“Virtual Windsor” horse show entries exceed expectations

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The Household Cavalry perform their Musical Ride.
The Household Cavalry perform their Musical Ride at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2014.

Virtual Windsor 2020 has received a total of 4266 entries across its classes after launching a month ago following the cancellation of the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

From May 13 to 17, the ‘Virtual Show’ will take place via a daily streaming video, which will comprise the judging of the online showing classes, shopping fix clips, messages from stewards and Royal Windsor Horse Show supporters, and footage from previous years’ Royal Windsor Horse Shows.

Highlights from previous years include the stunning displays from the Household Cavalry Musical Ride and the Royal Horse Artillery, as well as competition replays featuring Olympic gold medallists Ben Maher MBE, Scott Brash MBE and Charlotte Dujardin CBE.

Closely following the live event timetable, the Virtual Windsor 2020 Show Week will bring the judging of the online showing classes to life, with commentator Nick Brooks-Ward interviewing judges Nigel Hollings, John Peacock, Linda Lawrance, Antony Fanshawe and Lord Charles Beresford, along with special guest judges Alan Titchmarsh MBE and Annabel Brooks-Ward MFH. The judge of each class will be interviewed, and the result announced during the course of the stream.

On the evening of Saturday, May 16, viewers will have the chance to relive last year’s highly acclaimed 2019 Victorian Pageant – a musical, military and equestrian extravaganza, featuring the voices of Academy Award winner, Olivia Colman CBE, Simon Callow CBE, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, alongside music from renowned British score writer Debbie Wiseman OBE. The display, set in the iconic grounds of Windsor Castle, will be streamed online as a one-off performance.

On Sunday, May 17, Virtual Windsor 2020 will host the Online Showing Championships supported by Rosettes Direct, with the winners of each Showing class going head-to-head to claim the coveted Championship title. Prizes have been donated by RWHS exhibitors, with the champion receiving a Voltaire Design bridle and a magnum of wine from The Magnum Company to the winning owner. Holland Cooper has also supported the Championships, with a jacket presented to the Best Turned Out. All finalists in the Online Showing will receive a Royal Windsor Horse Show rosette, made by longtime RWHS supporters Rosettes Direct.

Show Week at Virtual Windsor 2020 will also include the launch of an interactive map of the showground, where visitors can tour their favourite shopping destinations. The map, which features all the shops usually found at Windsor in their usual places on the showground, will allow visitors to virtually explore the show and enjoy all the usual shopping on-site and benefit from some special virtual show offers.

Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said the organising team had done a tremendous job to put on what he believed would be a spectacular Virtual Show Week.

“I have already seen some very strong entries from all around the world, so the judges are certainly going to have a tough job on their hands. Though the show could not go ahead in its usual format, Virtual Windsor 2020 has really shown how exceptional the equestrian community is and I would like to thank all those that have supported us and got involved.”

The free-to-view content will begin at 11.30am each day and be available on Facebook, YouTube, and on the Virtual Windsor 2020 website.

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