Royal Windsor Horse Show, an event that takes place for the 73rd time this year, will host one of the main celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday from 11th – 15th May 2016. The Birthday Celebration will take ownership of the Horse Show’s main arena and grandstand seating during the four evenings of the celebrations.
In 1943, Count Robert Orssich and Mr Geoffrey Cross were inspired by the ‘Wings for Victory’ campaign and set about organising a Horse and Dog Show in Windsor to raise money for the war effort.
The first show was simply called the Windsor Horse and Dog Show. It was attended by all the key members of the Royal Family including King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and the two young Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret. Legend has it that Count Orssich had a disobedient Lurcher, who stole a chicken leg from King George VI’s plate during the ceremonies. This created such uproar that the committee ruled there would be no more dogs at the Royal Windsor Show, a ruling that stands to this day.
The Queen has always been a keen horsewoman and at the first show she won the Pony and Dogcart class. Since then Her Majesty has entered many homebred horses and ponies in classes at the show. The British Royal family continue to be keen supporters of the Show to this day. His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, has been a regular competitor in the International Driving Grand Prix and finally retired from competition in 2003.
The show has grown in size and in international importance since its inaugural event. It now encompasses a huge variety of equestrian sport. From the spectacular Land Rover International Carriage Driving Grand Prix, national and international show jumping competitions to extensive showing classes and enthralling equestrian displays, it is unique in its breadth of appeal.