This year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show will be doubly special for Queen Elizabeth II this year, on whose property the 75th anniversary show will be held next month.
A special retirement ceremony for the Queen’s homebred champion, Barbers Shop, will take place during the show, on the afternoon of Sunday, May 13.
The former racehorse was Windsor’s 2017 Supreme Ridden Showing Champion. In his racing career Barbers Shop was trained by Nicky Henderson and won eight races and £143,000. His list of showring successes is expansive, and
The 15-year-old gelding raced for the final time at the Cheltenham Festival in 2012, and was trained for the show ring by Katie Jerram.
Jerram said the son of Sadlers Hall would be staying with her for the time being, and would continue to be ridden as usual, and possibly compete in dressage. He was to have been retired at the Horse of the Year Show last October, but was unsound so did not compete in his final class.
Jerram is currently sidelined after breaking a bone in her neck, but will be overseeing her husband Chris Hunnable as he makes his Windsor Showing debut with The Queen’s heavyweight Tower Bridge, as well as the 2013 Windsor novice champion, the lightweight Gortglas Rinarinca.
“We’re also bringing Her Majesty’s new novice riding horse, Donation,” Jerram said. “We’re very excited about him, as he’s already won all three of his novice classes. I’d much rather be riding myself, but Chris is doing a fabulous job and I hope to be allowed to get back on towards the end of the year.”
Native pony specialist Lizzie Finlayson-Briant has another exciting prospect for The Queen. This is the home-bred eight-year-old stallion, Balmoral Mandarin, who arrived at Finlayson-Briants Bristol yard last autumn after standing at Balmoral Stud in Scotland.
“He won at the Royal Highland himself as a yearling, and a filly by him won there last year,” Finlayson-Briant said . “He’s already been supreme ridden champion at a native show in Somerset with us this season and recently qualified for the Royal International at his very first attempt.”
Spectacular displays scheduled
Windsor show, which takes place from May 9 to 13, will feature a spectacular line-up of displays for its 75th anniversary, including performances from the Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan, with performance ‘Land of Fire – Azerbaijan’.
The display celebrates the Karabakh horse, the native horse of southwestern Azerbaijan. Ten horse and rider combinations will be seen combining fast paced movements with tight turns and perfectly timed executions. They will be accompanied by the ‘Sarhadchi’ dance ensemble who will be performing traditional dances alongside two fire-jugglers performing a spectacular fire show. The performance, choreographed specifically for Royal Windsor Horse Show, demonstrates the strength and bravery of the Karabakh horse, and the courage and peacefulness of the Azerbaijan people.
The Household Cavalry Mounted Band will be adding to the line-up of equestrian displays. The band was formed in 2014 by the union of The Band of The Life Guards and The Band of The Blues and Royals, the two mounted bands of the British army. It combines State Trumpeters, mounted, marching and concert bands as well as smaller ensembles. They will appear in their gold State Dress as they do whenever a senior member of the Royal Family is present. They will be performing alongside the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry who appear every year at Royal Windsor.