New international status for Windsor draws top riders


Equestrians from more than 24 nations have entered for this month’s Royal Windsor Horse Show, which marks the first year it has been upgraded to a international FEI event.

Royal Windsor has also increased prize money to £255,000 for the CHI show from May 14-18.

The showjumping classes include the £53,000 CSI3* Kings Cup on Saturday, May 17, and the £35,000 CSI3* Alltech Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy on May 18. Entries from 10 nations as well as eight out of the top 10 riders in the UK rankings have been received.

jumping-windsorIn addition, World No. 1, Charlotte Dujardin, fresh from smashing yet another world record at the Dressage World Cup Final in Lyon,  will be showcasing her talents in the CDI3* FEI Dressage.

The confirmed entries for the  CSI3* showjumping include two members of the London 2012 gold medal winning team, Nick Skelton and Peter Charles, as well as reigning World Champion, Philippe Le Jeune (BEL), and  Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al Sharbatly, famous for winning silver at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and team bronze at London 2012. Other international riders include Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez, who has based himself in Europe this year ahead of the World Equestrian Games in August and USA teammates Lauren Hough and Laura Kraut. Italy’s Emanuele Guadiano, 27th in the FEI World Rankings, who won last year’s Paris Masters, travels over with three horses to compete.

Nick Skelton, who has been competing at Royal Windsor since the 1970s when he rode for the Edgar Family, said: “I always look forward to competing at Royal Windsor Horse Show. It is set in a stunning location and always has a brilliant atmosphere. The organisers have done a great job by securing increased prize money and the show really deserves the upgrade to CHI.”

Competitors from seven different nations will compete in the CDI3* FEI dressage with the Grand Prix on the evening of Thursday, May 15, and the Freestyle 24 hours later. The headline act will undoubtedly be dressage sensation Charlotte Dujardin riding Carl Hester’s stallion Uthopia. And seven-time national champion Hester will be competing Fine Time – the horse he rides for Gemma Appleton. Other international riders include six-time Australian national champion Mary Hanna, long standing member of the Portuquese equestrian team Daniel Pinto, and South Africa’s Denise Hallion.

International driving has been a highlight of the Royal Windsor Horse Show since The Duke of Edinburgh introduced it to the schedule in 1971, and this year sees an exceptionally high quality set of entries in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix with takes place on 15-18 May. Competitors include current FEI World Cup Driving champion Boyd Exell (AUS), but hot competition is expected from four times World Champion Ijsbrnd Chardon (NED).

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