CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show kicked-off in style with a win for Her Majesty The Queen, who was present to enjoy the victory of Whalton Highwayman, ridden by 15-year-old Kinvara Garner. The private grounds of Windsor Castle were resplendent in the sunshine on the opening day of the five-day Show, as the Showing and National Show Jumping took centre stage.
Kinvara Garner took the Part Bred and Anglo Arab Championship, having headed a good 148cm class on HM The Queen's 11-year-old Whalton Highwayman. "This is his second Royal Windsor," said Kinvara, "he has only been out twice before but has qualified for the Royal International Horse Show as a Show Hunter pony, and also as a Part Bred Arab. I couldn't be more pleased with how the season started."
Cheshire showman, Robert Walker, won his fourth Cuddy Hunter title against stiff competition, this time riding Jill Day's outstanding lightweight View Point.
Local rider Jayne Ross won the Small Hunter, sponsored by Rosettes Direct, on Kay Campbell's five-year-old Church Rock Cashel, attending only his third Show."I thought he would be next year's horse," said Jayne, "I am so surprised and delighted for him to win."
The Amateur Hunter Championship title went to a former ladies winner, Time 2 Reflect, ridden this year by her owner Lucy Cameron.
Britain’s leading lady, Laura Renwick, got the Show Jumping at Royal Windsor off to a flying start, winning the Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter – First Round, a two-phase National competition, with a double clear in a time of 34 seconds. Riding Arkuga, a seven-year-old homebred by Arko, out of her former top mare Beluga, Renwick used her international experience in the prestigious Castle Arena to knock over a second off the time of runner-up Charlie White.
The top twelve six-year-old horses from the Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter qualified for The Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship later in the day, a class which was won by Australian Rowan Willis, riding Hadyvola. The 1.30m course proved demanding for the novice horses, with only four combinations jumping clear, but Willis’ tight turn to an oxer approaching the final line made all the difference as he stormed to a four second victory.
The biggest class of the day, The 1.40m Land Rover Grades A & B Jumping Competition, went to Georgia Thame with Z7 Qamar. 15 of the 43 starters went through to the second phase against-the-clock, however speed proved the downfall of many, with only four managing to produce a rare double-clear. As second to go in the arena, Marie-Louise Thomas set the pace early on, producing a lovely clear in 35.90 seconds, however Thame took the lead midway through the class with a time of 31.46 seconds, which proved unbeatable. Keith Doyle, riding Harlequin Dunraven, came close, but his double clear in 32.07 seconds was only good enough for second place.
Coming Up Friday, May 11
- CDI4* FEI Dressage - The Al Shira'aa Grand Prix CAI3*P4 / CAIO4*
- Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix
- National Showing, including the RoR Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Series and the Coloured Ridden Championship
- National and CSI2* Show Jumping