The Queen’s former racehorse Barber’s Shop has done his owner-breeder proud, taking out a major class at the Royal Windsor Horse show.
Barber’s Shop produced yet another foot-perfect performance with Katie Hunnable-Jerram in the saddle, winning the 22-strong National Hunt section of the hugely-popular Retraining of Racehorses Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Horse class, and then taking the section title.
The success earns the consistent 15-year-old a place in the new Royal Windsor Supreme Ridden Showing Championship sponsored by Dodson & Horrell, which takes place on Sunday afternoon in the Castle Arena and offers £750 to the winner.
There were three endurance classes at the show, with 101 riders from 12 nations represented. The course took competitors through Windsor Great Park, taking in Ascot Racecourse and several famous landmarks.
The United Arab Emirates scooped the top four places in the 120km CEI2*, with winner Saeed Hamoud Saeed Al Khayari riding Dahi to finish in a time of 04:47:48. There were 16 completions from the 46 starters.
Bahrain’s Ali Abdulla Mohamed Al Subaie took the top place in the 80km CEI1* on Henham Romeo in 03:46:24, and Sarah Davenport won the national 40km class in a time of 02:18:56 on Blakeswater Wilfred.
This was the fifth edition of the Royal Windsor Endurance event, but the first to include both a CEI1* 80km and a national 40km ride, alongside the regular CEI2* 120km.
Britain was extremely well represented at the event, with a total of 64 starters including 17 out of 21 riders in the 80km. Beth Langley finished second in that class on HS Ametista in 04:25:22.
Endurance GB Chairman, John Hudson, said: “It was fabulous to have our national ride included in this now prestigious event and such a wonderful opportunity for our riders to ride in this setting. The feedback has been very positive and it’s a day that will live long in the memory.”
Of the starting field of 103, 54 horses completed the rides (53%), with the remainder either retiring or failing to meet the stringent vetting criteria required to qualify for their next phase of the competition.
In the dressage, Carl Hester took out the CDI4* and the 4* Freestyle title with Barolo. It was the first show for Hester and Barolo, who has been ridden to date by joint owner Charlotte Dujardin.
The freestyle, to Charlotte and Valegro’s first music “How to train your Dragon”, though not technically difficult was ridden with precision and fluency displaying particularly flowing half passes and changes, proving a unanimous choice of the ground jury with a score of 79.85%.
The placings for the freestyle mirrored the 4* class, with Gloucestershire based Hayley Watson-Greaves second on Rubins Nite and Gareth Hughes and Don Carissimo third.
It was also the first competitive Grand Prix in the UK for New Zealand rider Wendi Williams and her De Niro gelding Deja Vu MH. The pair are staying for a few months, having travelled back with the European horses from the World Cup in Omaha, where they suffered a massive disappointment having to be disqualified after Deja Vu MH bit his tongue.
The much awaited CSI5* Show Jumping at Royal Windsor Horse Show kicked off with an extremely tight speed competition, in which the top three riders finished within 0.2 seconds of each other.
A high-class field took to the Castle Arena for the 1.45m CSI5* Manama Speed Stakes. It was tenth to go, the USA’s Laura Kraut, who set the pace for everyone to catch aboard the 14-year-old chestnut mare, Whitney. Making all the turns and pushing on strongly between the fences, they posted an impressive time of 27.94 seconds, over two seconds faster than the previous fastest time.
She was followed into the arena by home favourite, Scott Brash, riding the 11-year-old Hello Forever, who put up a strong challenge, but came home 0.16 seconds behind the leader. Ireland’s Billy Twomey with Kimba Flamenco also looked to put Kraut’s lead in jeopardy, but his time of 28.10 was only good enough for eventual equal second position with Scott.
In the CSI5* Bahrain Pearl Stakes, a 1.50m jump-off competition, only seven of the 31 starters jumped clear through to the jump-off to contend for the £44,500 prize fund.
It was last to go, Britain’s Ben Maher, riding Jane Forbes Clark’s Tic Tac, who delighted the packed grandstand to take the victory, jumping immaculately and making the tightest of turns, to come home in a time of 37.23, just three tenths of a second faster than Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, with Germany’s David Will third on SIEC Copain.
Reigning Horse of the Year Show hack champion Elusive, owned by Suzanna Welby and ridden by producer Jo Bates, claimed the prestigious Count Robert Orssich Hack Championship. In a dramatic finale, the class winner, Jayne Ross’s charge, Rosettes Direct’s Forgeland Hydepark, failed to sparkle in the Castle Arena and had to settle for reserve.
There was another surprise in the Martin Collins Cob section, where the reigning HOYS supreme champion, Lady Caroline Tyrrell’s cob campaigner Our Cashel Blue, ridden by Allister Hood, finished second in his class to the eventual champion, Paul Mortimer’s Randlestown Rolex ridden by producer Robert Walker.
The Land Rover Mountain and Moorland Supreme In-Hand title went to the prolific Stuffynwood Primrose.
Local rider Laura Mantel stole the show in the Land Rover Grades A & B Jumping Competition, riding Glory B V. Lauren Edwards and Ben Walker both put up an excellent challenge, but their times of 41.90 and 42.42 were only good enough for second and third position respectively. Mantel also finished equal first in the Olympic Star Spotters Competition.