International CSI5* Show Jumping
Heading the field in the CSI5* Show Jumping is World No. 2 Kent Farrington (USA), who will be looking to reclaim his title in the Rolex Grand Prix, the pinnacle event of the Show, with his consistent chestnut gelding, Creedance. Taking place on Sunday 14 May, with an increased prize fund of £258,000, Kent will face stiff competition for the coveted Rolex Grand Prix trophy, including fellow FEI top 10 ranked riders, Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Britain’s Scott Brash.
Scott Brash heads to Windsor with a top string of horses, including in-form mare Ursula XII and the up-and-coming eight-year-old gelding, Hello Mr President. He will be joined by his Olympic gold medal winning teammate Ben Maher (GBR), and home favourites John and Michael Whitaker. Fresh from victory in the Grand Prix of Antwerp, Michael will have a strong hand at Windsor, including Antwerp winner JB’s Hot Stuff, Viking, and the striking grey stallion Cassionato.
Also looking to claim part of the unprecedented total prize fund of £520,000 will be the notoriously speedy Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), twice a winner at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, World No. 14 Bertram Allen (IRL), and Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), recent winner of the Grand Prix at the FEI World Cup™ Finals in Omaha.
The female line-up is particularly strong, headed by Laura Kraut (USA) and Tiffany Foster (CAN), both of whom are ranked amongst the top 20 riders in the world. Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and Laura Renwick (GBR) will be leading the way for the home nation, with Jessica Springsteen (USA) and the always competitive Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), making up a truly international field.
International CDI4* Dressage
Adding to the international prestige of the Show, the CDI4* Dressage has been upgraded from its previous CDI3* status in 2015, taking centre stage on the evenings of Thursday 11 and Friday 12 May. In 2015, Britain’s Carl Hester was victorious aboard his Rio Olympic companion Nip Tuck. Carl is returning in 2017, this time with new ride, Barolo, a British-bred Hanoverian, which has to-date been produced by Charlotte Dujardin, with the pair winning the 2015 National Championships and moving up to international level in 2016.
Four-time British Olympian, Richard Davison (GBR) will be looking to steal Carl’s crown with homebred gelding Bubblingh, out of his former international ride Ballaseyr Royale, as will compatriot Lara Butler (GBR) who will be contesting her first international of the year with Rubin Al Asad, having set a personal best Grand Prix score in Hagen last year.
Strengthening the home team will be Gloucestershire based Hayley Watson-Greaves (GBR) with Rubins Nite and former British team member Gareth Hughes aboard Don Carissimo, winners of the Grand Prix in Roosendaal in 2016.
Returning to Royal Windsor Horse Show for the first time since 2014 is the flamboyant Italian, Silvia Rizzo, known for her style and flair, as well as Roland Tong (IRE) riding Rybrook Ambience, the reserve partnership for the Irish team at the 2016 Olympic Games.
New Zealand’s leading combination, Wendi Williamson and Dejavu MH, winners of the FEI World Cup™ Pacific League last year, will be looking to put up a strong challenge, as will young rider Caroline Chew (SGP), silver medal winner at the South East Asian Games.
International CAIO4*/CAI3* Driving
With drivers from 14 nations participating, the Land Rover CAIO4* International Driving Grand Prix promises to bring spectacular competition to Windsor Home Park from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 May. Among the 25 competitors in the horse fours is Australia’s Boyd Exell, reigning World Champion and seven-time winner at Royal Windsor, as well as seven-time FEI World Cup™ Champion, for which this competition is a Qualifier.
Boyd will be closely challenged by all three members of the Netherlands’ World Championship gold medal winning team, Ijsbrand Chardon, Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman, who collectively, have been unbeaten at a World Championship since 2008.
Horse pairs makes a welcome return to Royal Windsor Horse Show with a CAI3* competition. 24 competitors from 12 countries will do battle with a three-strong GB contingent, including James Broome, the current Advanced Horse Pairs GB National Champion and son of legendary Show Jumping personality, David Broome.
Previous World Champion gold and silver medallists, Harrie Verstappen (NED) and Beat Schenk (SUI) respectively, are also competing, while USA husband-and-wife team, Kathrin and Scott Dancer, each make a Royal Windsor debut.
Pony fours fields a strong GB team, including National Champion, Sara Howe. They will find themselves up against stiff opposition from the ever-improving Tinne Bax (BEL), as well as Jan de Boer (NED) and his Welsh ponies, who claimed his sixth Royal Windsor win here last year.
International CEI2* Endurance
On Friday 12 May, Royal Windsor Endurance will come to Windsor Great Park, with 120 horses taking part and riders representing 14 nations. Joining the 120km CEI2* are two new competitions for 2017, a CEI1* 80km and a National 40km Graded Endurance Ride.
A complete list of entries for each discipline can be found here.
Tickets to watch this year’s action can be purchased at www.rwhs.co.uk or by telephoning the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0)121 7966290 internationally. Local residents can purchase tickets by contacting Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743589.