Windsor, Berkshire, England – The 2021 edition of the Royal Windsor Horse Show CHI 5* closed in spectacular style, with champions crowned across the disciplines of Show Jumping, Driving and Showing. Once again, the enthusiastic and informed spectators were treated to the very best displays of world-class equestrian talent by both horse and rider.
The pinnacle Show Jumping event of Royal Windsor Horse Show, the €500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, took centre stage in the Castle Arena for the final session of the 2021 Show and did not disappoint the jubilant crowd. A top-class field of 29 contested the 1.60m course, designed by international course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR). The field included five of the top six ranked riders in the world. With 10 combinations going through to the jump-off, pressure was on from the start.
First to go, Britain’s Harry Charles (GBR) – travelling reserve for the Tokyo Olympic Games next month – set the standard aboard Borsato (Contendro I x Nijinski), jumping clear in 38.21 seconds. However, with some of the best riders in the world to follow, Charles had a nervous wait.
The remaining nine riders would still have to take on the challenging shortened course. Reigning RWHS Rolex Grand Prix champion, Henrik von Eckermann (SWE), as fifth to go, put in an impressive effort aboard the aptly named King Edward (Edward 28 x Feo) to take over pole position, although his lead was short lived.
He was followed into the Arena by the current European Champion and World No. 3, Martin Fuchs (SUI), riding the phenomenal grey gelding Clooney 51 (Cornet Obolensky x Ferragamo), who made up speed across the ground, jumping clear in 36.87 and topping the leaderboard.
Next up was Britain’s Ben Maher (GBR) with his Tokyo Olympic mount Explosion W. The 12-year-old chestnut gelding (Chacco-Blue x Baloubet du Rouet) put in an exceptional performance, demonstrating his scope and athleticism, and posting a remarkable time of 35.16 – over a second faster than Fuchs. Swiss World No. 2, Steve Guerdat, put in a worthy challenge but his effort aboard Venard de Cerisy (Open Up Semilly x Djalisco du Guet) was only good enough for second place.
Winner’s Circle – Ben Maher (GBR)
Maher, the current World No. 4, said: “I’ve said it before, but Explosion is just incredible, he helped me out a bit today, but he jumps better faster and he was fantastic. Royal Windsor is such a special show, it hasn’t been my luckiest show in the past, so it’s nice to finally win here in front of my owners and in front of a British crowd, and in the Queen’s back garden. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Final Results – €500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*
1) Ben Maher (GBR) & Explosion W – 0 / 0 – 35.16
2) Steve Guerdat (SUI) & Venard de Cerisy – 0 / 0 – 35.92
3) Martin Fuchs (SUI) & Clooney 51 – 0 / 0 – 36.87
Source: Press Release from Revolution Sports for Royal Windsor Horse Show
Photos: © RWHS – Royal Windsor Horse Show