The Royal Windsor
New All-Weather 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.
The Frogmore Ring
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
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
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
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.
Earlier Press Releases
PLANS UNVEILED FOR THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS
SHOWGROUND IN THE WORLD
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
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
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
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.
Windsor Horse Show Index
Also see The Royal Windsor Horse Show Website
Royal Windsor Home Page
us, email Thamesweb.