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Royal Windsor – the season begins

Royal Windsor Horse Show 13th – 16th May 2004, recognised as the country’s stylish start to the show season, has developed the most interesting and varied timetable in its 61 year history, with the whole emphasis on providing real attractions for both horse enthusiasts and non-equestrian public alike.

Show Programme

The show takes place from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th May, with additional evening performances at the weekend, and concludes on Sunday evening with the dramatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Fireworks to Music display against the backdrop of the floodlit Windsor Castle.

Each performance will include a major show jumping class and international displays, such as, the magnificent ridden display of high stepping Portuguese Lusitano horses, supported by Wines of Portugal. There are also firm family favourites including the Shetland Pony Grand National and the Daks Pony Club International Mounted Games.

Royal Windsor has historically been about providing equestrian diversity and a celebration for the horse world, and the Hunters, Hacks, Cobs, Riding Horses, Show Ponies and Mountain and Moorlands, amongst others, give a feast for breed enthusiasts.

Other Activities

With over 150 shops, ranging from Bond Street style stores to tack outlets, a funfair, gastronomic delights in the show restaurants, champagne bars, a hobby farm and unreserved free seating, the visitor experience will be breathtaking.

In addition to the innovations in layout and timetabling, the organisers are also introducing a daily “Teach-In” with experts from different disciplines giving those around the ring the chance to benefit from their wisdom. Themes will include Showing, Driving, Show Jumping and aspects of The Pony Club.

Everyday there is a special activity that is particular to Royal Windsor, with some sights being seen nowhere else. East End Costers, displaying their rag and bone carts on Thursday make way for the elegant procession of 19th Century Mail Coaches and tent pegging on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday it is the turn of the Military, with the Team Services Jumping for the Queen Elizabeth Cup and the coveted prize for the Best Turned out Trooper from the Household Cavalry. Sunday is Carriage Driving day, with the presentations of the International Carriage Competition and the fashion conscious meeting of the British Driving Society with Stick Backed Gigs, Phaetons and Dog Carts, amongst others, reminding us of a decorative yesteryear.

The Showground

In such an exquisite setting and taking advantage of the exclusive grounds of Windsor Castle, the emphasis is firmly on quality. The show has been neatly scheduled into four days instead of the usual five and has three main competition rings.

This year sees key improvements to the showground, making it a more compact and weatherproof environment for spectators. Extensive walkway tracking means that visitors to the show will find it easy to move smoothly from sipping champagne and enjoying the entertainment at the ringside to shopping, whatever the weather.

Land Rover International Carriage Driving

A must for any visit to Royal Windsor is the chance to walk in the enchanted garden of Windsor Castle, that is Home Park Private. This part of the park is only open once a year, for the Royal Windsor Horse Show, and it plays host to all the carriage driving competitions including a World Cup Driving Qualifier as part of the Land Rover International Carriage Driving Grand Prix. This is the first time the event has hosted a qualifier. It is anticipated that HRH Duke of Edinburgh will once again take part in this highly skilled competition, which is not for the fainthearted.

In honour of The Pony Club’s 75th anniversary, the Sunday of the show will be celebrating this great landmark as well as playing host to the daily running of the Daks Mounted Games International.

Advance tickets for the Royal Windsor Horse Show are available from the box office, telephone 0870 121 5370 (or +44 115 912 9160 for international calls) and are from £10 with concession prices from £7. Children 12 and under can gain admission for free. FREE RINGSIDE SEATING (on a first come first serve basis). A very attractive Membership package is also available by ringing 01753 860633. To find out more about Royal Windsor Horse Show visit the website at


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