Updated May 2005

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The Royal Windsor Horse Show

The New All-Weather Arena

The new arena

The new Castle Arena

29th April 2005

We were delighted to have this opportunity to be the first to show you early pictures of the all-weather Castle Arena in the Home Park Private, the area that really is the 'back garden' of Windsor Castle.

Frogmore Ring

The Frogmore Ring

the castle in the background

The castle still dominates the new show ground.


Horse Show a Great Success, say Organisers
though sadness tinges last King's Troop display

The 63rd Royal Windsor Horse Show drew to a close last night to the thunder of fireworks over Windsor Castle. It was a spectacular finish to what has been a spectacular show in this year's new location within the Castle's Private Grounds.
  The £500k all weather service, newly laid this year by Martin Collins Enterprises was warmly received by the leading showjumpers. The highlight was undoubtedly William Funnell's thrilling win in the big class of the week The Antonia Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. 
  The 'all weather' element of the arena surface was never called into use, as Royal Windsor basked in glorious sunshine throughout. It was however able to play host to Dressage competitions including a Pas de Deux, which was won by Annie MacDonald Hall and Angie Rutherford and an exciting Arena Polo Match featuring, among other world famous players, Claire Milford Haven. 
  All things culinary were a huge success at the show, in particular, Marco Pierre White's Brasserie, with its position on the edge of the arena, was fully booked throughout. The French Farmer's Market also proved a hit, with visitors able to sample many gastronomic delights and indulge in some retail therapy.
  The show was, as ever, supported by the Royal Family, both as competitors and as spectators.  HRH The Duke of Edinburgh competed in the challenging Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, finishing 5th, and HM The Queen had a win with the homebred Balmoral Jingle in the showing classes. On Saturday The Queen was joined by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, to watch the Duke compete.
  A crowd of some 60,000 visitors attended Royal Windsor; with advance ticket sales almost double that of last year. Restaurants and Grandstands were heaving throughout and the layout and attention to detail ensured that a wonderful day out was had by all. This year's stunning displays included the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry, the Musical Drive of The King's Troop, RHA, the Lusitanos from Portugal and the great family favourite, the Shetland Pony Grand National.
  Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward was justifiably pleased with the success of the show, saying; "This has underlined the fact that moving the Horse Show into this fantastic new site was absolutely the right decision to make, and we've now set the framework for Royal Windsor to go from strength to strength. We are indebted to Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh for having the vision to allow the show to be run in such a stunning setting. We are also very grateful to our ever supportive sponsors, trade stands, and visitors who have made the show such a success this year."
  The dates for 2006 are 11th - 14th May, and the website will be updated throughout the year, visit www.rwhs.co.uk

King's Troop Accident

It is reported that a horse had to be humanely destroyed following an accident during the final, Sunday evening, performance of the Musical Ride of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery. Apparently the horse collided with a gun as the Troop performed the famous 'scissor cross-over.' Reports suggest that the horse, Homer, was severely injured in the accident and that his rider was thrown from his horse but was not seriously hurt. Some spectators however, especially young children, were very upset by the scene.
   Immediately after the accident the horses and gun carriages of the King's Troop formed up around the accident site to form a screen until proper screens could be erected, but apparently they were insufficient and spectators in the public stands could still see what was happening as the vet tended the injured horse.
   We have every confidence in the skills of the King's Troop and are proud of their world-wide reputation for courage, skill and horsemanship, all of which combine to provide on of the most impressive and dramatic performances to be seen anywhere. We believe that this accident will not lead to a dilution of the Troops display, sad as it was.
   After Homer had been taken away, the King's Troop completed their performance and received a particularly generous round of applause from the remaining crowd.


One of the most remarkable aspects of the King's Troop's display is that the limbers and gun-carriages can only be slowed by the horses themselves, or as seen below in procession, when a member of the Troop is in attendance behind the gun carriage to wind the brakes on and off as required. During the Musical Drive, everything depends on split second timing - and a long stopping distance once they have exited from the arena 'at the gallop'.


The Bridge From Home Park

2005 saw the first use of the newly constructed all-weather arena in Home Park Private which necessitated a pedestrian bridge across The King Edward VII Avenue for visitors to the grounds of the show. Some reports have claimed that the capacity of the bridge, though said to be 5000 an hour, was difficult to get across at times, especially as additional crowds arrived for the afternoon session.
   It is likely that additional crossing facilities will be needed next year, especially for the disabled, and parents with children in push-chairs. The alternative entrance this year was by the Town Gate, close by the Windsor and Eton Railway station, which was some distance from the parking areas.

Bridge 01

Earlier Press Releases


At a packed launch, attended by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and held in The Undercroft, Windsor Castle today (22nd November), the organisers of the Royal Windsor Horse Show announced plans for the move of the historic show after 62 years in its current location, Home Park Public.

The show, widely regarded as one of the most prestigious in the equestrian social and sporting calendar, will move into the Private Grounds of Windsor Castle, by kind permission of HM The Queen. In previous years the show has shared its grounds with various sports users in the Home Park Public. The move, literally across the road, means that the show will have a dedicated site.

The idyllic surroundings of Home Park Private, which have in the past been used by the show for Carriage Driving and Dressage, will now play host to three arenas over the four days of the show, 12th to 15th May 2005. The arenas will be called Frogmore, Copper Horse and Castle (Main Arena).

Around 3,000 competitors take part in the show and over 60,000 spectators attend the show over the four days. In addition to the equestrian elements, there is also a strong emphasis on shopping and the new site will, in 2005, have 180 outlets.

The show's prestigious sponsors include Land Rover, Daks, Laurent Perrier, Country Life and Jaeger le Coultre and from 2005, corporate hospitality will be hosted in the Royal Windsor Pavilion.

Public Parking will still take place on Home Park Public with pedestrian bridges being created from that area into Home Park Private over the Windsor to Datchet Road (B470). The main bridge, which is used at the Southampton Boat Show, will have the capacity to take up to 5,000 spectators per hour.

Immense thought has been put into designing the new layout for the site for the comfort and easy access of both spectators and competitors. Over 2kms of pedestrian and vehicle tracking will be laid and seating for 3,000 is to be erected around the Castle Arena.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: "This move is vital to secure the long-term future of the show and will make it the most prestigious show, on the most prestigious showground, in the world. This level of prestige will be matched by the sporting, public and corporate facilities that we will be providing mixed with the theatre, drama and excitement of our arena entertainment. We will lead the way in 21st century outdoor equestrian events"

The show is known for the wide diversity of equestrian interests that it represents and this will continue and indeed become stronger within the context of the new layout. If a planning application, currently being considered by the council, is granted for an all-weather surface (an amalgam of man-made substances set on a permanent site which is will remain useable in most weather conditions) in the 120m x 60m Main Arena, a widening of the spectrum of equestrian disciplines will take place. For example, Dressage would return to the show.



Advance tickets for the Royal Windsor Horse Show are available from their website.

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Also see The Royal Windsor Horse Show Website

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