Horses owned by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II won two of the classes on offer at Virtual Windsor 2020, the replacement for the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which was to run in the private grounds of Windsor Castle.
More than 4200 entries were received for the online Showing competitions, including six from the Queen. A ‘usual’ Royal Windsor Horse Show would receive about 2800 entries, illustrating how the equestrian community has come together to make Virtual Windsor 2020 a larger success than ever envisioned.
A huge number of viewers watched the Show online with more than 250,000 spectators tuning in to enjoy the event over its five days, while the social media reach soared past the million mark.
The numbers surpassed all expectations and organisers were particularly delighted by the number of viewers from overseas with more than 90 countries getting involved.
There were 24 showing classes run over the five-day virtual Show, mixed with streaming of 5* Jumping and Dressage classes from previous live events, along with displays and competitions that can be seen only at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The Queen won the class for Cleveland Bays with Wyevale Harry, ridden by Matthew Powers, and the Side-Saddle with Stardust, ridden by Katie Jerram-Hunnable.
Over the course of the five days, many stars of the equestrian world joined the virtual Show in interviews and commentary. Their Royal Highnesses, The Earl and Countess of Wessex also participated in a video interview showing their support for the event.
As a first-time event for Royal Windsor Horse Show organisers expressed it was more than they could have ever wished for. Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director ended the show by thanking all involved and hoping to see everyone again – in the flesh – next year.
“We’ve been delighted by the response we’ve had to Virtual Windsor 2020. It’s been fantastic to see the Show’s community getting together to keep the show going – whether they are competitors, shop holders, sponsors, stewards, judges and officials or visitors – everyone has been engaged. I think it demonstrates how important the Show is for all and how close it is to their hearts.”