There were no winning red ribbons for Queen Elizabeth II on the third day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, but there were several satisfying placings for the monarch’s equine team.
The Queen’s Sunbeam, the In-Hand Coloured Reserve Champion from Thursday, returned under saddle to place third in a very strong Coloured Horse and Pony Society UK ridden class. The five-year-old gelding was ridden by producer Katie Jerram-Hunnable, whose husband, Chris, led him to Thursday’s win.
The Queen collected another rosette when young rider Libby Grota partnered the prolific-winning Highland stallion Balmoral Mandarin to place third in an extremely strong British Show Pony Society Ridden Large Breeds Native class.
Chris Hunnable partnered another of the Queen’s homebred stars, the ex-racehorse First Receiver to be third in the Tattersalls RoR In-Hand Show Series Qualifier, following his second place in the ridden equivalent on Thursday. First Receiver, formerly trained by Sir Michael Stoute, won four times – netting almost £20,000 – in his two-season flat career. First Receiver is out of the Queen’s mare Touchline and by New Approach, who won the 2008 Epsom Derby for Princess Haya of Jordan, who was FEI president between 2006 and 2014.
The show’s Chief Showing Steward, Sebastian Garner, was able to witness his niece, India Till, repeat last year’s Novice Show Pony victory with the 148cm winner, Rotherwood Fancy That, who is only five and relatively inexperienced, but performed like a seasoned campaigner.
The show also featured a presentation to the Best Turned Out Trooper, which was awarded to Prince Ainuson riding Northumberland.
In the showjumping, the 1.55m course set by Bernardo Costa Cabral for the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup proved challenging, with just three combinations progressing through to the jump-off. First into the arena for the second round, Lorenzo de Luca, set the standard with a clear round in the time of 33.63 seconds. Holly Smith, who won this class in 2019, made up time with tight turns throughout and galloping down to the last to take over the pole position aboard Fruselli. Abdel Saïd put in a strong performance to threaten Holly’s lead, but in the end could only manage enough for second place.
The opening CSI5* class of the day, the Falcon Stakes, took the top 10 riders from the first round into a jump-off against the clock. It was left to third to go, Jos Verlooy riding Fts Killossery Konfusion, to set the target with the first double clear in an impressive 39.64 seconds. The Belgian rider pulled off some impressive turns with the 11-year-old grey gelding to put the pressure on those to follow. David Will showed that the time could be beaten, but his four faults meant he was only able to finish fifth. Wilm Vermeir gave it his best shot as last to go, posting 39.83 seconds with Linguine de La Pomme to finish second and make it a Belgian one-two. Steve Guerdat and Dynamix de Belheme took third, with Lorenzo de Luca in fourth.
The Inter Schools Show Jumping Competition was won by Seaford College.
In the Services Team Jumping Competition, The Challenge Cup presented by the Queen for the best placed service team riding UK Service horses was won by the Defence Animal Training Regiment A team. The team of Captain Harry Grantham and Willow Clover Promise, CoH Andrew Mancey with Paardeburg, and WO2 Michael McGrath riding Middleham finished on a team score of 4 penalties after the latter posted a careful clear round in the second phase. The team won clear ahead of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery A Team on 12 penalties.
Of the non-horsed units competing for The Queen’s Plate, the Army 3 team of Captain Amy Lambert and Pirate’s Puzzle, Trooper Dylan Hinton and Ultimate II, and Major Daniel Gregory with Neighbourhood Watch Archie finished on a score of 0 to take the title. Lambert – nominated to ride the second phase – completed the jump-off clear with a time of 57.53 in front of cheering crowds.
The new section introduced for 2022, The Jorrocks Challenge Trophy for international teams, was lifted on its inaugural occasion by the Bahrain Defence Force team of Ahmed Mansoor Ali Maki and Zamzam, Mohamed Saif Alnairi and Consuela Van Verst, and Basel Mohamed Aldoseri on Amalfi. With a time of 43.22, the latter also won the prize from The Worshipful Company of saddlers for the highest placed rider in phase two.
The top 15 four-in-hand drivers in the world drove true to form over Jeroen Houterman’s open and flowing, yet questioning, marathon course for the driving competition. All the drivers chose to follow different routes and show their skills to the large and appreciative crowd which had gathered around the eight beautifully designed obstacles.
Germany’s marathon specialist Michael Brauchle put in a brilliant and consistent performance to lead the Marathon and go up one place overnight to sixth. Dressage leader Boyd Exell had a few costly knock-down balls and although he only finished fifth on the Marathon, retains his lead after the dressage. Chester Webber drove his up-and-coming team of horses smoothly to go from fourth to second place, having flown them in from the USA on Wednesday. The heat suited the team who are used to the Florida temperatures and they performed to their best.
The two Belgian drivers, Glen Geerts and Dries Degrieck, are neck and neck after the two phases, and lying in third and fourth place respectively, with less than a point separating them. Top lady driver Mareike Harm drove an elegant round and, although not quite as fast on the clock, sits in fifth.
The three British drivers accrued penalty points for corrected errors of course. British driver Karen Basset said: “I’ve had a great time and it was a great learning curve but I felt I let them down today as I went sailing past Gate A in the last obstacle before I corrected my course! My horses gave me everything.”