CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show returns to the private grounds of Windsor Castle on the 9-13 May 2018, to celebrate its Diamond year, bringing a special twist to the showground to mark the occasion.
Originally set up in 1943 to support ‘Wings for Victory’, a wartime campaign to raise money to purchase Hurricanes and Spitfires for the Royal Airforce, the 75th annual Show’s design team have been working hard to re-create aspects of the Show as it would have been in its founding year. Visitors will enjoy references to forties décor, clothing, music, food and drink, structures and print, making for a particularly memorable, celebratory event.
Spectators will walk down memory lane as they enter the showground past an avenue of imagery taken from the archives, each marking a decade of the Show. From Royal attendees to past winners and highlights, the entrance will set the scene before reaching the main site, where a full-scale replica Spitfire will be on display, reminding the visitor of the founding purpose of Royal Windsor.
The Cup Tent, which houses more than 100 cups and trophies that have been donated to the Show since its inception, will also house an extended Royal Windsor 75th Anniversary exhibition. This will guide spectators through a timeline of the Show’s history, from its beginning to its present-day status as the country’s largest outdoor Horse Show. The 75 Years of Royal Windsor exhibition will take a look back at the milestones and memorable moments of this prestigious event through timelines and images.
The South Lawn will have a pole tent giving a 1940s feel, tailored with bunting, straw bales and festoon lighting. Perfectly positioned at the heart of the showground, alongside a bandstand, attendees can sit to eat and drink whilst listening to forties style singers. Furthering the forties feel will be an array of concessions presented in vintage vans, a short walk away from the bandstand, with a tea lawn overlooking the warm-up arena, where spectators can watch as competitors prepare to take to the Castle Arena.
Both the Members Enclosure and the Windsor Enclosure will embrace the retro slant; housed in pole tents, the enclosure menus will add a touch of forties to the palette including offerings such as ‘Trenches’ lamb and Spiced Corn Beef Fritters, served by staff dressed to resemble the era.
Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward said: ‘We are looking forward to a monumental year for the Show and are excited to celebrate its extraordinary history. It will be a particularly special year for those that are attending, and a great opportunity to see the Show through the ages, alongside the top equestrian competition on display.’
Joining the Show’s line-up will be The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Regiment and The Musical Drive of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, two displays designed to demonstrate drills which derived from battlefield and ceremonial manoeuvres, both displays were a part of the programme in the early years of the Show and have been integral to its content ever since.
The Land Rover Shetland Pony Grand National and DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games will also be ones to watch, as the fast and furious competitions return, demanding speedy ponies and cheering from all the family. The event also hosts over 120 Showing classes and four FEI disciplines in Carriage Driving, Show Jumping, Dressage and Endurance, enticing many of the world’s best riders to the private grounds of Windsor Castle.