Windsor, United Kingdom – May 3, 2018 – From 09-13 May, the top equestrian riders in the world will compete at the historic CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show. On the final day, Sunday 13 May, the horse and rider pairs will vie for the event’s greatest award, the highly coveted Rolex Grand Prix.
Some 55,000 spectators will enter the private grounds of Windsor Castle to witness the action, an opportunity available to the public just once a year at this majestic show. The eyes of the equestrian world will focus primarily on defending champion Kent Farrington (USA), a Rolex Testimonee and world number one, who returns to Royal Windsor eager to continue his success at the show and retain the Rolex Grand Prix title for a second consecutive year.
Launched in 1943 as a one-day show and originally known as The Windsor Horse and Dog Show; the backdrop of Royal Windsor is none other than Windsor Castle, giving this horse show a uniquely regal appeal. In 1977 it was extended to five days and continues to grow in size and international prestige. Royal Windsor remains the only show in the United Kingdom to host international competitions in show jumping, dressage, driving and endurance. It’s this diversity that makes it especially thrilling.
In 2017, the show jumping at Royal Windsor upgraded to five-star status, with support from Rolex. As Title Sponsor of the Grand Prix and Official Timekeeper at the event, Rolex helps reinforce the show’s emblematic position on the international show jumping circuit.
“Royal Windsor Horse Show continues to grow year-on-year,” Simon Brooks-Ward, Director of Royal Windsor Horse Show says. “We are making our mark as one of the best international shows in the world, and we are delighted to have Rolex on board for this journey.”
The 2018 edition is special in that it marks 75 years since the show’s inception. The show will feature a series of displays and exhibitions to commemorate the diamond anniversary. Royal Windsor’s long and distinguished history aligns well with Rolex, who, for more than 60 years has been cultivating an enduring legacy at the pinnacle of equestrianism, as partner to the finest riders, competitions and institutions.
The Rolex Grand Prix
An eager 8,000 equestrian spectators will enter through the imperial gates on Sunday 13 May, keen to witness the most distinguished show jumping pairings tackle the highly anticipated Rolex Grand Prix.
The course designer, Bob Ellis, is the mastermind behind many world-class tracks, including at the 2012 London Olympic Games, ensuring the optimal test for horse and rider. “Every year I look forward to returning to such a prestigious show to set the course for the world’s best,” he says. “This year will be a testing challenge for all who enter the famed Castle Arena.”
Rolex Testimonees Set to Compete at Royal Windsor Horse Show
British hero Scott Brash (GBR) will compete in the Rolex Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show, in front of a patriotic home crowd. Brash made history in 2015 by becoming the first and only rider to date to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
“Royal Windsor Horse Show is such a special place to compete,” Brash says. “Not just because it is in front of the British public, but the atmosphere and setting give it the edge over many other events. The British public love show jumping and it’s an honour to ride there.”
Joining Scott Brash (GBR) at Royal Windsor will be one of the best show jumpers in the world and defending champion Kent Farrington (USA), from the United States. “Windsor is one of my favourite shows,” says Farrington. “The atmosphere is magic and the spectators are especially knowledgeable and appreciative of horses. Now, with Rolex helping to make this a five-star event, it sits among the finest on the international circuit.”
Accomplished Canadian rider Eric Lamaze (CAN) will join in the action alongside fellow Testimonees Bertram Allen (IRL), from Ireland, and Swiss champion Steve Guerdat (SUI), who was voted Switzerland’s Rider of the Year in 2017.
The crowd will also welcome 2016 Olympic Team gold medallist and 2017 winner of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, France’s Kevin Staut. Rolex’s longest-standing Equestrian Testimonee from Brazil, Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), will complete the Rolex family set to contend this 2018 competition.
Source: Press Release by Merrick Haydon / Revolution Sports for Royal Windsor Horse Show
Photos: © Rolex / Kit Houghton