Tuesday 20th of February 2024
Events

Royal Windsor Horse Show Report

The final day of Royal Windsor Horse Show combined top class sport and entertainment as the excitement builds ahead of The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration in Home Park (Private) this evening.

 

 

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Kent Farrington Steals The Show

A full-house of enthusiastic visitors witnessed the USA’s Kent Farrington claim the biggest spoils of the week in the Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy. Despite a valiant challenge by Britain’s John Whitaker (Argento), who thrilled the home crowd, the American visitor took the win with the super speedy Creedance.

 

After an exciting first round, 14 riders came through with faultless score cards to the jump-off. Canada’s Tiffany Foster, riding Brit Ben Maher’s former London Olympic gold medal winning ride Tripple X III, was second to go and held the lead for almost half the second phase with her clean performance. She was toppled from pole position when Kent smashed her target by three seconds, causing those watching to whoop in delight at the display of calculated horsemanship.

John then tried to steal the win for the home crowd, but finished one second adrift despite a strong start out on the shortened course. John, who praised Royal Windsor Horse Show’s move to four-star jumping said:

“Up to the planks [halfway around the track] I knew I was quicker. Then he spooked at something. I don’t know what it was, so I ended up doing two or three strides more than Kent.”

The final double clear of the class came from Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci (Casallo Z), but a steadier round than the two prior faultless performers meant third place and handed victory to Kent. Kent said:

“Creedance is a naturally fast horse and was flying out there, but I held my breath a bit when John went. I grew up watching him and he is still just as good now as he was then. I’ve taken two big wins this week so I think I should get out of town quick!”

France’s Adeline Hecart prevented a home win too, this time for Robert Smith (Cimano E) in the Palm Accumulator. The 20-year-old pinched back 0.01sec from the Brit’s long-time target to steal her second Royal Windsor win in two years with Questions D’Orval. Adeline, who won last year’s winning round competition with the 12-year-old mare said:

“There weren’t really many places to make up extra time, so I think there was a bit of luck involved.”

A huge fan of the show, Adeline is delighted to be here during this special year. She said: 

“It is my favourite show in the world. Last year, the atmosphere was amazing and the people who come here are so knowledgeable and appreciative of horses. But this year you can really feel that there is something more and sense how much people love The Queen and want to celebrate her birthday.”

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Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix – Exell Excels

With his magnificent four-in-hand warmbloods, reigning World Champion, Boyd Exell from Australia, drove to victory in the final phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix at Royal Windsor, reclaiming the win that has been his six times previously. He said: 

 

“We’ve been second for the last two years. I lost it in the cones last year and I really did not want to do that again. I’ve been trying out new combinations of horses in recent years but these ones have really gone well for me. They got me out of trouble in obstacle seven yesterday when we almost took a wrong turn.”

Exell was in first place as the final phase began, but the pressure mounted as the top drivers began recording double clear rounds. Four time World Champion, Ijsbrand Chardon was less than one cones penalty behind Exell and is usually exemplary in this section. However, uncharacteristically, he had two balls down which dropped him behind fellow countryman, Koos de Ronde ,and German driver, Christoph Sandmann, and gave the current World Champion a bit of breathing space. He didn’t need it – he drove a sure and clean double clear to take his seventh Royal Windsor win.

Today’s cones course was designed by experienced course designer, Richard Nicolls from the USA, and was described by competitors as ‘classic Nicolls’. He said:

“They know that I design course that are flowing but technical. There are changes of rein and various options but I don’t like mad dashes across the arena or a course that constantly doubles back on itself. It’s better for the drivers if the course flows and it is better for spectators too.”

Pony four-in-hands provided an even more nail-biting finale. Yesterday’s marathon winner, Germany’s Michael Bugener, lying in third place overall attacked the course with vigour; it earned him a round that was clear on time but at the expense of 12 penalty points. In second place at this stage, Jan de Boer from the Netherlands, drove confidently and steadily, also making the time but picking up just 3 penalties. In the lead, Vilmos Jambor jr from Hungary, drove with some caution – he dropped behind on time, but more punishingly accrued 9 penalties. Jan de Boer and his Welsh Section As, therefore, claimed the win at Royal Windsor for the sixth time with Bugener and Jambor jr, both competing for the first time here, taking second and third. The delighted Dutchman said: 

“I’m particularly pleased with the new pony I have in the wheel. I felt I really had to look after him in the marathon, particularly in the first obstacles, as he is still inexperienced.”

In the Nations Cup competition, the Netherlands – Ijsbrand Chardon, Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman – never looked like relinquishing the first place they have held since the first day. Germany – Rainer Duen, Marieke Harm and Christoph Sandmann – too, retained their second position throughout but Belgium – Dries Degrieck and Edouard Simonet – overtook Australia for third place.

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Showing: Working Hunter Ponies Take The Limelight

Working hunter ponies delighted a packed audience around the Frogmore arena this morning. One of the most popular winners was the 18-year old 143cm grey gelding Carnsdale Caspar, owned by the Beaconsfield based Wrennall family, beautifully ridden by Katie Wrennall, 12. The still enthusiastic campaigner jumped one of only two clears over a demanding course.

Another game veteran, 16-year old CJs Tonto, accounted for the 133cm division, but the section title went to Sophie Lawes and her 135cm bay mare Carnsdale Vanity Fair.

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