show Jumping, International displays, CDI4* FEI Dressage Grand Prix
Friday 10th May Daytime - 5* Showjumping, International displays, CDI4* FEI Dressage Freestyle to Music
Saturday 11th May Daytime - 5* Showjumping, 4* Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix: Marathon Stage, International displays
Sunday 12th– 5* Showjumping, The Rolex Grand Prix, International displays
Showjumping – Windsor hosts 5* international show jumping which is the highest level. Large prize fund which should attract top end riders. The biggest class of the week is the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. There are also lots of national show jumping classes.
Dressage – a sport which combines skill, elegance and power. On Thursday all competitors will ride a set series of movements. The top competitors go through to Friday’s freestyle where they ride their own test to their choice of music. This is a 4* competition which is high level.
Driving – The Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix takes place over 4 days and teams of horses and drivers compete. These may be made up of a pair of horses or ponies or a ‘team’ which is 4 horses or ponies. On Thursday and Friday driven dressage takes place in the Driving Arena, Saturday is the marathon (a real highlight where the horses travel around the park from one obstacle to the next), and finishes on Sunday with the obstacle driving (through pairs of cones against the clock) in the Driving Arena.
Showing – Windsor is one of the UK’s premier events for Showing and there are many different championships which take place across the week. More than 1300 horses and ponies compete in the showing classes.
The Musical Drive of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery – an adrenaline filled, fast paced display where teams of horses fly around the arena pulling traditional wheeled guns at full tilt.
The Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and The Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry – A display which is renowned worldwide. Most people would recognise them from Horse Guards Parade in London where horse and rider stand in ceremonial dress. The Musical Ride consists of high speed, precise moves set to beautiful music.
DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games - Five teams representing England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland take place in qualifiers throughout the week with the final taking place in the afternoon of Sun 13th.
The Shetland Pony Grand National – this involves the ponies racing over miniature Grand National style fences.