For carriage-driving fans, the final day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show (last Sunday) featured two beautiful, yet very different, events.

Throughout the morning, the four-in-hand competitors in the FEI driving event battled through the final phase of their three-day event, the cones competition.

I went over to the driving arena after watching show jumping and happened to catch the final (top in the standings) five drives of the day. Shown below are U.S. driver Chester Weber, Koos de Ronde (The Netherlands), and the winner of the event, Australia’s Boyd Exell.

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Immediately after the cones competition, members of the British Driving Society (and a few invited guests, including the CAA’s immediate past president, Tom Burgess, shown below, with his wife, Gloria, seated next to him) began to gather for their drive through the Windsor Home Park and their “Concours d’Elegance” competition.

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After the participants had gathered in a warm-up arena (below, one of the pretty turnouts, and a line-up of four-in-hand vehicles with Windsor Castle in the background), HRH Prince Philip arrived to lead them on their drive.

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(Now that I’m back in the States, and using the Internet in the CAA office instead of the slooooow Internet in our Windsor hotel, I’ll be uploading a few more blog posts about the Royal Windsor Horse Show.)

Friday morning began with the (adorable!) in-hand classes for the wide variety of Britain’s “mountain and moorland” native pony breeds. These include everything from Shetland and Fell ponies (in the first two photos) to Exmoor, Dartmoor, Dales, Connemara, and Highland ponies … and probably a few I’m forgetting.

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Then, around midday, twenty coaches set out on their drive through the park.

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Later in the afternoon, A.J. and I stepped back in time as we visited the campsite of a group of World War II “home front” re-enactors. One of the interesting things about the gala performance every evening (celebrating the Queen’s birthday) is that many of the performers — like these re-enactors, or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the final photo — had outposts of sorts throughout the show grounds, or they would present special demonstrations and shows during the day.

Every year, the Royal Windsor Horse Show is so much more than just a horse show!

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Good morning from Winsdor!

I’ve realized, as I prepare and post these (somewhat daily) reports from the CAA’s trip to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, you may not know who I am. If you are a regular follower of my blog for the CAA, The Slower Road (or were, back when I was posting more regularly), we may’ve already met.

But the CAA got a brand-spanking new website within the last year, and now, during CAA trips, each blog posted is magically whisked over to land on the front page of the website. If you’re reading this there, however, you may be left wondering who’s actually doing the talking and photographing.

I’m Jennifer, and I work in the CAA office. If you have any questions or comments on these posts about the CAA trip to Windsor, or if you’d like to see more of the CAA blog, come on over to The Slower Road.

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I’m a bit behind on posting photos from the show. I apologize for that, but I’ve been working through technical difficulties.

So, even though it’s Saturday night here in Windsor, here are photos from Thursday at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

First, we saw the impressive musical ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

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At the very end of the performance, four individual riders gallop out of the arena carrying the flags of England, Scotland, and Wales, followed by the Union Jack.

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The next class in the main arena was the Light Trade Turnouts, sponsored by our own Carriage Association of America.

The winner of the two-wheeled class was the milk float. The winner of the four-wheeled class, and the overall champion, was a beautiful delivery vehicle.

Dr. Thomas & Gloria Burgess presented the ribbons and trophies on behalf of the CAA.

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The entire CAA group, plus a number of British guests, gathered in the Harte & Garter Hotel’s huge ballroom on Wednesday evening for our annual Welcome to Windsor Dinner.

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After dinner, Jack Pemberton (Canada) went around the room to introduce the British guests …

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… And then he presented Jill with a shepherd’s crook, so she can keep her flock (all the rest of us) in line.

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As we often do on the first day of the CAA’s trip to Windsor, our group gathered at The Christopher Hotel (in Eton) for afternoon tea.

This year, however, our group is so big that we couldn’t even hope to all fit in the dining room at the same time. So we split the group up and had three separate rounds of tea.

Everyone was able to enjoy a nice chat and a lot of delicious tea (or coffee), finger sandwiches, cakes, and scones …

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Most of the (140!) members of the CAA group on this trip to the Royal Windsor Horse Show will be arriving tomorrow (Tuesday), but a few people are already here in England.

A.J. and I arrived a few days early so we could enjoy a couple of days’ vacation in London. Yesterday was a gorgeous, sunny, almost hot day, and we walked and walked and walked. Nearly ten miles, all over Kensington Gardens and Notting Hill.

A slight detour took us over to the Victoria & Albert Museum, and near there, we came across a display of very early automobiles / horseless carriages. It turns out that the day before was the 120th anniversary of the (official) repeal of Britain’s “red flag act,” although it was apparently still enforced for at least six more months.

So here are a few horseless carriages – and close-ups – that you may enjoy …

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This tricycle-looking contraption is a replica of the first patented internal-combustion-engine-powered automobile, invented by Carl Benz and built in Germany in 1885/86. The original vehicle had a .75-horsepower, single-cylinder petrol engine.

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And this runabout-with-an-engine is a replica of Henry Ford’s first vehicle, which he built in his shed in 1896. The original vehicle had a whopping 4 horsepower, from a two-cylinder ethanol engine.

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This beauty is an original steam-powered automobile, built by the Stanley Motor Carriage Company (USA) in 1903. It had a 6.5-horsepower, twin-cylinder steam engine. This particular vehicle has since had a supplementary water tank added, which has boosted the car’s range to about 60 miles.

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Finally, here are a few close-up images of pieces and parts of some of the other vehicles that were on display, plus two of them heading out for their parade around the block (led by a man waving a red flag, as required, of course).

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