Royal Windsor Horse Show may be over for another year – but you can catch all the best bits, right here on H&C.
It has been a thrilling week of equestrian sport at Windsor, with their first five-star showjumping and four-star dressage competitions. We have highlights of three of the top classes – with wins from Olympic gold medallist Carl Hester and world number one Kent Farrington.
Carl Hester achieved a double of wins at Royal Windsor Horse Show in what was his first every competition with Barolo.
Carl said he was either “brave or stupid” to compete the 11-year-old for the first time in front of a home crowd, but the gamble certainly played off.
The opening class was the Grand Prix, which saw the pair awarded a winning mark of 74.1%. They then went on to win the Freestyle to Music, after scoring an impressive 79.85%.
Standing just over 16hh, ‘Roly’ is almost eight inches shorter than Carl’s last Windsor winner, Nip Tuck, who also did the double in 2015. Roly was previously competed by Charlotte Dujardin, who won the 2015 National Championships with him, but Carl took over the ride this year.
“He was bought by his other owner Anne Seifert-Cohn as a six-year-old and has been a bit of a project for us,” said Carl. “He got to the level quickly as he is smart, but needed time to strengthen up. I wasn’t sure whether doing my first test on him at Windsor was brave or stupid, but he did some lovely work out there.”
Two of Carl’s students joined him on the podium in the Grand Prix and the Freestyle, with Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubins Nite taking second place in both classes, just ahead of Gareth Hughes and Don Carissimo who were third.
“He loves the atmosphere here and really rises to the occasion,” said Hayley, who is our latest rider in H&C’s Masterclass Xtra series. The 34-year-old rider from Gloucestershire is now heading to Compiègne, France as part of the British Nations Cup team.
The final day of Royal Windsor saw the world’s top showjumpers battling it out in the Rolex Grand Prix, which offered €75,000 to the winner. It was the best of the best to came out on top, with world number one Kent Farrington taking the title for the second year running. Kent was riding Sherkan d’Amaury, who only came back into work a few months ago after taking time off following colic surgery.
It was a thrilling jump-off with 12 riders, including Scott Brash, Canadian star Eric Lamaze and USA’s Jessica Springsteen.
Jessica set the standard with Cynar VA, but Kent then shaved nearly three seconds off her time to go into the lead. Scott Brash jumped another great clear with Hello Annie, but wasn’t fast enough to better Kent’s time.
Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca has been on top form recently and it looked like he might push Kent off the top spot, but he was almost a second slower to take second place, ahead of Scott in third.
Another big class was the Kingdom Of Bahrain Stakes For The King’s Cup, which saw Egypt’s Abdel Saïd triumph in a tightly fought contest.
The time allowed in the first round added to the complexity of the course, which was big and technical and only eight of the 29 starters jumped clear.
Second to go in the jump-off was Kent Farrington, who set a blistering pace with his incredible horse Dublin, however an extra stride before the last meant his time could be beaten. Abdel Saïd followed with Hope Van Scherpen Donder and set-off meaning business. The talented and tiny mare made the tightest of turns and galloped to the last, to take the lead. Ben Maher put up a great challenge, but his time was only good enough for second place, with Kent coming third.
Don’t miss H&C’s fantastic coverage of Windsor, which feature highlights of all the action on Sky 253 or you can watch online by subscribing to H&C Play.