Her Majesty The Queen was present on the opening day of Royal Windsor Horse Show to watch a variety of her horses compete, including her ex-racehorse Barber's Shop who was second in a high class ladies hunter line up in the evening sunshine. Her five year-old novice heavyweight hunter Tower Bridge, who was bred by Her Majesty, finished third in his class. Both were ridden by Katie Jerram.
The opening day, dubbed 'Windsor Wednesday' offered free admission to all spectators and perfectly set the scene for the feast of spectacular equine sport and entertainment over the coming few days.
Showing, Dressage and Show Jumping were on the itinerary during the first day, including the Advance Medium Freestyle to Music and the Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship. Crowds flooded through the gates to watch the show get under way and grab a first glimpse at the brand new look shopping village which showcases over 200 outlets of fashion, jewellery, country living goods and food and drink.
Dressage: Alice and Sir Socrates Continue Winning Streak
One minute you are up and the next you are down as advanced medium dressage freestyle winner Alice Oppenheimer experienced today. Having won the class at the Royal Windsor Horse Show with Tantoni Sir Socrates, the chestnut stallion, a little over excited by the lap of honour, put in a few too many bucks prompting Alice to perform an unprompted dismount.
Georgina Pole Carew’s homebred stallion, a British licensing champion in 2009, was soon forgiven by his owner and his rider, particularly as he had claimed the class with a convincing margin ably demonstrating his elastic and rhythmic paces.
Alice and Sir Socrates have recently enjoyed an outstanding run of success and their prize here was their eighth rug this season. The pair, the advanced medium open and freestyle champions at the recent national winter championships have also won at two international meetings this year.
Gloucestershire based Lucy Cartwright and owner Carole Felton were delighted with Fergana’s second place. Lucy, a former working pupil of Carl Hester, has ridden the elegant chestnut mare by Fidermark for five years. “We are really happy with her today,” said Lucy. “She has come on so much in the month since the Winter Championships.”
Julie Hugo Ross and the Dutch-bred mare Alivia II were a close third. The pair also impressed the judges with a neat and mistake free test to elegant James Galway flute music that was well suited to the light-footed mare, owned by Julie and Frances White. “It's music that makes me feel good and smile,” said Julie.
Tomorrow evening the main arena at Royal Windsor will host international grand prix dressage and on Friday the grand prix freestyle to music.
Showing: Walter Whitewash
Cheshire-based showman Robert Walker landed Royal Windsor's coveted hunter championship double, heading the novices with Jill Day's heavyweight Grand Slam and taking the open title in the Castle Arena with a storming gallop on the same owner's lightweight, Pride of Place. For good measure, the Yorkshire-born producer also put his wife Sarah aboard the novice lightweight winner Shoughmore Emperor to stand reserve.
Show Jumping: Brace Of Wins For Breen
Ireland’s Trevor Breen started the 2015 Royal Windsor Horse Show with strong performances to secure a pair of show jumping wins on the event’s opening day – Windsor Wednesday.
The Buckinghamshire-based rider took the first class in the Castle Arena – The Horse and Hound Foxhunter – with the seven-year-old gelding Serpico from a huge field of 95 starters. Run under two-phase rules – where only any rider clear over the first eight fences can progress to jump the final six against the clock – the competition produced 20 faultless performances. As no stranger to fast paces, Trevor headed off his rivals with a swift and calculated performance.
The win secured the winner's and their 11 closest rivals' qualification for the Walwyn Novice Championship, held this afternoon. However, this time out it was Julian Mincher and the seven-year-old stallion Dartbreaker, runners up to Trevor and Serpico earlier in the day, who took the honours with the fastest of four clean performances.
Trevor’s fortunes were also favourable in the Land Rover Grades A and B Show Jumping class, in which he piloted former Derby winner Loughnatousa WB into pole position. In second place was the USA’s former Olympic gold medallist Laura Kraut and Thalis de la Rougue, a taste of the international flavour of this year’s competition.
The Dressage phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix starts on Thursday 14 May in Home Park Private, whilst the CDI3* Dressage Grand Prix takes place in the Castle Arena at the start of the evening performance. Once again a feast of equine entertainment will take place throughout the day, including the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Musical Drive of The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery.
For tickets or to see a full schedule visit www.rwhs.co.uk