Showing classes shine at a sunny RWHS

Justine Armstrong riding Rosemore Midnight Rendezvous at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Essex-based producer Justine Armstrong celebrated after Jane O’Keeffe’s mannerly gelding, Rosemore Midnight Rendezvous, gave her a Championship win at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Saturday, 4th May 2024. Winning the Small Riding Horse sponsored by Mr and Mrs Phil Swallow in the morning, the combination later went on to stand as Champion.

Apart from on Working Hunters, the last time I had a championship here was in 2002 on a Haflinger pony,” Armstrong-Small recalled, laughing. “But Rendezvous has been Champion on each of his three previous outings this season so we were quietly hopeful.”

Danielle Heath, riding Guy Mears’ Times Square III, came in second place. Brambletown Boy, ridden by Amy Tough and owned by Lisa Jones, finished in third. The Healthiest Body Condition was awarded to Alicia Thomas, riding her own Legoland.

Later in the afternoon, while Justine Armstrong and Rosemore Midnight Rendezvous were awarded the Riding Horse Championship title, it was Lancashire-based Wayne Thorneycroft who claimed reserve with his own, First Man.


Amateur Riding Horse

The Amateur Riding Horse, sponsored by Mr and Mrs Phil Swallow, victory fell to Katie Dashwood with her reigning Horse of the Year Show Open Champion, the former racehorse Minella Rebellion, who is produced by yesterday’s Hack champion rider, Jo Bates.

Mountain and Moorland Ridden Worker

The Mountain and Moorland Ridden Worker classes were full to capacity in the Frogmore Arena, where Lisa Kelly built a series of deceptively testing tracks which required careful riding. After more than six hours of absorbing competition, the top spot went to Ross Keys, with Anna Chaplin’s prolific 17-year-old Welsh Section D stallion, Dycott King — another former victor at Horse of the Year Show — who headed the Mountain and Moorland Working Hunter Pony, exceeding 143cm class. Here, he pipped last year’s RWHS winners, Amy Smith and her multi-garlanded Connemara gelding Laburnum Richard.

BSPS Mountain and Moorland Ridden

The BSPS Mountain and Moorland Ridden classes sponsored by New Horizon Plastics were also full to capacity, and it was not until early evening that their Championship was decided. For the second year running, this fell to young Nottinghamshire-based producer Lucy Glover with Amanda Sharman’s stunning Connemara stallion. Castle Kestrel is yet another successful offspring of the prolific stallion Glencarrig Knight, who has been responsible for so many champions over the years.

Yet another generation of the famous Whitaker Show Jumping dynasty made their mark when five-year-old Gracie-May Whitaker — competing at only her second-ever show — landed the BSPS Mountain and Moorland Mini Championship aboard her grandfather Martin Wood’s Lead Rein winner Thistledown Silver Bullet. Gracie-May is the daughter of showjumper George Whitaker and his wife Michaela, who was herself a prolific winner in the show ring, including at the Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International.

Royal Windsor Martin Collins Enterprises Cob Championship

Reigning Royal International Supreme Champion rider Will Morton began the season well at local shows with Rosamund Lane’s stunning grey Maxi Cob, Monarch In The Mist, but here in the Castle Arena, the big-galloping grey gave him a phenomenal ride to take the Royal Windsor Martin Collins Enterprises Cob Championship. It was a great result as the partnership pipped last year’s victors, Janay Leeman and her reigning Horse of the Year Show champion Red Rock, also Ridden Coloured Reserve Champions to the spot.

Horse & Hound Mountain and Moorland Supreme In Hand

The coveted Horse & Hound Mountain and Moorland Supreme In Hand title provided another shock result when the brand-new partnership of handler Tom Clark and owner Melanie Peters’ lovely Welsh section A stallion, Hoekhorst Example, scooped the top award ahead of seasoned campaigners Jamie Frost with Cathy Wood’s big-winning Connemara stallion, Clover Hill Magic. “It’s the first time I’ve ever shown him,” said a clearly shocked Tom.

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