This year marks the landmark 75th CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show. Set up in 1943 to support Wings for Victory, a war time campaign to raise money to purchase Hurricanes and Spitfires for the Royal Air Force, the show has grown to become an internationally recognized 5* equestrian event. Her Majesty The Queen has attended every year since its creation, with many of the world’s best riders taking to the private grounds of Windsor Castle to compete at the renowned event.
The first show was simply called the Windsor Horse and Dog Show. It took place on Wednesday 26th May 1943 and helped the Royal Borough raise £391,197 – enough money to buy 78 Typhoon fighter aircraft. 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.
Dogs have not been allowed into the showground since 1944, this is because at the first show in 1943, a Lurcher stole a piece of chicken from King George V’s lunch plate. The Committee found this so mortifying that they have banned dogs from the showground ever since.
The Show was extended to two days in 1946, three days in 1947, four days in 1967 and five days in 1977.
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, was a regular competitor in the International Driving Grand Prix and finally retired from competing in 2003.
Her Majesty The Queen has attended every year since the Show started in 1943 and it is the only time of the year that the private grounds of Windsor Castle are open to the public.
The show will take place from 9-13 May 2018. Over 55,000 visitors are expected to attend, offering its audience an extensive program of first-class equestrian competition and performances in five arenas. The displays in the main Castle Arena include The Musical Ride of The Household Calvary Mounted Regiment, The Musical Drive of the King’s Troop RHA, The DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games and The Land Rover Shetland Pony Grand National. As well as the equestrian competitions and activities, there are over 220 shops in the Shopping Village, with a wide range of goods for sale, from jewellery and fashion, to food and drink.