We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!
Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!
Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.
The 71st Royal Windsor Horse Show
Tomorrow marks the 139th running of The Preakness Stakes. This means that race day attendees from Baltimore and abroad will be donning their very best tea time attire – suits, dresses, hats and all – to cheer on California Chrome as the next Triple Crown winner.
While this may be one of the most extravagant equestrian affairs in America, the true tea timers – the British – are not to be outdone this weekend on the horse front. On now through Sunday May 18th is The Royal Windsor Horse Show at none other than Windsor Castle with The Queen in attendance. In fact, Queen Elizabeth has never missed this show that takes place in her back gardens since it began in 1943. She’s even had the pleasure of seeing her daughter, Princess Anne, compete here.
It is obvious that The Queen is quite at home at The Royal Windsor Horse Show. Below are side-by-side photos of Queen Elizabeth greeting an exhibitor in 1953 and looking even more at home enjoying the event this year. For even more photos of The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show over the years, check out the article “Our Changing Queen” from the Daily Mail.
As for the featured competition at The Royal Windsor Horse Show, it is befitting a queen. Over 80 competitors from 18 nations will compete in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, which includes an FEI World Cup Qualifier for the Four-In-Hand class. And the International Endurance competition, taking place over the 120km of Windsor Great Park, will ride again this year after its introduction to the show last year.
Royal Windsor is also CSI 3* jumping competition, with high level events including a Six Bar, the King’s Cup and a Grand Prix, featuring some of Britain’s best, like Nick Skelton, and Laura Kraut in attendance for the United States.
And last but certainly not least is the international dressage competition already underway, featuring the best and brightest British talent, including Carl Hester, Michael Eilberg, and world champion, Charlotte Dujardin. Dujardin already won the grand prix event on Thursday on a new mount named Uthopia. Here is the pair in action at The Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The Royal Windsor Horse Show also knows how to bring the fun! From the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry and the Musical Drive of The King’s Troops to the competition for the ‘The Best Turned Out Trooper’ of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, all of The Queen’s equestrian military men and women will certainly be strutting their stuff. There is even a modern day military competition taking place, in which present day Army soldiers show of their Skill at Arms and Tent Pegging.
The young ones will also be having a great time with the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games, going on throughout the week at Royal Windsor. Teams from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are competing against each other with the final and trophy presentations being held on the Sunday. And, of course, there just can’t be a British horse show without the highly competitive and adorable Shetland Pony Grand National!
All in all, the meeting of the famous and the fledgling riders and the tallest and the smallest of horses at The Royal Windsor Horse Show is quite a spectacle. We can see why The Queen wouldn’t miss it!